The latest data from Baker Hughes Incorporated and OPEC showed that the number of active oil rigs in Nigeria, which had continued to decline in recent months, rose to 26 in February, The Punch reports.
The nation’s rig count stood at a low of 23 in December last year, down from 38 in January 2015. The reduction in the rig count was mostly triggered by the slump in global crude oil prices since mid-June 2014 as oil companies were forced to slash their capital budgets and suspend some projects. Nigeria saw the fourth-largest drop in rig count among its peers in OPEC last year. The number of rigs in the country averaged 25 in 2016, down from 30 in 2015 and 34 in 2014.
Rig count is largely a reflection of the level of exploration, development and production activities occurring in the oil and gas sector. “Regulatory uncertainty has resulted in fewer investments in new oil and natural gas projects, and no licensing round has occurred since 2007. The amount of money that Nigeria loses every year from not passing the PIB is estimated to be as high as $15bn,” the United States Energy Information Administration said in its ‘Nigeria Brief’.