India turns to other markets for oil as Nigeria battles with production

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THE biggest buyer of Nigeria’s crude oil, India, is currently scouring other markets for crude as its state-owned refineries look to meet annual output targets.

According to an official who spoke to Bloomberg, most of India’s 23 refineries operated at above nameplate capacity in January, and many are buying cargoes on the spot market to reach the 2021/2022 fiscal year refinery production goals.

With Nigeria struggling to meet its targets, India is now going to Saudi Arabia and Iraq for extra barrels of oil.

Local media in India reports that the biggest state oil refiners, including Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), are buying more crude oil chasing targets.

India is Nigeria’s major export trading partner when it comes to crude oil sales.

As at the end of 2021 third quarter, India bought over N703.26 billion worth of crude oil from Nigeria data obtained from the national bureau of Statistics foreign trade report shows.

The amount spent by India buying Nigeria oil is 22.56 per cent higher than the N544.59 billion worth of crude oil sold to Spain which came second.

Should Nigeria put its production challenges together, the high demand could mean more money for Nigeria as oil trades are above $90.

Crude oil production in Nigeria fell below 1.2 million barrels per day in December 2021 from 1.28 million.

Nigeria also missed its crude oil output target for January 2022, pumping 1.46 million barrels per day against a target of 1.683 million bpd as approved by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.