U.S. crude oil imports from Nigeria, Angola hit 354,000bpd
Buys 6.8m barrels from W’Africa’s top producer in three months
The United States (U.S.) crude oil import from Nigeria and Angola has increased from the 190,000 bpd it recorded in the first quarter of 2015 to 354,000 bpd during first quarter of this year.
Specifically, import destination report of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) showed that the United States imported 6.8 million barrels from Nigeria between January and March this year.
The U.S. imported about 949,361 barrels in January, 1,943,006 in February and 3,970,465 in March. This is far below the over 1.9 million barrels, which the country imported from Nigeria in January and February last year.
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which made this disclosure in its June edition of the oil and gas report, added that Nigeria`s crude oil production decreased from the 1.6 million bpd it recorded in April to 1.4 million bpd in May this year.
According to OPEC, the country recorded a shortfall of 251,500 bpd during the period under review.OPEC disclosed in the report released on Monday that crude oil output increased mostly from Kuwait, Iran and Saudi Arabia, while production decreased in Nigeria, Venezuela and Iraq.
It stated: “In the first quarter 2016, the combined average imported US crudes from the two main West Africa crude exporters – Nigeria and Angola – jumped to 354 tbpd from about 190 tbpd in 2015.
“The arbitrage economics also worked with several other Atlantic Basin crudes – even sour grades such as Urals – that have not been feasible for years due to the growing Canadian heavy crude exports to the US and the wide Brent-WTI spread”.
The report noted that the U.S. crude oil imports in May declined by 189 tbpd from the previous month to average 7.6 mbpd.OPEC stated that the U.S. product imports declined by 68 tbpd, or 3.2 per cent, to average 2.2 mbpd, while on a basis, they remained at last year’s level. On a year-to-date comparison, crude imports were 554 tbpd higher, while product imports dropped by 37 tbpd. “As to product exports in May, they fell by 703 tbpd, or 16 per cent, to average 3.6 mbpd from the previous year”, it added.
The report expects Africa’s oil supply to see a further contraction of 60 tbpd in 2016, revised down by 29 tbpd to average 2.31 mbpd.
It attributed this contraction to production outages in Ghana. “Amid unresolved technical issues at Tullow’s FPSO vessel in the giant Jubilee oilfield offshore Ghana, production is back online, but output is less than half of what it should be, while investors have been told they won’t see any dividends this year. Production resumed on 4 May, but the repair of a turret could take up to a year, according to the media. Right now, the company is working to ramp up production to above 30,000 bpd, but this is well under the originally anticipated 100,000 bpd. It was producing 103,000 b/d the previous year” , it added.
Meanwhile, crude oil prices fell to the lowest level in more than a week as investors anticipated turmoil ahead of the upcoming Brexit vote and the U.S. oil rig count went up for a second week.
Futures dropped 0.4 per cent in New York to settle at the lowest level since June 3, as investors looked ahead to a June 23 referendum that will determine Britain’s membership in the European Union.
Oil prices rose briefly to touch as high as $49.28 a barrel as the dollar retreated during intraday trading. Shale drillers have added 12 oil rigs in the U.S. over the past two weeks in the first consecutive weekly gains since August, according to Baker Hughes Inc. data.
The pricse surged about 86 per cent from a 12-year low in February as the global glut is trimmed by unexpected disruptions and a slide in U.S. output, which is under pressure from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ policy of pumping without limits. New York crude closed above $51 a barrel on June 8, the highest in more than 10 months, before sliding every day since.
“Prices will be choppy in a range over the next several weeks and months, but near the end of the year we do think that prices will take another leg higher,” Michael Tran, commodity strategist at RBC Capital Markets said.
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