Angola overtook Nigeria to become Africa’s biggest crude oil producer in 2016, with an average output of 1.775 million barrels per day (bpd), while Nigeria’s production fell to 1.468 million bpd.

Angola’s oil output accounts for 90 per cent of the nation’s exports, 50 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP), and 80 per cent of its tax revenues. The 1.775 million bpd represents an increase in production of 8,800 bpd compared with the level in June.

In November, Angola had the third largest increase in production among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) when its output rose 24,400 bpd, behind Kuwait, whose production rose 25,900 bpd, and Iraq, who production registered an increase of 247,500 bpd.

The acceleration in domestic oil production did not match the international market price, where the value of Brent crude, the benchmark for Angolan exports, averaged 45.93 US dollars on the London futures market.

In the past two years, Angola had seen the average price of its oil fall from more than 100 USD per barrel to 36 USD per barrel in the first half of this year, according to data from the Ministry of Finance.

In order to overcome the economic, financial and foreign exchange difficulties caused by the sharp fall in oil revenues, the national oil corporation, Sonangol, in partnership with other suppliers in the sector, reduced production costs by 12 USD per barrel.

In 2016, there was a lack of refined production, given the demand of the domestic market. National refined production accounted for about 20 per cent of total domestic consumption.

In implementing the projects scheduled for 2016, the Angolan oil sector was happy with Block 15, which recorded a cumulative production of two billion barrels of oil.