|The United States’ import of Nigeria’s crude oil rose to 25.97 million barrels in the first three months of this year from 18.62 million barrels in the same period of 2016.
The US Energy Information Administration revealed in its latest data that the country bought a record 10.24 million barrels from Nigeria in March, the highest monthly import since July 2013.
With global oil benchmark, Brent crude, averaging $50 per barrel in the first quarter of the year, the 25.97 million barrels imported by the US translate to an income of about $1.3bn for Nigeria.
The US almost tripled the volume of crude oil bought from Nigeria last year, with the biggest monthly import of 8.43 million barrels in July. It imported 76.9 million barrels of Nigeria’s oil in 2016, up from 19.9 million barrels in 2015.
Nigeria saw significant reduction in the US imports of its crude in recent years, starting from 2012, following the shale oil production boom.
The US import of Nigeria’s crude fell to 6.17 million in June 2013 from 10.115 million barrels in May and about 40 million barrels in March 2007.
In 2014, when global oil prices started to fall from a peak of $115 per barrel, Nigeria saw a further drop in the US imports of its crude from 87.4 million barrels in 2013 to a record low of 21.2 million barrels.
For the first time in decades, the US did not purchase any barrel of Nigeria’s crude in July and August 2014 and June 2015, according to the EIA data.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s crude differentials remains under downward pressure as Forcados loading programme for June added to already ample supplies.
Reuters reported that the Forcados programme in June, scheduled at seven cargoes, was weighing on the market.
The nation’s oil production, which plummeted to near 30-year lows of around 1.2 million barrels per day in May 2016 amid militant attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta, still remains sharply below its capacity of 2.2 million bpd.
But the output has recovered gradually this year as militant attacks have fallen substantially since early January after the government stepped up peace talks with leaders and youths in the Niger Delta to end militancy in the region.
Source: Copyright Punch Online