US oil exports threaten Nigeria’s market share

Almost seven months after the United States lifted the 40-year-old ban on the exports of its crude oil, producers in the country have made inroads into Europe, the largest regional importer of Nigerian oil, The Punch reports.

US crude exports rose to a record 662,000 barrels per day in May, the highest since 1920, from 591,000bpd in April, according to foreign trade data from the US Census Bureau. Among the prominent destinations of US crude oil in May were the Netherlands, Italy, the United Kingdom and Canada which have traditionally imported Nigerian crude.

In 2013, Nigeria lost its biggest customer, the US, which has since then drastically reduced its imports of Nigerian crude, following the dramatic rise in domestic shale oil production. The US Congress in December 2015 passed a legislation that lifted the 40-year-old ban on the exports of the country’s crude oil, allowing producers to sell crude to the already saturated international market.

The Head of Energy Research, Ecobank Capital, Mr. Dolapo Oni, confirmed; “We are competing with the US, which offers proximity, and, maybe to some extent, some relationships as well”. “It is unlikely we will see a lot of US exports to Asia; we are likely to see more of the US exports to Europe in the short term. But over the long term, as more volumes are available, it is likely that we will start to see some US exports to Asia.”

Source: Energy mix report