You would be surprised that the story of oil production in Nigeria is as old as the discovery of oil in commercial quantities in the early 20th century.
In this article, we look at the 10 leading oil-producing states in Nigeria as of 2023.
10 Leading Oil Producing States in Nigeria (2023)
Nigeria is a major oil-producing country in the world, the country has a total of 10 leading oil-producing states, and these are the states that contribute the most to Nigeria’s oil production.
Oil production in Nigeria is mainly carried out in the southern part of the country, and most of these oil-producing states are located in this region. The states are spread out across six geopolitical zones in Nigeria: Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, Southeast, Central, and Southsouth.
Akwa Ibom State: The Leading Producer of Crude Oil (31.4% – 504,000 BPD)
Akwa Ibom is located in the Southeastern region of Nigeria; the state is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, including crude oil and gas.
The Akwa Ibom State has been a leading producer of crude oil in Nigeria for many years. The state currently accounts for about 31% of Nigeria’s total crude oil production. The Akwa Ibom government has made oil production and exploration a key priority and has developed a robust infrastructure to support the oil and gas industry.
The Akwa Ibom State government is committed to developing the oil and gas industry in the state and has created a favorable environment for investors. The state offers attractive incentives, including tax breaks and concessional rates for utilities. There is also a skilled workforce available in the state, thanks to the world-class training facilities at the Petroleum Institute of Nigeria (PIN).
Delta: The Non-Traditional Crude Oil Hub of Nigeria (21.56% – 346,000 BPD)
Delta State is located in the Southern region of Nigeria; the state has a total production capacity of 346,000 barrels per day and is home to some of the country’s largest oil and gas companies, such as Chevron, Shell, and Total.
Oil and Gas reserves is vast in Delta State. The state has an estimated 2.5 billion barrels of crude oil reserves, making it one of the most important states for Nigeria’s oil sector. Delta State also has large reserves of natural gas, which are used in the production of electricity and thermal energy.
Rivers State: A Major Player in the Oil and Gas Industry (21.43% – 344,000 BPD)
Rivers State is one of the leading oil and gas-producing states in Nigeria. It contributes a whopping 21% of the total oil production in the country; it is located in the South-South region of Nigeria.
The state is home to several oil companies such as Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Agip. The majority of its oil production comes from onshore fields; however, there are some offshore fields as well.
In addition to its oil production, Rivers State plays an important role in the Nigerian economy due to its abundant natural resources. It’s known for its rich agricultural produce, such as palm oil, rubber, and timber. It also has a thriving tourism sector with attractions such as Port Harcourt Zoo and Bonny Island Resort.
Rivers State is making great strides in developing the infrastructure needed to support the local economy and attract foreign investments. By continuing to invest in research, development, and infrastructure projects, Rivers State is likely to remain one of Nigeria’s top oil-producing states over the decades ahead.
Bayelsa State: An Emerging Player in Crude Oil Production (18.07% – 290,000 BPD)
The fourth leading oil-producing state in Nigeria is Bayelsa State. Once ridiculed for its low oil production volume, Bayelsa State has emerged as a significant contributor to Nigeria’s oil production. Despite having just 2.2 percent of the country’s landmass, Bayelsa is estimated to produce about 20 percent of Nigeria’s total crude oil output.
Most of the produce comes from the Nembe Creek and Oloibiri fields offshore which have increased production by over 300%. Additionally, the state has seen huge investments into floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessels in recent years, with four now in operation offshore. FPSOs are valuable assets to energy companies as these vessels enable them to extract and store large volumes of crude oil and gas safely before being shipped to shore for processing.
In conclusion, Bayelsa State has become a key player in crude oil production in Nigeria in 2023, producing nearly a quarter of the total output despite having just 2.2 percent of the country’s landmass. The state’s growth potential looks set to continue as there are still significant untapped reserves in the region, making it an attractive proposition for future investments from energy companies looking to unlock further growth potential from the region.
Ondo State: Exploration and Development Projects Hotspot ( 3.74% – 60,000 BPD)
Ondo State is both an exploration and development hotspot. Since 1981, the state has produced over 1.37 billion barrels of oil and 38 billion cubic meters of gas. Over the last few years, Ondo has become increasingly attractive to oil majors due to the expanding exploration activities; the number of rigs in Ondo more than doubled between 2018 and 2020.
One of the most notable successes for Ondo is the recent discovery of a significant new oil field by Shell in 2019, the Owo-1-/OWP-2 exploration wells located onshore and offshore, respectively. The Owo field is estimated to contain over 650 million barrels of oil equivalent, making it one of Nigeria’s largest discoveries in decades.
Apart from this, several other international oil companies have invested in major projects in the state, including ExxonMobil with its Egina Project and Chevron’s Agbami Field Development project, which are expected to add more production levels for many years to come.
Edo State: An Essential Source of Light Crude Output (2.06% – 33,000 BPD)
Edo State is a unique source of light crude oil production in Nigeria. It is the sixth-largest oil-producing state in the country, generating a total of 33,000 barrels per day in 2021, according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Edo State produces light crude oil and has several large-scale field operations, including Chevron’s OMLs 52, 53, 55, and 56. It also has a significant amount of offshore production in the shallow waters off the coast of Benin City. The total crude reserves are estimated to be around four billion barrels, while its production potential stands at over 500 thousand barrels per day.
In recent years, Edo State has become an essential source of light crude output for the country and has been able to maintain a consistent production level over the years. It is also known for its oil refinery located in Benin City, which produces high-quality refined products for domestic and international use.
Imo State: New Opportunities With Deepwater Exploration (1.06 % -17,000 BPD)
Imo state is another leading oil-producing state in Nigeria, showing a steady climb in production since the 1990s. In recent years, Imo State has opened up deepwater exploration opportunities, which have proven to be highly successful. For example, the $2 billion OML130 Orashi Field was discovered in 2020 and has been estimated to contain approximately 500 million barrels of oil equivalent.
The success of deepwater exploration in this region is largely due to the fact that the state is on the African coastline and is located between existing oil-producing states like Akwa Ibom and Delta. In addition, Imo State benefits from its proximity to Anambra Basin, a geological formation that contains several important oil fields.
In terms of production capacity, it has been estimated that Imo State can produce as much as 17,000 barrels per day (bpd). This is an impressive figure considering that many believe this number could potentially double over the next few years. As such, it looks like Imo State will continue to play an important role in Nigeria’s overall oil production in the future.
Abia State: Making Its Mark as an Oil Producing Hub (0.68% – 11,000 BPD)
Abia State is fast becoming one of the leading oil-producing states in Nigeria, with an average production rate of 11,000 barrels a day. This has seen Abia become one of the most important contributors to Nigeria’s oil industry, cementing its place as a major player in this space.
The state is blessed with 24 oilfields spread across five local government areas that have enabled it to take advantage of the industry. With 3.2 billion barrels of reserves, Abia State has seen rapid growth in its economic development as a result of its unprecedented success within the oil industry.
The abundance of oil in Abia State also makes it an attractive option for savvy investors looking for lucrative opportunities. What’s more, the state’s strategic location makes it ripe for further investment, giving it a competitive edge in the region. Abia State is definitely making its mark as a major player in Nigeria’s oil industry and should be firmly on your radar if you’re considering investing in this sector.
Lagos State – One of Nigeria’s Highest Oil Producer (2.64% – 40,000 BPD)
Lagos State, the former capital of Nigeria and home to the country’s busiest seaport, is also one of the leading oil-producing states in Nigeria, with an estimated production rate of 40,000 barrels per day. The state has traditionally been a major contributor to the Nigerian economy and has seen increased investment in infrastructure and public services over the past several years.
Situated in southwestern Nigeria, on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, Lagos State is one of the most populous regions in Africa. It is home to many oil refineries, such as Chevron and Total, as well as other major industrial companies, like Mobil and Conoil. The area is known for its abundance of oil reserves, with some estimates putting its stockpile at two billion barrels of crude.
The government has been actively encouraging foreign investments in oil refining and exploration projects to increase oil production from Lagos State. To this end, it has implemented a number of economic policies that have made it easier for businesses to operate within the state and increase their output. This has helped lead to an increase in local job opportunities for Nigerians as well as a boost to the economy overall.
Kogi State: A Rising Star in Oil Production (2.74% — 55,000 BPD)
Kogi state is a rising star in the oil-producing states in Nigeria. The state is located in the middle-belt region of Nigeria and covers a total land area of about 28,794 square kilometers.
Kogi State also has some significant resources like limestone, coal, and clay, which are found in abundance. It’s also home to many crude oil fields and wells, including Aje Field, Kashimbila Field, and Obele Field.
In the past few years, there has been an increase in exploration activities by multinational companies due to its vast reserves of oil and gas. This has resulted in an increase in production activities as well as job creation for locals. Kogi State is now one of the leading oil-producing states and is making a strong case to become one of the most important producers of crude oil in Nigeria.
Note: The term “barrels per day” (BPD) specifies the quantity of oil produced in a single day.
In summary, these are the top oil-producing states in Nigeria as of 2023. It is important to note that this list is subject to change as new discoveries are made, and existing fields are depleted. Nevertheless, these ten states are currently responsible for the majority of Nigeria’s oil production.