Lagos — Despite surging trade relationship Nigeria is currently building with China, statistics show that the Asian country in return shoved Nigeria aside and failed to import a single barrel of crude oil from the country in the first quarter of the year.
Hope had surged after Nigeria’s crude oil exports to China received a boost last October with nearly 3 million barrels exports, the highest since 2015.
However, data issued by China’s General Administration of Customs showed on Tuesday that the country is yet to import oil from West Africa’s biggest crude oil producer and exporter since 2021.
Instead, the custom’s data showed that China’s crude oil import from Saudi Arabia topped the list and had increased by 8.8 percent to 7, 842, 178 tonnes in March.
Russia came second with also an increase of 6 percent to hit 7,439,263 tonnes in March.
Below are details of imports from key suppliers in Q1 2021:
|Country||March(tonnes)||y/y % change||Jan-March (tonnes)||y/y % change|
According to National Bureau of Statistics of China, General trade imports from Nigeria in China decreased to 207043 USD in February from 248569 USD in January of 2021.
In terms of general trade, Nigeria was not among the top 20 countries on China’s 2019 list, yet, the West African country had in recent years signed several oil and gas contracts with the Asian country.
Below are the top 15 countries that supplied 90.1% of the crude oil imported into China in 2019:
1- Saudi Arabia: US$40.1 billion (16.8% of China’s total imported crude oil)
2- Russia: $36.5 billion (15.3%)
3- Iraq: $23.7 billion (9.9%)
4- Angola: $22.7 billion (9.5%)
5- Brazil: $18.5 billion (7.8%)
6- Oman: $16.4 billion (6.9%)
7- Kuwait: $10.8 billion (4.5%)
8- United Arab Emirates: $7.3 billion (3.1%)
9- Iran: $7.1 billion (3%)
10- United Kingdom: $6.3 (2.7%)
11- Congo: $5.54 billion (2.3%)
12- Malaysia: $5.5 billion (2.3%)
13- Colombia: $5.4 billion (2.3%)
14- Libya: $4.8 billion (2%)
15- Venezuela: $4.4 billion (1.9%)
Nigeria’s oil & gas history with China
In December 2004 Sinopec and NNPC signed an agreement to develop Oil Mining Lease (OML) 64 and 66, located in the waters of the Niger Delta in South Nigeria. OML 64 has drilled five exploration wells with one well encountering hydrocarbon resources. OML 66 has drilled 18 exploration wells with 12 encountering hydrocarbon resources. The Nigerian government signed a memorandum of understanding with China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) to identify suitable upstream oil and gas assets that would be integrated into the downstream projects, including refining, power generation, petrochemicals and fertilizer, in partnership with local industry players. In July 2005, CNOOC and NNPC signed an $800 million contract that guaranteed China receives 30,000 bpd for one year. Having one of the most profound impact was a mutually beneficial deal between China and Nigeria recently signed by President Hu. In exchange for a $4 billion investment on infrastructure, CNPC was given first refusal rights on four oil blocks, and other deals.
In 2016, former oil minister, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu held a roadshow in China aimed at raising investment.
“Memorandum of understandings, MoUs worth over $80 billion to be spent on investments in oil and gas infrastructure, pipelines, refineries, power, facility refurbishments and upstream have been signed with Chinese companies,” said NNPC in a statement at the time.
In 2010, NNPC and China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) had signed a $23bn deal.
Apart from the above, Nigeria also continues to engage China firms in construction deals, imports several electronics and herbal teas from China, among other trade relations.