How Accurate Is Buhari’s Claim About The Price Of Crude Oil Between 1999 And 2014?


President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari had always, almost at any opportunity, made claims to decry how previous governments mismanaged the economy and how much Nigeria had made from oil sales since 1999.

He repeated the same statement on Tuesday when he received a delegation of the Buhari Support Organisation (BSO) at the Presidential Villa. The President said that he challenges anyone to check, either in Europe, Asia or America, that between 1999 and 2014, Nigeria was producing 2.1 million barrels per day of crude oil at an average cost of $100 per barrel. He said the price even went up to $143.

“When we came, it collapsed to $37-38 and it was oscillating between $40 and $54 sometimes”, he said.

THE CLAIMS:

  1. Between 1999 and 2014, the average cost of crude oil per barrel was $100
  2. Nigeria produced crude oil at an average of 2.1 million barrels per day between 1999 and 2014

VERIFICATION OF CLAIMS:

This is not the first time that President Buhari would make claims on oil prices. In 2016 during the Democracy Day celebration, he was recorded to have said that the average oil price was $100 per barrel from 2010 till 2014.

On October 1, 2016, the Nation’s Independence Day, President Buhari, addressing the country, modified his statement that oil prices were “an average of 100 USD per barrel over the last decade.”

During 2017 Independence Day celebration, Buhari widened the timeline to “1999-2015.”

The inconsistency in claims and the need to promote true information makes it imperative to explore the veracity of the claims.

AVERAGE COST OF CRUDE OIL NOT $100

From records of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as quoted by Statista, in 1999, the average annual price of crude oil was about $17.4 per barrel. It was $27.6 in 2000, $23.1 in 2001, $24.3 in 2002, $28.1 in 2003 and in 2004, it was $36.5. Oil sold for $50.5 per barrel in 2005, $61 in 2006, $69 in 2007, $94.1 in 2008, $60.8 in 2009 and in 2010, oil price was $77.3.

In 2011, the average annual price of oil had gotten to a record high of $107 per barrel, increasing to $109 per barrel in 2012, $105.8 in 2013 and $96.2 in 2014.

The average oil price between 1999 and 2014 is $61.7 per barrel and a far cry from an average of $100 per barrel President Buhari had claimed, therefore that claim is INCORRECT.

Oil Prices Per Barrel (1999-2014) [Source: Statista/OPEC]
HOW MUCH CRUDE OIL DID NIGERIA PRODUCE BETWEEN 1999 AND 2014?

President Buhari also claims that Nigeria had produced crude oil at an average of 2.1 million barrels per day between 1999 and 2014.

According to NEITI, Nigeria produced about 14,068,235,000 (14 billion) barrels of crude oil averaging about 827,543,235 (827 million) barrels per year since 1999. This leaves us with an average oil production of 2,267,241 (2.2 million) barrels per day.

Therefore, the President’s claim that Nigeria’s oil production figure is an average of 2.1m barrels per day is CORRECT.

In the same speech, the President claimed that there was a time oil price was $143 per barrel. This claim is correct, because according to Country Economy, on July 11th, 2008, oil price historically hit $143.6, However, this is just for a day as the average oil price for the year 2008 was $94.

CONCLUSION

The president’s claim that crude oil was selling for $100 per barrel between 1999 and 2014 is FALSE as available data showed that the figure is $61.7 per barrel. Nevertheless, it was CONFIRMED that Nigeria’s oil production figure is an average of 2.1m barrels per day.

Akintunde Babatunde is a program officer with the Premium Times Center for Investigative Journalism. A dedicated researcher, channeling his skills towards the unveiling of political propaganda and demystifying the secrecy associated with government projects. A diligent and hardworking intellectual, he holds a bachelor’s degree in educational management and mathematics.