Many of Nigeria’s favourite oil export destinations are abandoning the country for the United States which itself used to be the country’s biggest importer of crude blend.
According to a report by the Guardian Newspaper, 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.
The report also indicated that other countries like The Netherlands, United Kingdom, 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,” the reports read.
However, Nigeria is expected to remain healthy for as long as oil prices don’t fall below the 2017 budget benchmark of $44.5/barrel.
Former President of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists, NAPE, Nosa Omorodion, reacting on the development 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.”
Similarly, an Assistant Director in the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, Wole Akinyosoye, at a forum recently in Lagos noted that for every barrel of crude oil Nigeria exports, it is exporting employment opportunities, stable power supply and good roads and a host of others.
He maintained that the loss of these countries to which the Nigerian crude was hitherto exported, should awaken the country to begin to refine its crude locally, thereby creating job opportunities for citizens.
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.
In 2016, the EIA said that the U.S. exported oil to eight different Central and South American destinations, including Curacao, Colombia, and Peru, which were also Nigeria’s export destinations.