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Africa's Ten Largest Oil Producers in 2005.

Last Updated: 1/17/2010 1:56:10 PM

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As oil prices remain at all time highs, ClickAfrique looks at the top ten oil producers on the African continent for 2005.....

African Oil Production
African Oil Production

With increasing turmoil in the Middle East and the ascendency of nationalist governments in Central and Southern America the importance of Africa as a source of energy for the USA and Western Europe has grown considerably. In addition these traditional destinations for African oil are now facing increasing competition for supplies from the rapidly growing economies of China and India.

The upside for Africa has been that the upsurge in oil prices has created an inflow of petrol dollars into the economies of oil producing states. ClickAfrique takes a look at which countries would have benefited from this in our list of top ten oil producing countries in Africa using statistics published by the US Energy Agency for 2005.

10) Gabon (Production: 226,000 barrels per day) Oil has been the mainstay of the Gabonese economy for many years and now contributes about 65 per cent of the government's revenue. The oil revenue has seen the per Capita GDP rise to $5000 however massive inequalities in income distribution remain with about 60% of the population living in poverty. Most of Gabon's oil is produced from Shell's Rabi-Kounga field. Gabon has seen many of its existing oil fields maturing and this means it may be unable to raise its output in the long term without a significant number of new fields coming online.

9) Congo Brazzaville (Production:227,000 barrels per day) Congo Brazzaville began commercial oil production in the 1980's and the revenue from oil has risen to constitute 94% of the countries earnings. Similar to its northern neighbour Gabon, Congo has seen a fall in its production in recent years due to maturing oil fields and the need for new fields to go into production. Less than two percent of the oil produced in Congo is consumed domestically leaving a still significant amount available for export.

8) Chad (Production: 249,000 barrels per day) Oil has given the Chadian economy an enormous boost, so much so that in 2004 the land locked central African republic posted the fastest growing economy in the entire world with Gross Domestic Capital growth of 31 percent. Chad's oil production began in 2003 when a World Bank financed pipeline was launched. This runs for 670miles from the Doba oilfields in the south of the country through to the port of Kribi in Cameroon. The world bank investment had been conditional on setting aside a percentage of oil revenues for future generations, but this has recently been challenged by the Chadian government citing requirements for heath, education and water projects.

7) Equatorial Guinea (Production: 356,000 barrels per day) Oil production and a population of half a million means that Equatorial Guinea boasts the highest GDP per capita in Africa.. The discovery of the offshore Zafiro oil field by Exxon Mobil and Ocean Energy in 1995 kick started oil production in Equatorial Guinea and remains the largest producing oil field to date. The exploration and development of new fields continues a pace, with the recently discovered Alba fields showing a lot of potential.

6) Sudan (Production: 363,000 barrels per day) Oil exploration and production has been hampered by the long running civil war, but as concrete strides have been made in arranging peace between the warring parties, exploration and production activities have grown. Sudan's major partner in the development of its oil production has been the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). CNPC is the lead investor in the Greater Nile Project which produces about 90% of Sudan's oil output.The investment by China is not without controversy as Sudan is accused of using its new found wealth to persecute conflicts such as that in Darfur.

5) Egypt (Production: 579,000 barrels per day) Half of all Egypt's oil production comes from the Gulf of Suez with oil fields in the Western Desert, Eastern Desert and the Sinai Peninsula providing the rest. Egypt oil production has been falling steadily since 1995 and a comparatively large domestic consumption means the volume of oil available for export has reduced significantly. This however has been partly offset by rising prices. Additionally unlike most other producers of oil in Africa Egypt's economy is not over reliant on oil revenue.

4) Angola (Production: 1,250,000 barrels per day) Angola is blessed with an abundance of natural resources. Oil and diamond exports are providing much the needed capital that Angola needs to recover from the ravages of the civil war. Most of Angola's current production is from offshore oil fields off the coast of the Cabinda enclave. With a significant number of fields still being discovered and coming on stream, Angola is expected to double it's oil output to over 2 million barrels a day by 2008. Angola recently announced it was joining the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 2007 and this may affect the level at which it produces, given the OPEC policy of agreeing quotas amongst members.

3) Libya (Production: 1,600,000 barrels per day) Libya is one of the oldest oil producers in Africa with oil first struck in 1959. Libya also has the largest proven reserves of oil in Africa with recent estimates putting these at 39.1 billion barrels. Most of Libya's current production is located in the Sitre basin, around the bay of Benghazi. Expansion of exploration activities in Libya had been constrained over the years by international sanctions on the country but as these have eased more investment is flowing into the country and this could see an increase a production levels long term.

2) Algeria (Production: 2,080,000 barrels per day) Algeria is also an early entrant in African oil production with the first field coming online in 1956. Algeria largest oilfield is Hassi Messaoud operated by Sonatrach, the Algerian national Oil company. The field produces 242,000 barrels per day. Soanatrach had dominated the oil industry in Algeria operating most of the major fields, however recent legislation has opened the way for foreign participation in the oil industry. This has however not come without a cost as the Algerian Energy Minister recently announced plans to impose a windfall tax on foreign operators that had been making "excessive profits".

1) Nigeria (Production: 2,600,000 barrels per day) Africa's most populous nation is also Africa's largest oil producers. Since Shell discovered oil in Oloibiri in the Niger Delta in 1956, oil production has grown to place Nigeria as the 10th largest producer in the world on par with Kuwait. However the demands of a huge population and recurring government corruption has meant the populace has seen little benefit. Recent developments have been more positive as Nigeria has used revenue from the rise in oil prices to pay off her external debts.

Nigeria has several large producing fields including the Bonga Offshore field, the Agbami and Erha oil fields. The Joint Development Zone (JDZ) agreed with its island neighbour,Sao Tome and Principe, is also expected to add to Nigeria's substantial reserves.


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