The Nation crude oil exports sink low by about 11 per cent in the third quarter of the year as country such as India and some European countries reduce their imports in September.
According to report from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, India – the single largest buyer of Nigerian crude, bought 10.12 million barrels in September, down from 12.54 million barrels the previous month.
Indonesia, another Asian buyer, cut the amount of crude oil purchased from Nigeria to 1.89 million barrels from 4.79 million barrels.
Europe, Nigeria’s biggest regional market, saw its imports of the country’s crude plunge to 16.25 million barrels from 20.77 million barrels in August.
In the region, France, Spain and the Netherlands reduced their imports to 2.84 million barrels, 2.52 million barrels and 3.09 million barrels, respectively in September from 7.57 million barrels, 3.95 million barrels.
In Africa, Nigeria’s exports declined to 5.95 million barrels in September from 8.90 million barrels the previous month.
The country’s total exports dropped to 46.7 million barrels in the month from 50.13 million barrels in August. It exported as much as 66.68 million barrels in January.
Its exports for the third quarter fell to 141.22 million barrels from 158.23 million barrels in the second quarter, the NNPC data showed.
The US, which overtook India in June as the single largest buyer of the Nigerian crude, saw its import of the country’s crude rise to 8.60 million barrels in September from 4.14 million barrels the previous month.
The report showed that in September, crude oil production in Nigeria rose to 1.64 million barrels per day, representing 9.91 per cent increase over the production in August 2016 but it was 24.92 per cent lower than the performance in September 2015.
The country has seen a rise in militant attacks on oil installations in its main oil-producing region, Niger Delta, in recent times, denting oil production.
The corporation said, “Increase in production is credited to production restoration at Usan, post-completion of well intervention work at Ebok and Chevron Nigeria Limited-Escravos gained from production fluctuation.
“However, some of the major drag to our performance include the subsisting force majeure at Forcados terminal, Qua Iboe terminal and Brass Terminal, attack and subsequent fire outbreak on major pipeline to Bonny terminal.”
The NNPC said the cumulative production capacity deferred due to shut in amounted to 1.15 million bpd.
“Onshore and shallow water assets, where government’s take is high, remain targets of the militants. Hence, securing onshore and shallow water locations remains a priority to restore production,” it said.