US Import Of Nigerian Oil Hits 42-month High

The increase in the United States’ imports of Nigerian crude oil has
continued, with a record import of 9.78 million barrels in January, the
latest report from the US Energy Information Administration has

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 Nigerian 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 Nigerian crude in July
and August 2014 and June 2015, according to the EIA data.

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 Nigerian oil in 2016, up from 19.9
million barrels in 2015.

Nigeria’s crude oil and condensate
production averaged 1.676 million barrels per day in March, a fall of
over 200,000 bpd from the previous month, according to the Ministry of
Petroleum Resources.

The ministry said the country’s oil output
was 1,676,045 bpd in March, down from around 1.9 million bpd in
February, but it did not provide reasons for the sharp month-on-month

However, Platts quoted sources close to the matter as
saying the output was down mainly due to maintenance at the Bonga field,
which averaged around 150,000-200,000 bpd.

Shell said in early
March that Bonga production would be shut in for about four weeks to
five weeks due to turnaround maintenance and engineering upgrades at the
Bonga floating, production, storage and offloading vessel.

nation’s oil production still remains sharply below its capacity of 2.2
million bpd, with the main export grade Forcados still shut in. It
plummeted to near 30-year lows of around 1.2 million bpd in May 2016 as
attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta rose at an alarming pace
due to resurgent militancy.

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.

Head of Energy Research, Mr. Dolapo Oni, said the decision by the
government to explore negotiating opportunities with militants in the
Niger Delta region against the military campaign of the past seemed to
be yielding positive result.

He said, “The renewed government
negotiation initiative being led by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has
seen him frequently visiting the region in the recent past. Militant
attack on facilities has also declined significantly and repair work is
being carried out at accelerated pace and fear of militant attacks is

“While it is yet to be ascertained if negotiations could
result in a long-time deal, we believe the measure is more reliable
than the military option. Recovery in production is critical for Nigeria
as the country continues to battle with economic recession and foreign
exchange scarcity.”

Oni said if the disruptions in the Niger
Delta region were allowed to continue, the country would likely fall
short of this oil output projection of 2.2 million for 2017.

is, therefore, necessary for the current effort by the government to
yield positive result and we believe recent developments indicate some
success so far,” he added.

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