United States’ imports of Nigerian crude oil slumped to the lowest level in more than 15 years in March, according to US Energy Department data released recently.
Nigeria shipped 337,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude to the US, as against an average of 768,000 bpd for 2011. Imports of Nigerian crude to the East Coast of the US dropped to 1.745 million barrels in March, down 44 percent from February, while shipments to the Gulf Coast rose 31 percent to 8.693 million barrels.
Analysts say the rising production from the Eagle Ford shale formation in the US state of Texas may further dampen demand for Nigeria’s crude.
In this report, Adesewa Josh examines the implication of the declining demand for Nigerian crude oil in the American market.
The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke on Tuesday said that she thought there was too much oil supply on the market. The minister was speaking to reporters at an OPEC seminar of oil minister and leading oil industry executives ahead of the cartel’s meeting on Thursday.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Oluseyi Petinrin, on Friday said that the Federal Government has approved the constitution of a task force to curb crude oil theft in Nigeria. The Air Marshall disclosed this while addressing journalists during a stakeholders’ meeting on security in the oil and gas industry in Lagos.
He said that the responsibility of the task force will be to halt the incessant oil theft in the country and that most senior army personnel and other security agencies would be included in the team to bring sanity.
“I quite agree with the collective decision of the stakeholders on ways to address oil theft in the country.
“All the security agencies will ensure adequate monitoring of the country’s oil thefts to logical conclusion,” Petinrin said.
Diezani Alison-Madueke, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, said that over 180 million barrels of crude oil were lost on daily basis in the country.
Translating the 180 million barrels into monetary terms the Managing Director of Shell, Mutiu Sunmonu had on Thursday during a meeting with the executive secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Zainab Ahmed in Abuja said Nigeria loses $5billion yearly to crude oil theft.
Mrs Allison-Madueke said the new task force would include both indigenous and international oil chiefs.
The minister said that it had been observed that in the last six months, the number of oil theft on Nigerian water was high.
“This crude oil theft affects both our environment and economic values in Nigeria,’’ she said.