The Nigerian National Petroleum Corp (NNPC) has opted to extend the period of its crude oil lifting contracts beyond the current one-year term, in the corporation’s quest to secure more export markets for its crude after losing out on the strategic US markets.
The NNPC, Group Managing Director, Joseph Dawha dropped the hint, while speaking at an industry conference in the Nigerian capital Abuja, adding that while Nigeria repositioned the destination of its crude to Asia and Europe as a result of the US stopping imports from the country, it was still looking for more markets for the shipment of its 2 million barrels per day (b/d) output.
Dawha said Nigeria was also considering the direct sales of crude to overseas refineries in new markets and with ongoing repairs for the country’s four domestic refineries due to be completed next year and with capacity utilization due to rise to 90 per cent of the plants’ combined nameplate capacity of 445,000 b/d, more Nigerian crude would also be available for the domestic refineries utilization.
Daily Times gathered that Nigeria presently awards contracts for the lifting of around 1.3 million b/d, the country’s share of the oil jointly produced with foreign partners, on a one-year term basis.
So far, India and Europe have emerged as the largest markets for Nigerian crude, the OPEC member still struggles to dispose of its oil leading to a growing overhang of unsold Nigerian cargoes, compounding its economic woes already battered by lower oil prices in the international market.