Nigeria Now OPEC's Second-Largest Exporter


"Energy companies in Nigeria stepped up oil output following a government amnesty, trumping Iran's number-two spot."

Bloomberg, Stephen Voss and Ayesha Daya

Nigeria, Africa's top oil producer, surpassed Iran as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' second-largest exporter in 2010 as security improved in the African nation and as Iran used more crude at home.

Nigeria shipped 2.464Mbbl barrels a day last year, followed by Iran with 2.248Mbbl, according to OPEC's Annual Statistical Bulletin. Iran's refining capacity rose by 18% last year, the biggest gain among OPEC's 12 members.

Energy companies in Nigeria stepped up oil output as militant attacks on installations in the Niger River delta dropped after a government amnesty to fighters in late 2009, the Department of Petroleum Resources said. Nigeria's oil exports rose 46% to 9.15 trillion naira ($59 billion) last year. Attacks by armed groups in the Niger delta region, home to the nation's energy industry, cut more than 28% of oil production from 2006 to 2009.

Iran's crude processing capacity increased to 1.741Mbbl a day, from 1.474Mbbl, as facilities in Abadan, Arak, Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, Lavan and Bandar Abbas were expanded, compared with 2009. In neighboring Iraq, refining capacity declined.


Nigeria shipped 2.16Mbbl a day in 2009 and Iran exported 2.232Mbbl, according to the report. Iran was OPEC's second-biggest producer last year, supplying 3.54Mbbl. Nigeria was the seventh-largest with 2.048Mbbl.

Saudi Arabia, OPEC's biggest member, exported 6.644Mbbl a day of crude last year, of which 64% was sent to the Asia and Pacific region. It produced 8.165Mbbl, less than its 2009 output of 8.184Mbbl.

Of OPEc's 12 members, Iraq, Qatar, Algeria, Libya, Angola and Venezuela exported less in 2010 than a year earlier. All those countries except Iraq also produced less in 2010.

OPEC production averaged 29.183Mbbl a day in 2010, an increase of less than 1% of the 28.927Mbbl a day it supplied in 2009.

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