Despite assurances that Nigeria is working to diversify its economy away from oil, the African OPEC member continues to depend heavily on oil exports, and consequently, on oil prices, for its international trade and export revenues, as the latest data from Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics showed on Tuesday.
The value of Nigeria’s crude oil exports in the third quarter accounted for a good 85.4 percent of the value of all exports, according to the bureau’s foreign trade statistics Q3 2018 report. Other oil products accounted for 11.2 percent of Nigeria’s total exports, while non-oil products made up a mere 3.4 percent of the country’s export transactions in the third quarter.
The value of Nigeria’s crude oil exports rose by 10.03 percent from Q2 and by 39.5 percent compared to the third quarter of 2017.
Europe was the number-one destination for Nigerian crude oil exports in Q3 2018, followed by Asia and the Americas.
Following a wave of militant violence in 2016 and early 2017, Nigeria’s oil production started to recover in the latter half of 2017, when attacks on oil infrastructure began to subside.
This year, after some hiccups and pipeline outages during the spring and early summer, Nigeria’s crude oil production started to rise, with production set for further increases with the imminent start-up of the Total-operated Egina oilfield.
Despite some concerns over the stability of Nigeria’s oil operations ahead of the February elections, the country wasn’t exempted this time around from the new OPEC+ production cut deal signed last week. Fellow African producer Libya, alongside Iran and Venezuela, were granted exemption from the cuts, but Nigeria wasn’t.
Nigerian Oil Minister Emmanuel Kachikwu told local news outlet THISDAY that the country hadn’t asked for an exemption, saying that it could contribute up to 40,000 bpd in production cuts out of the 800,000 bpd OPEC has pledged to cut next year. The 40,000-bpd figure is some 2.5 percent of Nigeria’s current crude oil production of 1.7 million bpd, the minister said.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com