If the latest export destination figures from the Monthly Petroleum Information (MPI) published by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), are anything to go by, India, Spain, South Africa, The Netherland and Brazil may have emerged the top export destinations for Nigeria’s oil. Spain topped the list with 10,657,756 barrels of crude oil it imported from Nigeria in December 2014; followed by India at 8,525,406 barrels, the Netherlands 8,086,981 barrels; South Africa and Brazil 6,647,436 and 4,278,037 barrels respectively.
The 2014 figures are however the most recent MPI figures uploaded by the NNPC on its website. Nigeria, in the month of May, replaced Saudi Arabia as the top crude oil supplier to India, up from number three a year ago. The data also disclosed that Saudi Arabia slipped to second position after Nigeria and was followed by Iraq, then Venezuela which retained the fourth slot while Iran slipped to fifth position from seventh a year ago.
India which is Iran’s biggest oil client after China, lifted an annual 66 per cent more oil from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) member countries in May, shipping up to 4.34 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil in May, an increase of about 18.1 per cent from the previous month.
The MPI figure and development perhaps confirms Nigeria’s recent diversion of its crude oil market route to Spain, India, The Netherlands, South Africa and Brazil, having lost its longstanding market share with the United States (US) which for a very long time was its export destination with its preference for Nigeria’s oil. The data showed India as the world’s fourth-biggest oil consumer.
It imports about 80 per cent of its oil needs, with most of that coming from the Middle East. However, a boom in US shale oil freed some of the supplies from Latin America and Africa for Asia, reducing the share of Middle Eastern oil in India’s overall purchases this year.
The data stated that as the slide in oil prices impacted the economies of traditional oil producers, the weightage of African and Latin American crude in India’s total oil imports rose a year ago and during a five month period of January to May 2015, Nigeria was reportedly the third largest supplier of crude to India with an average of 440,000 barrels per day.