2022 saw an increase in oil exploration and a plethora of discoveries of oil reserves in Africa. Right now, ten oil-producing countries are heading the front on the continent; we will look at five of them.

According to Statista’s latest report of the top African oil producers, the top ten, starting from the biggest producer, were Nigeria, Algeria, Angola, Libya, Egypt, the Republic of Congo, Gabon, South Sudan, Chad, and Equatorial Guinea.

For most of 2022, Nigeria was Africa’s biggest oil producer, extracting approximately 69 million metric tonnes. Libya, Algeria, and Angola came next, each producing over 50 million metric tons. Overall oil production in Africa that year, including different types like crude oil and shale oil, was 332.3 million metric tons. This was 3.76 percent lower than the production in 2021.

Briefly overtaken by Angola later in 2022, Nigeria recovered its position in the lead in May and continues to be the number one oil producer on the continent.



As well as having the highest GDP in Africa, Nigeria also produces the highest amount of oil, producing 69 million metric tonnes in 2022.

Not only is it the primary oil producer in Africa, but it was also the biggest seller of crude oil to other countries on the continent in 2022 as well as in previous years, with its crude oil production also increasing the most in 2022 of any other African country.

In 2021, the West African nation sent out almost 1.6 million barrels of oil every day to the global market. Libya and Angola came next, each exporting around 1.1 million barrels daily. Together, North and West Africa contributed nearly 10 percent of the world’s oil exports by 2021.


Algeria secured the spot as the second-biggest African oil producer, and its oil production was higher in 2022 than in 2023. However, at the same time, the country also made the decision this year to reduce its oil production, purposefully cutting production by 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) this month, with a plan beginning in May 2023 to cut it by 48,000 bpd in 2023.

This action is in line with the agreement made by a group of 13 countries in OPEC and 11 additional countries outside OPEC, collectively called OPEC+. The agreement is about controlling oil production. Algeria is OPEC’s largest member country.


After temporarily enjoying the number one position as an oil producer in Africa, Angola has dropped to third place, but still produces around 1.16 million bpd, with most of its oil derived from offshore fields.

The economy is driven primarily by its oil & gas sector, with the first oil wells drilled there over 100 years ago, and oil and gas make up more than 90% of Angola’s total exports.

In 2022, Angola’s crude oil exports made it US$39.94 billion, a growth of 44% compared to the previous year, and there was a growth in exploration projects.


This North African country is home to the most crude oil reserves in Africa – about 46.4 billion barrels – and is the continent’s fourth-biggest oil producer.

However, at the same time, due to political uncertainty, military threats, and poor management of oilfields, as well as disruptions to exporting, oil production in Libya has experienced a drop in recent times, producing less in 2022 than in 2021. Operations at one of the largest production sites in the country, the Sharara field, which has a capacity of around 300,000 barrels per day, have repeatedly been disrupted by politics and protestors.


Egypt may only be the fifth-largest oil producer on the African continent, but it leads the way in oil refining, with a refinery capacity of 883 thousand bpd, and plays a significant part in the global energ market.

Holding vast reserves, the country is seeking to increase its oil exploration and drilling due to rising demand from European markets and created a target to achieve an 11% increase in oil production by the end of the year.

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