Nigeria loses crude oil export destination to U.S.
Japan, China halt crude import from Nigeria
Nigeria is fast losing its favourite oil export destinations to the United States (U.S.), which used to be the country’s biggest importer of crude blend. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) crude oil export destination report, confirmed that China, Peru, and Japan have totally stopped importing crude oil from Nigeria.
Other countries like The Netherlands, United Kingdom (U.K.), China, Italy, and Switzerland are also importing from the U.S. Latest Energy Information Administration (EIA), report also showed that these countries have continued to maintain a healthy import profile with the U.S.
Given the glut in the global oil market, Nigeria may be hard-pressed securing new destinations for its crude. Already, the initial heat from the oil producers’ production freeze is wearing, and oil prices are beginning to shed weight, but Nigeria will remain healthy for as long as prices don’t fall below the 2017 budget benchmark of $44.5/barrel.
Commenting on the development, a former President, Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), Nosa Omorodion, said: “The current realities make it most imperative for our local refining capacity for petroleum products to be up scaled.
“No economy can thrive with the complexion of Nigeria’s Energy Trade Balance. Nigeria currently maintains an economically unsustainable negative net energy trade balance in which the country exports virtually all the crude oil produced and imports a substantial part of its refined petroleum products needs while under-utilising other energy sources like bitumen, coal, lignite and shale oil.”
Speaking at a forum recently in Lagos, an Assistant Director in the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Wole Akinyosoye, noted that for every barrel of crude Nigeria exports, it is equally exporting employment opportunities, stable power supply and good roads and a host of others.
Akinyosoye, argued that in view of the volatility of oil prices, Nigeria needs to diversify into refining its crude locally, which he said would definitely create job opportunities for Nigerians, and the loss of these export destinations underscores the need.
According to EIA, aside from Canada, European destinations like The Netherlands, Italy, U.K., and France, ranked high on the list of U.S. crude oil export destinations. The second-largest regional destination is Asia, with countries including China, Korea, Singapore, and Japan.
EIA said in 2016, the U.S. exported to eight different Central and South American destinations, including Curacao, Colombia, and Peru, which were also Nigeria’s export destinations.
The U.S. agency stated: “Some nations listed as receiving crude oil exports from the United States in EIA export statistics, such as the Marshall Islands, Bahamas, Panama, and Liberia, are unlikely to be actual final destinations. Ports in the United States are not deep or wide enough to allow safe navigation and loading of the largest and most economic ships such as Very Large Crude Carriers to transport crude oil. Instead, U.S. crude oil is exported on smaller vessels and is then transferred to larger vessels in deeper waters outside of port.
In some cases, cargoes that undergo ship-to-ship transfer or that do not have a buyer prior to loading will cite the jurisdiction of the transfer or the registration flag of the vessel to which the cargo is being transferred, not the cargo’s actual final destination. Many vessels are registered in nations such as the Marshall Islands, Bahamas, Liberia, and Panama -meaning the exported crude oil was likely destined elsewhere.
“Curacao, located in the Caribbean Sea north of Venezuela, received 30,000 barrels per day of U.S. crude oil in 2016, making it the third-largest destination. Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the state-owned oil company of Venezuela, operates the 330,000 bpd Isla refinery on Curacao, as well as crude and petroleum product storage facilities on the island.”