Oil and Natural Gas Reserves

Nigeria, a member of OPEC, is the largest oil producer in Africa and the 10th largest in the world. It is also a major supplier of oil to both Western Europe and the United States—the fifth-highest supplier of U.S. oil imports, in fact. According to the EIA, Nigeria's oil production averaged about 2.6 million barrels per day in 2005 and has been increasing each year. The Nigerian government announced plans to increase production to 4 million barrels per day by 2010.31 Nigeria also has a substantial supply of oil reserves. According to Oil and Gas Journal, Nigeria's estimated proven oil reserves are 35.9 billion barrels, the majority of which are in the coastal Niger River Delta region.32 The Nigerian government has announced plans to expand Nigeria's proven reserves to 40 billion barrels by 2010. In December 2004 Olusegun Obasanjo, president of Nigeria since 1999, also announced a plan to increase oil exports to the United States. Oil from Nigeria now accounts for about 7 percent of U.S. oil imports; Obasanjo's plan would increase this figure to 15 percent.33

Nigeria also has one of the top 10 largest reserves of natural gas in the world and the largest in Africa. According to Oil and Gas Journal, there are approximately 185 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves in Nigeria, and Nigeria estimated in October 2004 that its natural gas reserves could actually be as high as 660 trillion cubic feet.

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