RIYADH: Oil prices rose about 4 percent on Friday, supported by real and threatened cuts to supply, although futures posted a second weekly decline as aggressive interest rate hikes and China’s COVID-19 curbs weighed on the demand outlook.
Brent crude rose $3.69, or 4.1 percent, to settle at $92.84 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate crude rose $3.25, or 3.9 percent to settle at $86.79 a barrel.
Nigeria’s oil output at 32-year low as thieves hobble output
Nigeria’s crude oil production fell below 1 million barrels per day in August, figures from its regulator show, as the nation grappled with rampant theft from its pipelines and years of underinvestment.
The decline further threatens strained finances in Africa’s most populous nation and cuts global oil supply amid soaring energy costs due to the war in Ukraine.
Nigeria’s total oil and condensates output dropped to an annual low of 1.18 million bpd in August, data from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission showed.
Data from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries showed that output never fell below 1.4 million bpd, even amid what were considered at the time to be crippling militant attacks in the Niger Delta.
Nigeria slipped behind Angola as Africa’s largest exporter in July, according to OPEC figures. Both countries are also dealing with years of low investment that have impinged production.
Its highest crude and condensate output this year, recorded in January, was 1.68 million bpd, though the country has the capability to export close to 2 million bpd.
Last month, the head of state oil company NNPC LTD said 700,0000 bpd were missing from its exports as thieves stole some oil and companies shut operations in other fields to avoid the thieves.
Some companies have said more than 80 percent of the oil they put into certain pipelines was stolen.
US oil & gas rig count falls to lowest since late July: Baker Hughes
US energy firms this week cut the number of oil and natural gas rigs operating to the lowest since late July as the growth in the rig count and production has slowed despite relatively high energy prices.
The US oil and gas rig count, an early indicator of future output, fell by one to 759 in the week to Sept. 9, down for the fifth week in six, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co. said in its closely followed report on Friday.
Despite the decline, the rig count was still up 256, or 51 percent, over this time last year.
US oil rigs fell five to 591 this week, their lowest since mid-June, while gas rigs rose four to 166, their highest since August 2019.
With oil prices up about 16 percent so far this year after soaring 55 percent in 2021, the total rig count fell in August after rising for a record 24 months in a row.
But even when rising, weekly increases have mostly been in the single digits as many companies focus more on returning money to investors and paying down debt rather than boosting output.
(With input from Reuters)