The upturn in the price of the international oil benchmark, Brent crude, has pushed Nigeria’s oil revenue above the estimate in the 2021 budget.
Brent, against which the country’s crude oil is priced, has been trading more than $20 higher than the Federal Government’s benchmark for this year’s budget in recent months.
The 2021 budget, which was signed by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on December 31, was based on an oil price benchmark of $40 per barrel and a production level of 1.86 million barrels per day.
According to the budget, 30 per cent (N2.01tn) of projected revenues is to come from oil-related sources while 70 per cent is to be earned from non-oil sources.
Brent crude, which closed at $51.22 per barrel in December, reached the $60 per barrel mark in February and rose further to as high as $70 per barrel before paring some of its gains. It closed at $64.86 per barrel on Thursday.
For Nigeria, which relies on crude oil for about 50 per cent of government revenues and over 90 per cent of export earnings, rising oil price means increased revenue.
On the other hand, rising oil price also translates to increased cost of petroleum products as the country depends heavily on imports due to a lack of domestic refining.
Using an average price of $60 per barrel and a production level of 1.4 million barrels per day, the country’s total oil revenue stood at $2.39bn in February, compared to a budgeted revenue of $2.08bn.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, in its monthly oil market report for March, said the country’s oil production rose by 63,000 barrels to 1.42 million bpd in February, based on direct communication.
“Crude oil output increased mainly in Nigeria, Iraq, Iran IR, Venezuela and Libya, while production decreased primarily in Saudi Arabia and Angola,” the 13-member group said.
OPEC had in February said the rise in global oil prices could brighten Nigeria’s outlook this year.