Nigeria seeks alternative markets for its crude oil
The federal government has been looking for alternative markets for its crude oil since the growing oil output in the US and the discovery of shale gas reduced North American demand for light sweet crudes. Nigeria’s crude oil exports to the US, which stood at 1 million bpd in December 2009, have since declined to below 350,000bpd, representing a loss of about 70 per cent of the US market.
Though Asian countries are said to be increasing crude oil imports with China overtaking the US as the biggest importer of Nigerian crude, It is difficult to ship crude oil from Nigeria to Asian countries than to the US because of the long distances.
Argentina has ordered (for) Nigerian Bonny Light crude, with the first cargo expected to arrive at the country’s Bahia Blanca seaport in the first week of next month.
Reuters reported yesterday that Argentina’s state-run oil company, YPF, awarded a tender to buy a one million barrel cargo of Nigerian Bonny Light crude to trading firm, Vitol.
This development marks the first time Argentina, which produces 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil, according to the United Energy Information Administration, has agreed to buy Nigerian crude, since they lifted restrictions on crude imports in January this year.