The news source reported that Nigeria’s oil production levels are at the lowest in 25 years, at 1.5 million barrels (mbbl) per day, substantially less than the 2.5mbbl per day that it can produce.

Nigeria, which has long remained Africa’s largest oil producer, now lags behind Angola, and is facing extended production cuts due to militant attacks on production facilities in the Niger Delta region.

Major oil producer Chevron is curbing its output by 120,000 barrels per day (bpd) in July 2008 after its pipeline was attacked, while Royal Dutch Shell has announced that it was unsure of delivering 225,000bpd for June and July due to attacks on its Bonga field, reported the news source.

The Financial Times noted that Saudi Arabia has also promised that it will expand its production to 12.5mmbl in 2009, helped by a major investment program.