Average price of crude oil from 1999 to 2015 was $61 per barrel, not $100 proclaimed by President Buhari
Chikezie Omeje, August 29, 2016
The claims by President Muhammadu Buhari that the average price of crude oil from 1999 to 2015 was $100 were misleading.
His claims were misleading against the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Basket Price which publishes the weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly averages of oil prices based on daily quotations.
In an article titled, “President Buhari Sharpens Focus On Niger Delta” by the Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu quoted Mr. President as saying, “He then talked about the impact of the collapse of the oil prices, which averaged about 100 US Dollars from 1999 to 2015, saying that its fall to about 30 Dollars a barrel some weeks ago was shocking.”
This was not the first time the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government made exaggerated claims on the past crude oil prices and misleading statements on the actual comparative prices of crude oil in the tenure of this government and the past administrations of Peoples Democratic Party.
Based on OPEC Basket Price, the average crude oil price from 1999 to 2015 was $61 a barrel. The only time in history when average crude oil price reached $100 was in 2011 ($107), 2012 ($109.45) and 2013 ($105.87).
The highest price ever paid for crude oil was between June and July 2008 when a barrel of crude oil was sold around $130 to $147. Although the average crude oil price in 2008 ended up being $94.45 per barrel.
In 1999 when the military handed over power to Olusegun Obasanjo, the average crude oil price was $16.56 per barrel. In 2003 when he was re-elected for a second term, average crude oil price rose to $28.05 per barrel and $69.08 per barrel in 2007. By 2008, during Musa Yar’Adua’s tenure, a barrel of average crude oil was $94.45 and later fell to $77. 45 when he died in 2010.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement could have been true if he was referring only to Goodluck Jonathan’s tenure when average crude oil price per barrel rose to $107 in 2011 and an all-time high of $109.45 in 2012 as well as $105.87 in 2013. It fell to $96.29 in 2014 and a very record low of $49.49 in 2015.
The present administration is justified in lamenting the $36.57 average crude oil price per barrel in 2016 but the public should not be misled on the incorrect $100 average oil prices per barrel from 1999 to 2015.
The average crude oil price during Obasanjo’s tenure from 1999 to 2007 was $37.18, representing only 15% of the total average from 1999 to 2016.
During Yar’Adua’s tenure from 2007 to 2010, the average crude oil price was $75.51 per barrel, representing 31% of the total average from 1999 to 2016.
Jonathan had the biggest fortune; from 2010 to 2015, the average crude oil price per barrel was $91, representing 37% of the total average from 1999 to 2016.
The average crude oil price between 2015 and 2016 is $40.65 per barrel, representing 17% of the total average from 1999 to 2016. This is 2% higher than Obasanjo’s tenure.