In December 2016 Nigeria once again became Africa’s top oil producer, producing just over 1.75 million barrels of oil per day. Before December, Angola had been Africa’s largest oil producer. Both countries are members of OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, and in late 2016 OPEC agreed to cut their total oil production by 1.2 million barrels a day starting in January 2017 to keep oil prices at a stable point. Up to this time, however, Nigeria continued to increase their own production of oil. This is because Nigeria was exempted from cutting their oil production in the OPEC agreement. Many Nigerian oil facilities were attacked by militant groups upset with the current distribution of the profits the government makes off of their oil exports. Because of this Nigeria’s oil production has already decreased in 2016.
Angola announced on January 8th that it will cut their own oil production for January 2017 by 78,000 barrels of oil a day to comply with the standard OPEC set. The official OPEC website states that most of Angola’s economy depends of the production of oil; 45 percent of the country’s gross domestic product and over 95 percent of their exports are reliant on oil. Cutting their production of oil by almost five percent could have significant consequences for the country. The possibility of Angola facing unrest in their country from militant groups upset with their current economic standing similar to Nigeria is a looming possibility.
Algeria is another major African oil producer. The government announced their plan to cut their oil production immediately after the OPEC agreement was finalized. Algeria’s economy is also very dependent on exporting oil, however they also produce metals like uranium and lead so they are not as dependent on oil as Angola. It is likely because of the other exports that Algeria complied with the oil production cut. Many African economies are still developing and the production of oil is crucial to several of these nations. The profits made from exporting oil could be a stepping stone to a stronger position in the global economy for these African nations.