Nigeria is a blessed country, and it is no longer news that Nigeria falls into the category of oil-producing countries. With a population of nearly 180 million people, the country is rich in crude oil and mineral resources, from oil and gas to tin ore, granite, coal, zinc, copper, columbite, molybdenum, fine sand, gold, and many other minerals.
According to the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, Nigeria is the largest producer and exporter of oil in Africa, and the eleventh largest producer and exporter of oil globally. An official report from investigations carried out to ascertain the magnitude of Nigeria’s crude oil reserves and production capacity, indicated that Nigeria has in excess of thirty-seven billion barrels of oil reserves, which are estimated to last for four and a half decades – barring any new discovery of oil. The report also indicates that Nigeria indeed produces not less than 2.28 million barrels of oil daily.
However, it might interest you to know that, even though Nigeria is a prominent producer and exporter of crude oil, not all states in Nigeria are rich in oil deposits. As a matter of fact, it is only a handful of states that are responsible for Nigeria’s oil-producing capacity.
In Nigeria, crude oil was first discovered in a town called Oloibiri, in what is modern day Bayelsa state. Ever since then, several states have stumbled on oil deposits and have joined the list of oil-producing states. The south-south geo-political zone, also known as the Niger-Delta region, is the part of the country that produces the bulk of the oil the entire nation lays claim to. The Niger-Delta region is made up of eight states, namely: Bayelsa state, Edo state, Delta state, Rivers state, Akwa-ibom state, Anambra state, Cross river state, and also Abia state. There are over fifty ethnic groups and dialects across these ten states.
The oil Nigeria produces comes from these states. However, among them, there are some that produce far more than the others, and there are also a few of them that produce very little quantities. Cross river state was once a major oil-producing state at some point, but they eventually lost all their crude oil reserves to land dispute settlements. It can be recalled that there was once some land dispute between the Cross River state government and the government of Cameroon, over an oil-rich expanse of land called the Bakassi Peninsula, which both governments had laid claim to. Bakassi is a border town, lying across the border between Cameroon and Cross River state. The crude oil deposits in Bakassi are in abundance, and, as a border town, both governments sought to effect a complete take-over of the area, to begin exploration to boost the economy of their respective localities. The matter was eventually settled at the International Court of The Hague, and the dispute was ruled in favour of the government of Cameroon.
So, Cross River state happens to be the only state located within the Niger-Delta region, that does not produce significant amounts of crude oil.
So, in all, there are over ten states that produce oil in Nigeria. Recent findings indicate that crude oil deposits may have been found in some parts of Lagos state; however, it is not enough to incorporate the state into the list of highest oil producing states in Nigeria. another state which also produces large amounts of crude oil for the country is Ondo state, in southwestern Nigeria. In times, past it has been classified as a member state of the Niger delta region, as it shares land borders with Edo state: however, we can categorically state that Ondo state is a southwestern state, and is only privileged to be part of the oil-producing states.
This post highlights the top five highest oil-producing states in Nigeria. These states are ranked in order of their oil production capacity (in barrels of oil). Starting with the fifth highest, here is the list:
#5. Ondo State (over 60,000 barrels per day)
Ondo state is also referred to as the ‘Sunshine state’. It was created on the third of February 1976. The predominant activities of citizens in the state include farming and fishing, while some find employment in public service.
The state is divided into eighteen local government areas; and is bordered by Osun and Edo states. According to the last population census of 2006, the population of citizens in the state is roughly 3.6 million.
Oil was first discovered in Ondo state in a town known as Okitipupa. Asides the crude oil deposits, Ondo state is rich in Bitumen, Granite, Columbine, tin, Talc, Quart sand, kaolin, and many other natural and mineral resources. It is also rich in tourist attractions.
Ondo state is the fifth highest producer of oil in Nigeria. Its capital is Akure. It happens to be the only state in the south-western part of Nigeria that is confirmed to have crude oil deposits. Its current oil production capacity is put at over sixty thousand barrels per day, which accounts for up to 12% of the country’s total oil-producing capacity.
#4. Bayelsa state (over 290,000 barrels per day)
Bayelsa state is one of the richest states in Nigeria. It is also the fourth highest oil-producing state in Nigeria. It is responsible for up to 18% of Nigeria’s total oil-production. The capital of Bayelsa state is Yenagoa.
Oloibiri, where crude oil was found in Nigeria, is in Bayelsa state.
Bayelsa state is a relatively small state. Its total population is roughly 2 million persons, and it has only eight local government areas. Major ethnic groups include Nembe, Bonny, and a few others.
#3. Rivers state (over 344,000 barrels per day)
Rivers state is one of the highest oil-producing states in Nigeria. The capital of the state is Port-harcourt, one of the most expensive cities in Nigeria to live in. It is a very populous state, as the last population census put its population at over five million persons.
The name ‘rivers’ is perhaps culled from the abundance of aquatic habitat in the state. The state also has a number of unique ethnic groups, like the Ikwerre, the Kalabari, amongst many others.
In the past, Rivers state was known as the highest oil-producing state in the country. However, over time, more oil blocs were discovered in other states, while some states ceded their oil blocs to other states, altogether resulting in the displacement of rivers state from the number one position of oil-producing states in Nigeria. Nonetheless, the state still accounts for as high as 21.43 percent of Nigeria’s total crude oil production capacity.
Moreover, despite not being the highest producer of crude oil, the state is the highest refiner of the product. It refines far more crude oil than any other state in Nigeria.
#2. Delta state (over 346,000 barrels per day)
Delta state is not only one of the highest oil-producing states in the country, but also one of the wealthiest states in Nigeria. Asides its enormous crude oil reserves, Delta state is also blessed with rich natural and mineral resources like Timber, fine sand, and rubber, amongst many others.
The capital of Delta state is Asaba, a cosmopolitan city in the heart of the Niger-Delta region. Delta state alone is responsible for nearly 22% of Nigeria’s total crude oil production capacity, narrowly edging out Rivers state to occupy the second position on the list of highest oil-producing states in the country.
Delta state also refines its own oil. There is an oil refinery located in the state, and there is also a petrochemical plant for the refining, testing and production of other petrochemical products.
There is a total of twenty-five local governments in the state, and its current population in slightly in excess of five million persons.
#1. Akwa-Ibom state (over 504,000 barrels per day)
Sitting atop the log of the highest oil-producing states in Nigeria is the beautiful state of Akwa-Ibom. The capital of Akwa-Ibom state is Uyo, which is widely regarded to be Nigeria’s most beautiful state capital. It features a perfect blend of ancient figments and contemporary trends, to give it an ‘urbanized-rural’ outlook.
Akwa-Ibom state is solely responsible for up to 31.4 % of Nigeria’s total oil-producing capacity. However, Akwa-Ibom state was not always the highest oil-producing state in the country. At some point it was Rivers state, then Delta state; however, a dispute arose between the government of Cross-river state and the government of Cameroon over an oil rich area called Bakassi Peninsula, as earlier mentioned. After the matter was resolved in the International Court of The Hague, it was decreed that the Cross River state government was asked to relinquish their rights over the said land to the government of Cameroon, and it has been that way since then. However, another dispute also arose between the government of Cross River state, and the government of Akwa-Ibom state, over a number of oil-blocs in the border area. After the dispute was resolved, the judgement mandated Cross river state to cede all the oil blocs in contention to the government of Akwa-Ibom state, which they eventually did. This significantly increased the oil reserves in the territory of Akwa-Ibom state, thus making them the highest oil-producing state in Nigeria.
There you have it, the five highest oil-producing states in Nigeria. The economy of Nigeria is heavily dependent on crude oil, much to the abandonment of other potentially viable sectors of the economy like the Agricultural and manufacturing industries. Up to 14% of the country’s total economy is accounted for by the Oil and Gas industry. Tales of our over-dependence on oil are not new, and there still appears to be no detour in sight.
As earlier mentioned, there are few other states asides these five highest which also produce crude oil for the nation’s economy. Even though they do not rank amongst the highest producers, their output still contributes significantly to the country’s overall output. Here are some of the states, and their details.
*Lagos state: (over 40,000 barrels per day)
It is quite surprising to realize that Lagos state also has crude oil deposits. However, it still does not qualify to be among the five highest producers of oil.
Lagos state has an oil production capacity of more than 40,000 barrels per day, which is equivalent to 2.4% of the country’s total oil producing capacity.
Lagos is a densely-populated cosmopolitan city off the cost off the Atlantic ocean. It is the country’s commercial hub.
*Edo State: (over 33,000 barrels per day)
Also known as the heartbeat of the Nation, Edo state is an oil-producing state. In fact, it ranks amongst the top ten highest oil-producing states in the country, with an oil-production capacity of more than 33,000 barrels per day, which is equivalent to roughly 2% of the country’s total oil production capacity.
Edo state is home to ancient traditions and relics, and is also one of the most beautiful states in Nigeria. asides its crude oil, it is also blessed with vast deposits of ivory, gold and granite.
Edo state has a population of roughly 3.5 million persons. Its capital is Benin City.
*Imo State: (over 17,000 barrels per day)
Imo state also falls into the category of oil-producing states. It churns up roughly 17,000 barrels of oil daily, which is equivalent to about 1.07 percent of the country’s oil-production capacity. Asides crude oil deposits, Imo state is also rich in natural and mineral resources.