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Nigeria’s foreign crude oil market shrinks as US cuts import by 43%

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The United States’ Energy Information Administration has revealed that the country has reduced its imports of Nigerian crude oil by 48.87 million barrels or 43 per cent in 2018.

According to recent data from the agency, the US imports of Nigerian crude fell to 64.06 million barrels last year from a five-year high of 112.92 million barrels in 2017.

It showed that the US imported 75.81 million barrels of Nigerian oil in 2016, up from 19.85 million barrels in 2015.

US imports of Nigerian crude began facing obstacles when it fell from 148.48 million barrels in 2012 to 87.40 million barrels in 2013, thanks to the shale oil boom.

This is not unconnected to the similarity between the light sweet Nigerian crude, and the light oil produced in US shale. The rise in US shale production directly discourages the country’s need for Nigerian oil.

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The EIA data indicates that the US did not purchase any barrel of Nigerian crude in July and August 2014 and June 2015.

The peak moments in both country’s oil trade relations were in 2010 and 2011, when the US bought 358.92 million barrels and  280.08 million barrels respectively.

The increase in US crude supplies comes as the country’s production has risen close to 12 million bpd, up from just five million bpd ten years ago.

The surge has allowed Washington to pursue a policy that the Trump administration has dubbed “American energy dominance”, with the country overtaking Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer, as well as becoming a major gas supplier.

Following the increase, the US has grown shipment overseas after leaving restrictions on exports that had been in place since the Arab oil embargoes of the 1970s, with the country hoping to reap the economic benefits and wield its energy clout as a tool of foreign policy.

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