There are indications that limited investment has taken a toll on exploration, as Nigeria’s rig count dropped year-on-year by 27.8 per cent to 135 in the year 2020, from 187 in 2019. The oil rig count, a major index for measuring level of activities in the upstream oil sector, was contained in the latest industry data released by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC.
On Quarter-on-Quarter, QoQ basis, the data shows a steady decline in the level of activities all through the year with the highest count of 56 recorded in the first quarter, while subsequent quarters show declines to 33, 24 and 22 deployed in the second, third and fourth quarters respectively.
Also the QoQ breakdown paints a better picture for the 2019 operations which show a more consistent increases after a marginal decline in the second quarter. The first quarter of the year had recorded 43 rigs while the second quarter recorded 42, but the third and fourth quarters recorded 47 and 55 rigs respectively.
Though the global oil cartel has, in its various industry reports, specifically point to the outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the first quarter of 2020 as the major setback in the industry globally, it did not specify what was responsible for the decline in rig count in Nigeria.