According to data from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the rig count of Nigeria has dropped by 55.34 per cent in the first quarter in 2021 to 19.
The rig count, a major index of measuring activities in the upstream sector, had stood at 65 in the corresponding period of 2020 before sliding to 19.
The reasons for this decline might not be unconnected to the delay in the passage of the nation’s Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, and coronavirus pandemic.
A breakdown showed that Nigeria utilised six, seven, and six rigs in January, February, and March 2021, respectively, against 21, 23, and 21 used in the corresponding period of 2020.
Meanwhile, the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, puts the nation’s oil reserves at 37 billion barrels.
Analysis on African Nations
Unlike Nigeria, other African oil and gas producing countries, such as Algeria, Libya, Gabon, Angola, and Congo, increased their rig deployment, and by extension, exploration in 2020.
Algeria increased its rig count to 509 in 2020 from 398 in 2019, showing an increase of 27.9 per cent.
Libya increased its rig count to 164 in 2020 from 149 in 2019, thus showing an increase of 10.1 per cent, while Gabon increased its rig deployment to 68 in 2020 from 50 in 2019, indicating an increase of 36 per cent.
Also, Angola and Congo increased their rig deployment to 60 and 46 respectively in 2020 from 38 and 12 in 2019, thus showing an increase of 57.9 percent and 283 per cent respectively.
Nigeria’s rig count dropped by 27.8 per cent to 135 in the year 2020, from 187 in 2019.
However, Equatorial Guinea, which deployed 12 rigs in 2020, against 16 in 2019, witnessed a 25 per cent decline.