Crude oil production in Nigeria has saw significat improvement, increasing by 252,800 barrels per day in January, up from the 1.697 million barrels per day recorded in December to 1.949 million barrels per day.
By extension,the total production of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in the month under review has been boosted.
However, prices are sloping down as the Nigeria’s Bonny light depreciate by $7.60 to $30.35 per barrel in January.Specifically, total OPEC crude oil production in January averaged 32.33mbpd, representing an increase of 131tbpd over the previous month.
The cartel disclosed that crude oil output increased mostly from Nigeria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Iran, while production showed a decrease of from Angola, Venezuela and Algeria.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) declined by 6.26 per cent to $27.94 while Brent crude oil dropped by $30.32 per barrel.
The price of OPEC basket of 13 crudes stood at $28.33 a barrel, compared with $29.00 the previous it was sold previously.
It said that the drop in the price of OPEC basket came as oil market oversupply and the slowing Chinese economy continues and has been compounded by an unusual drop of seasonal heating demand amid a continuation of the previous month’s mild weather in key consuming regions.
It noted that the values of the West and Northern African light sweet Basket components − Saharan Blend, Es Sider, Girassol and Bonny Light − decreased in value by $7.60 to average $30.35 per barrel in January.
OPEC said that despite strong demand for light sweet crudes in Asia over the month amid robust refining margins, a higher supply of light sweet oil put pressure on the Malaysian crude premium, causing the Tapis-Dubai spread to narrow.
It noted that regional light sweet crude grades were supported last month by freight rates that were at the highest levels seen in years. But falling costs of sending tankers from the Middle East and West Africa to Asia put pressure on shorter-haul grades. “Refining margins in the Singapore hub have averaged above $10/b most of the month, up from around $8.60/b the previous month. Demand for spot crude in the Asia-Pacific crude market was affected slightly as refiners prepared for spring maintenance even as profit margins remained robust. Meanwhile, the Middle East sour crude benchmark Dubai was somewhat supported by robust demand from Chinaoil in the Platts crude oil price assessment window, as it purchased 16 cargoes over the month. Light sweet Tapis premium over medium sour Dubai decreased by 90¢ to $6.30 per barrel”, it added.