Nigeria overtook Angola as Africa's top oil producer, but despite this Angola's output was greater than Nigeria's throughout 2016
According to OPECs December 2016 Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR), Nigeria overtook Angola as Africa's largest crude oil producer in November for the first time in 2016. In total, Nigeria has still produced less oil across the year, but it puts the country in good stead heading into 2017.
In total, Angola produced more oil than Nigeria in 2015 by 19tb/d, but Nigeria dropped from 1,667tb/d to 1,209tb/d from Q1 to Q3 of 2016. However, from September to November 2016, Nigeria's output increased from 1,253, to 1,390, to 1,782tb/d across the latter end of 2016.
However, in addition to Nigeria's strengthening of production through Q4 of 2016, Angolan production has taken a slight dip. In 2014, the average production rate in Angola was 1,654tb/d and in 2015 this increased to 1,767tb/d. Q1 to Q3 saw a slight decrease, falling from 1,773, to 1,730 and finally to 1,720tb/d in Q3 of 2016. In September 2016, the rate dropped again to 1,649tb/d, and dropped again in October to 1,507tb/d. It rose in November to 1,688 but this was still short of Nigeria's output.
"As per records of the secondary sources, OPEC crude oil production in November 2016 rose by 151tb/d compared to its previous month, to an average of 33.87mb/d. Crude oil output saw a rapid increase in Angola, Nigeria and Libya, whereas production in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait showed a substantial decline. An advanced OPEC-14 production target of 32.5mb/d as per 1 January 2017 depicts a reduction of around 1.2mb/d from October production levels," according to OPEC’s December MOMR.
The reason for this drop off in production by Angola is the agreed OPEC cut backs in production, which officially commence from 1 January 2017, so it is likely that Nigeria will stay at the top of the tree of African producers. Sonangol, Angola's state oil company, will cut to 1,673tb/d moving into 2017.