India, Netherlands and Spain have now filled the vacuum left by the United States as top buyers of Nigeria’s crude oil, according to a document obtained from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday. The countries were part of about 56 countries, cutting across Western Europe, Oceania/Pacific, South America, North America, Middle East, Asia and Far East as well as Africa, which were favourite destinations for the commodity.
The latest Annual Statistical Bulletin (ASB) produced by the national oil company showed that India led the pack of buyers of Nigeria’s crude for the 2020 trading year with 107.89 million barrels, followed by Netherlands with 73 million barrels, and Spain with 70.4 million barrels.
As some buyers turned their backs on Nigeria’s crude because it was more expensive due to its top quality, India and other countries had upped their hydrocarbons trade with Nigeria, the data obtained by THISDAY showed.
Although successive Nigerian governments had expressed their desire to diversify the country’s economy, the oil sector still accounted for about 90 per cent of total exports, over 86 per cent of foreign exchange earnings and a paltry 9.61 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The data from NNPC further showed that apart from the top three consumers of Nigeria’s oil, South Africa came a close fourth with 68.3 million barrels, Italy purchased 32.5 million barrels, while China bought a total 29.6 million barrels from the country during the period under review.
Other countries listed as consumers of Nigeria’s crude are United Kingdom with 24.3 million barrels, Cote d’Ivoire with 20.4 million barrels, France with 19.7 million barrels, Singapore which bought 19.4 million barrels and United States Gulf Coast with a cumulative purchase of 19.4 million barrels.
Togo bought 17.3 million barrels, Portugal purchased 14.8 million barrels, Turkey’s total transaction for the year was 18.1 million barrels, followed by Indonesia’s 17.1 million barrels.
Included also on the list of buyers were Germany, Sweden, Norway, Poland, Australia, Peru, Uruguay, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and Myanmar.
Brazil, a top oil producer, bought the least quantity of 266,264 barrels. Other Nigerian crude oil customers included Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Ghana and Senegal.
In the year under consideration, 648.5 million barrels of oil were lifted with the highest percentage of 42 per cent going to Western Europe, 31.2 per cent going to Asia, 18.28 retained in Africa while 5.7 per cent went to North America.
Furthermore, an analysis of Nigeria’s 10-year crude oil production revealed that the country produced about 8.425 billion barrels during the period 2010-2020.
A breakdown of the figures indicated that in 2010, 896 million barrels, the highest for the period, was produced, 866.2 million barrels was produced in 2011, 852.7 million barrels in 2012, 800 million barrels in 2013, 798 million barrels in 2014, and 773 million barrels in 2015.
In addition, 2016 saw the production of 666.7 million barrels, in 2017 it was 689.7 million barrels, it was 701.4 million barrels in 2018, 735.24 million barrels in 2019, while in 2020 Nigeria produced the lowest quantity of oil estimated at 644.36 million barrels.
In terms of exploration activities, a total of 81 wells were drilled, including 76 development wells and five exploratory wells. But the activity was negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged the world last year.
Total crude oil and condensate production for the year was 644.3 barrels, giving a daily average of 1.76 million bpd, lower than the 2019 production by 12.36 per cent.
Production by fiscal regime showed that Joint Ventures (JVs) contributed 208 million barrels, Alternative Financing (AF) contributed 68.8 million barrels, Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) contributed 254.7 million barrels, Independents and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) contributed 93.4 million barrels while marginal fields added 19.3 million barrels.
In the gas sector, a total of 2,729.1 Billion Cubic Feet (BCF) of natural gas was produced in 2020, indicating a decrease of 4.74 per cent when compared with 2019 production 2,864.93 BCF.
The estimated average daily consumption for 2020 was 60 million litres of petrol, 14.1 million litres of diesel and 740,316 litres of household kerosene per day.
Whereas Nigeria’s crude oil still remains quite competitive in the international market because of its low sulphur content, the current push for renewable sources of energy and the net-zero push by developed countries by 2050 remains a major challenge to the future of oil business in the country.