Nigeria earned N3.738 trillion from the export of crude oil and petroleum products in three months, from October to December 2017, according to latest data released by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS.

The NBS, in its Foreign Trade Statistics for the Fourth Quarter of 2018, stated that petroleum products export accounted for 95.58 per cent of Nigeria’s total export in the period under review.

Giving a breakdown of petroleum products export, the report disclosed that crude oil export stood at N3.255 trillion, representing 83.22 per cent of the sector’s total export; Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG, export stood at N416.588 billion; while other petroleum gases export stood at N28.42 billion. According to the report, other medium petrol oil accounted for total export of N12.32 billion; liquefied butanes valued at N12.304 billion was exported in the period under review; while liquefied propane and Liquefied Petroleum Gas exports stood at N8.85 billion and N4.81 billion. The NBS stated that, “The value of the export trade continues its growth trend totalling N3.91 trillion in the fourth quarter 2017 representing an increase of 9.4 per cent over the value of N3.576 trillion recorded in the preceding quarter, and an increase of 31.3 per cent over the value of N2.979 trillion recorded in the fourth quarter of 2016. “The structure of the export trade is heavily dominated by crude oil, liquefied natural gas, and other petroleum gases, which contributed N3.699 trillion or 94.6 per cent to the value of total domestic export trade in the fourth quarter of 2017. Crude oil alone contributed N3.254 trillion, representing 83.2 per cent of total exports during the period under review, while natural liquefied gas contributed N416.6 billion, representing 10.6 per cent of the total exports in fourth quarter 2017. “Exports by section similarly show that Nigeria exported mainly mineral products, which accounted for N3.772 trillion or 96.5 per cent of the total export value for fourth quarter 2017.” “Other products exported by Nigeria includes prepared foodstuffs; beverages spirits and vinegar; tobacco at N36.7 billion or 0.9 per cent of total exports, and products of the chemical and allied industries at N25.5 billion or 0.7 per cent of total exports.” The report noted that India accounted for N571.54 billion of Nigeria’s crude oil export in the fourth quarter of 2017, followed by the United States of America with N488.6 billion. While the Netherlands purchased crude oil worth N366.2 billion from Nigeria in the period under review. The report further stated that in the period under review, Europe and Asia were the top regions for Nigeria’s exports, accounting for N1.539 trillion, representing 39.3 per cent of total exports, and N1.034 billion, representing 26.4 per cent of total exports, respectively. The report noted that this represents a 18.9 per cent growth and a 0.1 per cent decline respectively over the previous quarter; and a 27.1 per cent and 16.9 per cent growth respectively, when compared to the same quarter in 2016. According to the report, the Americas region was Nigeria’s third largest exporting partner in the period under review, representing 22.5 per cent of all exports with a value of N879.19 billion. “The growth in total exports in fourth quarter 2017 is buoyed by exports to the Americas which increased by 6.3 per cent and 112.3 per cent in fourth quarter 2017 from third quarter 2017 and fourth quarter 2016 respectively. “Value of exports to Africa were recorded at N382.8 billion naira during the period under review, among which N152.5 billion naira of goods were exported to ECOWAS countries, representing 39.9 per cent of exports to African countries.”


Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/03/nigeria-earns-n3-8trn-crude-oil-gas-export-3-months/


The decision of the United States to stop the importation of Nigeria’s light blend of crude oil due to the shale oil boom has exposed the US refineries to the dangers associated with the processing of lighter shale oil.

As a result of the increased domestic production of shale oil, the US has slashed crude  oil imports from a peak of almost 14 million barrels per day in 2006, to slightly above 7 million barrels per day.
Crude oil import from Nigeria, one of the principal sources of light crude, was also slashed from more than 1 million barrels per day in 2010 to zero in July 2014.

But the US refineries, Reuters has reported, are designed to handle medium blend crude as against the much lighter shale oil being produced in the country to replace imports from Nigeria and others.
US refiners are said to have shown a strong preference for a medium blend, but almost all the oil being produced as a result of the shale boom is much lighter than the refineries can handle.

Reuters reported that while imports of medium-heavy and heavy grades of crude oil (with specific gravity of less than 30 degrees) have remained roughly constant at 4.5 to 5 million barrels per day since 2007, imports of medium-light and light oils have dropped from 6 million barrels per day to just over 2 million.
Imports of the lightest grades of oil, the closest substitutes for domestic shale production, have been reduced from 2.5 million barrels in 2007 per day to just 500,000 in the first seven months of 2014, according to US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The sudden change in the grades of crude oil processed by the refineries were said to have threatened the capacity of the plants to blend the different grades to derive the required quality of refined products.

The refineries are said to be conscious of the quality and density of crude oil as “crude varies considerably in terms of density, acidity, type of hydrocarbon molecules they contain, and presence of impurities such as sulphur and heavy metals such as nickel and vanadium.”

For instance, if the crude oil contains too much acid or salt, the refinery’s equipment will be damaged by corrosion, while with too many heavy metals, the catalysts that aid refining will be poisoned.

On the other hand, too much sulphur will make the crude too hard to meet specifications for petroleum products.

Also, if the crude oil is of the wrong density, it will be impossible to maximise the efficiency of the refinery’s distillation tower and other units.

The average density of crude oil processed in the US refineries since 1985 has been fairly steady and in statistical terms, the weighted average specific gravity has been 31.1 degrees with a standard deviation of just 0.7 degrees.

But according to EIA’s US crude oil production forecast, analysis of crude oil types released in May 2014, “roughly 96 percent of the 1.8 million barrels per day growth in (domestic) production between 2011 and 2013 consisted of grades with American Petroleum Institute (API) gravity of 40 or above.”

To handle the lighter shale oil, the US refiners need to reconfigure their plants to handle a lighter average blend, but that would take time and involves costly investment.

The simpler option, it was learnt, would be to lift the ban on crude oil exports and allow US refiners to continue to import and refine more of the heavier oil they prefer.

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“as long as the oil companies continue to refuse to meter their oil wells, the nation would be in the dark on the actual quantity of crude they pump daily”.

The Nigerian government produces over 4 million barrels of crude oil daily, an environmental activist said, disputing the official figures by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

Godwin Ojo, the Executive Director of the Environmental Rights Action / Friends of the Earth Nigeria, ERA/FoEN, told journalists over the weekend, in Lagos that the lack of transparency and accountability in the oil sector is responsible for the massive corruption in the industry.

“We believe that the core issue affecting the oil and gas industry is the failure and, or refusal of operators in the industry and regulatory bodies to publicly disclose or engage easily available
scientific templates for precise measurement of the production process,” said Mr. Ojo.

‘Breakdown of production’

Nigeria produces a maximum of 2.5 million barrels of crude oil daily, according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

Mr. Ojo, whose organization launched the ‘Publish What You Pump’ campaign last year, said that as long as the oil companies continue to refuse to meter their oil wells, the nation would be in the dark on
the actual quantity of crude they pump daily.

“The oil companies and agencies are afraid of metering,” said Mr. Ojo.

On how he arrived at the figure of 4 million barrels per day, the environmentalist stated that in addition to the 2.5 million barrel daily production, between 400,000 and 600,000 barrels are lost daily
to oil theft.

“Artisanal refining represents only 20 percent of total thefts in Nigeria because you hear of barges and ships taken away,” Mr. Ojo said.

“There are over 10,000 oil spill sites in the Niger Delta and not one of these is cleaned up. One of these spills is about the size of the Exxon Valdez spill which is about 500,000 barrels.

“There is a much more sinister oil theft going on in the high seas,” he added.

Mr. Ojo further urged the media to reflect the new issues emerging in the area of oil theft.

“Oil theft has assumed a bigger dimension and the community folks still get the blame. Nigerians must know the actual volumes that are spilled and those stolen in the high seas,” Mr. Ojo said.

“More oil companies are going offshore yet the pollutions are not going to reduce but will not be very visible onshore until we start seeing dead fish on our shores as the case in recent times.

“The Bonga spill in December 2011 was an eye opener to us all on how pollutions in the high seas cannot be easily monitored by the relevant agencies of government that rely on figures peddled by the polluters,” he added.

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