Nigeria is well known as a major stakeholder in the global oil and gas business. The country is the largest crude oil producer on the African continent, producing about 2.5 million barrels of crude per day. The country’s economy is largely dependent on this commodity. Nigeria is divided into 36 states and the FCT but not all of these states are oil-producing. The oil-producing states in Nigeria are the focus of this piece. Currently, only 9 Nigerian states are classified as oil-producing and each of these states is discussed below.

Akwa Ibom

Akwa Ibom is the top oil-producing state in Nigeria, accounting for 31.4% of crude oil production in the country. This translates to 504,000 BPD. The state is in the country’s South-South region and is bordered by Cross River, Rivers, and Abia states. The capital of Akwa Ibom state is the beautiful city of Uyo. There are over 5 million inhabitants of this state, scattered across 31 Local Government Areas. The capital city, Uyo is home to over 500,000 people. 3 ethnic groups dominate the state, these are; the Oron, Annang, and Ibibio. Apart from oil, other natural resources that can be found in Akwa Ibom are natural gas, limestone, coal, glass sand, clay, and salt.


Delta is the second-highest oil-producing state in Nigeria, accounting for about 21.56% which translates to 346,000 BPD of the country’s total crude oil production. The capital of the state is Asaba. As a major oil-producing state, Delta has a refinery and petrochemical plant in Warri, another major city in the state. Delta state is divided into 25 Local Government Areas and has a population of over 4 million. The main ethnic groups in the state are the Urhobos, the Isokos, and the Itsekiris. The state is also blessed with resources such as timber, fine sand, clay and rubber.

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With crude oil production of 344,000 BPD which is about 21.43% of the country’s total oil output, Rivers is the third-highest oil-producing state in Nigeria. The oil-rich state has the beautiful city of Port Harcourt as its capital.  The state has over 5 million inhabitants spread across its 23 Local Government Areas. The main ethnic groups in the state are the Ikwerre, Okrika, Upobo, Kalabri, and Ubani. Rivers state has two major oil refineries, two seaports, airports, and several industrial estates. Other natural resources found in the state apart from crude oil are silica sand, glass sand, and clay.


Bayelsa is one of the least populated states in the country and has just 8 Local Government Areas. About 1.9 million people are residing in the state, with Yenogoa being the state capital. Bayelsa is, oil-rich and is home to Oloibiri where oil was first discovered in commercial quantity in Nigeria in the year 1959. The state currently accounts for about 18.07% of Nigeria’s total crude oil out which translates to about 290,000 BPD. The main ethnic groups in the state are the Ogbia, Nembe, Izon and Epie-Atissa. Ijaw is the language spoken widely across the state. Bayelsa is blessed with aquatic resources apart from oil which the state is widely known for.


Ondo is one of the two South-Western states to feature on this list. Ondo currently accounts for about 3.74% of Nigeria’s total crude oil output which is about 60,000 BPD. The state is home to about 2.5 million people spread across 19 Local Government Areas. The capital of the state is Akure. The state is mostly populated by the Yorubas, with the Yoruba language being the most widely spoken language across the state. Other natural resources found in Ondo are bitumen and tar sands.

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Lagos has the least landmass of all 36 states in Nigeria but has the highest population. This is due to that state’s status as the economic capital of the country. If Lagos state were a country, it would have the 5th largest economy in Africa based on GDP. The state is a cultural melting pot of people from different tribes and countries. The state is home to over 15 million people spread across 20 Local Government Areas. The state capital is Ikeja. Lagos currently has a crude oil production rate of 40,000 BPD which is about 2.64% of the country’s total production. Apart from crude oil, other natural resources found in Lagos are Bitumen, Clay, and Glass-sand.


Edo is the 7th highest oil-producing state in Nigeria. The state has a production rate of 33,000 BPD which is about 2.06% of the total oil output of the country. The capital of Edo is the ancient city of Benin. Bini people are famous for their culture and art. The state has a population of over 5 million, spread across 18 Local Government Areas. The main ethnic groups in the state are the Bini, Esan, Owan, and Etsako. Natural resources found in Edo apart from oil are clay, limestone, gold, iron ore, granite, and fine-sand.


Located in the South-east, Imo is another oil-producing state in Nigeria. The states oil output is 17,000 BPD currently. This is about 1.06% of the country’s total production. The capital of Imo is Owerri. The state is home to over 4 million inhabitants, spread across 27 Local Government Areas. The state i. dominated by the Igbo ethnic group. Other natural resources in Imo are lead, zinc, limestone, fine sand, and clay,



Abia state is the 9th highest oil-producing state in the country. It is located in the South-east region, accounting for 0.68% of the total crude output of Nigeria. This translates to about 17,000 BPD. The capital of Abia is Umuahia. The state has over 3 million residents, spread across 17 Local Government Areas. The population of the state is predominantly of the Igbo ethnic group. Abia is also blessed with lead, zinc, limestone, and fine sand.

That concludes this list of oil-producing states in Nigeria. You will notice all the states fall in southern Nigeria, 5 in the South-South, 2 In the South-West, and 2 in the South-East. They are the states that supply the crude that Nigeria sells to maintain its economy.

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