Top 10 Oil Producing Countries in Africa

An oil rig in Lagos, Nigeria.
An oil rig in Lagos, Nigeria.

The top oil-producing countries of the world are located in the Middle East, Asia, and North America, and these regions are most commonly associated with oil production. However, a number of African nations also produce significant amounts of oil each year. In fact, countries in this region of the world hold 3.6% of the global oil reserves supply. This article highlights some of the top oil-producing countries in Africa.

1. Nigeria

The largest oil producing country in Africa is Nigeria. Here, the oil industry generates around 2.35 million barrels of oil on a daily basis, which represents approximately 113 million tonnes every year. Since the middle of the 20th century, the country has been developing its oil processing industry. Today, oil makes up 90% of total exports from Nigeria and generates around 80% of its revenue.

2. Angola

Angola is the second largest oil producing country in Africa, although it temporarily ranked as the top producer for a seven month period in 2016. The oil industry here produces around 1.82 million barrels of oil every day, which represents an estimated 88.7 million tonnes on a yearly basis. The oil and gas industries make up approximately 45% of Angola’s gross domestic product (GDP).

3. Republic of the Congo

The Republic of the Congo is the third biggest producer of oil in Africa. The country's oil sector country generates approximately 277,000 barrels of oil every day, which is equal to 14.5 million tonnes annually. The Republic of the Congo's oil production increased significantly between the 1970s and the 1990s. However, between 2001 and 2008, the industry experienced a decline after oil fields were nearly depleted. New exploration projects have resulted in production growth since 2008.

4. Equatorial Guinea

The fourth largest producer of oil in Africa is Equatorial Guinea. The country produces 13.5 million tonnes of oil annually. Production reached its highest rate in December of 2004, when it produced 393,000 barrels of oil per day. The lowest production for Equatorial Guinea occurred in February of 1994, when it hit only 2,600 barrels daily. In 2017, the country became the 14th member of the Organization of the Petroleum Producing Countries (OPEC). A number of oil deposits are located in Equatorial Guinea, the largest of which is the Zafiro field, which has a 1.2 billion-barrel reserve.

5. Gabon

Gabon is the fifth largest oil producing nation in Africa. In July of 2016, the country joined OPEC, with the intention of increasing its production capabilities. Gabon generates an average of 11.6 million tonnes of oil every year, giving it the lowest production numbers of any OPEC member. Experts estimate that the country has approximately 274 million tonnes of untouched oil reserves. Most of its oil reserve fields are located in or near the Port-Gentil region.

Other top oil-producing nations in Africa include: South Sudan (7.3 million tonnes), Sudan (5.2 million tonnes), Ghana (5.2 million tonnes), Chad (4.1 million tonnes), and Cameroon (3.7 million tonnes).

Top 10 Oil Producing Countries in Africa

RankCountryAnnual Oil Production (thousands of tonnes)
3Republic of the Congo14,500
4Equatorial Guinea13,500
6South Sudan7,300

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