Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources, says Nigeria has forever lost the United States as a significant crude export market.
Up until the early 2000s, the US was Nigeria’s top crude importer, buying around 700,000 b/d of the commodity from Africa’s biggest producer, and climbed as high as 1.31 million b/d in February 2006, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
This volume has, however, been dropping since then, reaching zero import level by June 2015 following a surge in production of shale oil.
“That’s gone,” Kachikwu said at CERAWeek in Houston, USA.
CERAWeek conference continues outreach between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and shale producers.
Light sweet Nigerian crude is very similar to the light oil produced in US shale.
As US shale production has grown, the appetite for Nigerian crude in the US has dropped dramatically.
Nigerian crude are now favourites for the Asian markets led by India.
Nigeria’s oil output averaged 2.07 million in February, 20,000 b/d up from January, according to petroleum ministry estimates.