06 July 2015, Lagos – There are strong indications that India, Spain, South Africa, Netherland and Brazil may have become the top export destinations for Nigeria’s oil.
According to a latest export destination figures gleaned from the Monthly Petroleum Information (MPI) published by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Spain with 10,657,756 barrels (bbls) of crude oil it imported from Nigeria in December 2014 may still be leading the pack of countries where Nigeria has turned to for disposal of its oil.
The 2014 figures are however the most recent MPI figures uploaded by NNPC on its website. It has Nigeria’s oil export within the period to India at 8,525,406bbls, Netherlands, 8,086,981bbls, South Africa, 6,647,436bbls and Brazil, 4,278,037 respectively.
THISDAY, upon its request for any new MPI data from NNPC in Abuja was however directed to the corporation’s website by its Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Ohi Alegbe on Friday, and from where the 2014 figures were obtained.
But based on recent information gleaned from sources and compiled by Thomson Reuters Oil Analytics which showed that as many refiners returned from planned maintenance, THISDAY had reported recently that tanker arrival data showed that Nigeria in the month of May replaced Saudi Arabia as the top crude oil supplier to India, up from number three a year ago.
The Reuters data also disclosed that Saudi Arabia slipped to second position after Nigeria and was followed by Iraq, then Venezuela which retained the fourth slot while Iran slipped to fifth position from seventh a year ago.
It was also upon this information that THISDAY sought from NNPC the figures.
India which is Iran’s biggest oil client after China, lifted an annual 66 per cent more oil from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) member countries in May, shipping up to 4.34 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil in May, an increase of about 18.1 per cent from the previous month.
The MPI figure and development perhaps confirms Nigeria’s recent diversion of its crude oil market route to Spain, India, Netherlands, South Africa and Brazil, having lost its long standing market share with the United States which for a very long time was her export destination with its preference for Nigeria’s oil.
From the Reuters’ data, India is reported as the world’s fourth-biggest oil consumer. It imports about 80 per cent of its oil needs, with most of that coming from the Middle East. However, a boom in U.S. shale oil freed some of the supplies from Latin America and Africa for Asia, reducing the share of Middle Eastern oil in India’s overall purchases this year.
The data stated that as the slide in oil prices impacted the economies of traditional oil producers, the weightage of African and Latin American crude in India’s total oil imports rose a year ago and during a five month period of January to May 2015, Nigeria was reportedly the third largest supplier of crude to India with an average of 440,000bpd.
This development also had former High Commissioner of India to Nigeria and writer of ‘Nigeria: A Business Manual’, Amb. Mahesh Sachdev, disclosing to THISDAY in his email reaction that it was a reflection of the economic partnership between both countries.
Sachdev however added that the tripling in oil supplies from Nigeria to India would have to be monitored to see if it is a flash in the pan or one that will continue subsequently.
“This 200% surge is reflective of the economic complementarity that underlies bilateral ties. It also reflects India’s abiding faith in Nigeria as a stable, long term supplier of this strategic commodity despite political changes in Abuja.
It is also an implicit vote of confidence in administration of President Buhari, whose inauguration on May 29 was attended by Indian petroleum Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan.
“While a new record figure in bilateral petroleum is very encouraging development, it remains to be seen if this tripling of Indian oil imports from Nigeria in May 2015 is a flash in the pan or would continue subsequently,” Sachdev said.
– This Day