India now single-largest importer of Nigerian crude

A sharp twist to the new shale oil development has eventually begun to impact on Nigeria’s export market, as India has surpassed the United States (U.S.) to become the single-largest importer of crude from Nigeria.

Analysis from an international energy agency, Platts indicated that India is now accounting for about 17 per cent of the crude imports from Nigeria.

Global Editorial Director of Oil News, Richard Swann, said that the emergence of India as the largest consumer of Nigerian crude occurred rapidly over the past year.

“India’s demand for crude oil is constantly rising and it makes economic sense to ship it from Africa due to the geographical proximity,” Swann said.

The U.S. has become less depended on imported crude because of the development of shale gas and shale liquid in the country.

The surprising growth of US domestic light shale oil production has resulted in a sharp 63 per cent drop in US dependence on imports of light sweet Nigerian crude in just five years, from a peak of 1.084 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2007 to just 405,000 bpd last year, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration. The 2012 volume was the lowest since 1985 when crude imports from Nigeria averaged 280,000 bpd.

On the other hand, India is expected to import at least 13 cargoes, or 17 per cent of the 75 scheduled for export, from Nigeria by end May. In March and April, India imported six and seven cargoes, respectively. On an average, one cargo has around a million barrels of crude oil.