As Investment Wanes in Oil Sector, Nigeria’s Rig Count Drops in October

Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

Nigeria’s rigs count dropped to 13 in October from 15 the previous month, underscoring the waning investment in the oil and gas sector as well as the incessant disruptions to production in the Niger Delta.

Latest data released by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), showed the decline in the rigs count which is a major index for measuring activities in the upstream sector, including drilling and employment.

A review of the OPEC data, showed that Nigeria’s average rigs count was 11, seven and 10 respectively in 2020, 2021 and 2022 respectively, but had recently grown to 15.

But in recent times, the country’s active rigs had progressively decreased, but was made worse after Nigeria began shutting down many of its offshore platforms as oil prices took a downward slope and the producers’ group embarked on production curbs to stabilise the market in 2020, following the upsurge of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Besides, there has been massive underinvestment in the sector, leading to depleting oil rigs as International Oil Companies (IOCs) divested their assets in tandem with the ongoing energy transition to renewables.

However, on year-on-year basis, the report indicated that the nation’s rigs count rose from eight recorded in the corresponding period of last year.

During the month under review, Algeria led Africa with 43 rigs from its previous 40,  while Gabon came last with just two rigs. Angola ‘s was unmoved at 10, while Libya added four to hit 18, from the previous 14 rigs.

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