African countries make up five of the world’s top thirty largest oil reserves. In 2019, the continent produced over 7.9 million barrels per day, accounting for around 9.6% of global output. In 2020, the continent’s crude oil reserves were about 6.9 million barrels per day, while in 2021, it was estimated to be 125.3 billion barrels.
The worldwide financial crisis and a production conflict between Saudi Arabia and Russia in early 2020 drove down oil prices considerably. Due to this, in 2020, the levels of oil production in Africa and throughout the world were unknown.
According to the 2021 report by Statista, here are the top 6 African countries with the largest oil reserves.
Libya has the largest oil reserve in Africa as of 2021 and the 9th in the world. It has 48.4 billion barrels of reserved oil. In 2019, Libya accounted for about 1.2 million barrels per day, increasing more than 100% from 2016. This phenomenal rise was primarily due to a short cessation of violent fighting. However, due to the country’s civil war, oil production and export dropped substantially. In January 2020, warlord Khalifa Haftar shut down oil facilities in the country’s eastern and central regions to pressure the government to reform.
Nigeria is the second country with the largest oil reserve in Africa and the 11th worldwide. It has 36.9 billion barrels of crude oil. Between 2015 and 2019, the country generated roughly 2 million barrels per day. In 2021, Nigeria was the world’s most significant oil producer, accounting for an average of 1.27 million barrels per day. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), security concerns and other commercial risks have slowed oil exploration operations in the country.
Algeria continues to be one of the African countries with the largest oil reserves at 3rd position and 16th in the world. It has 12.2 billion barrels of crude oil. In 2019, the country generated over 1.3 million barrels of oil per day. Sonatrach is Algeria’s largest oil company. Others are BP, Total, and Exxon Mobile. The country’s falling oil output was primarily due to OPEC production limits and a lack of foreign investment. Algeria also exports a lot of natural gas, most of which goes to Europe.
The Southern African nation retains the 4th spot and 17th in the world. Angola has 7.8 billion barrels of crude oil. In 2015, it accounted for roughly 1.8 million barrels per day, but output fell significantly over the rest of the decade. In 2019, Angola produced about 1.4 million barrels per day, indicating a downward trend.
Sonangol, or the Sociedade Nacional de Combustiveis de Angola, is Angola’s state-owned oil corporation. It used to be in charge of almost all oil and gas development. The major multinational oil corporations active in Angola are BP, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Total, Statoil, Eni, and China National Offshore Oil Corporation, often known as CNOOC.
Sudan is the fifth African country with 5 billion barrels of crude oil and ranks 23rd on the world list. South Sudan oil reserves increased by 2.92% to 160.64 thousand barrels per day in October 2021, up from 156.08 thousand barrels per day the previous month.
Egypt is also on the list of African countries with the largest oil reserves at the 6th position. The country has 3.3 billion barrels of crude oil and is not a member of OPEC. The government’s pro-market initiatives also eliminated oil sector subsidies. In 2019, Egypt generated roughly 630,000 barrels of oil per day. Between 2014 and 2019, the country became substantially more stable.
The state-owned oil firm, Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), controls the country’s oil output. In Egypt’s offshore and onshore production activities, EGPC collaborates with some multinational oil firms.