Nigeria Out From Top 5 LNG Exporting Countries
…No thanks to US which now pumps from 46mtpa gas plants
Nigeria, alongside Indonesia, has lost out in the global grip of top five liquefied natural gas exporting status, courtesy of the muscling by the United States of America which now holds 10% of the global gas market.
The data of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bearing tanks, as contained in a recent Reuter’s survey, reviewed that the United States’ has firmly reduced the market share of these two countries. The large volume of gas being pumped-out by the US is said to be causing the price of the commodity to trend downward.
According to the survey, for two months going now, the order of the Top 5 largest gas exporters has been Australia, Qatar, US, Canada and Malaysia. Nigeria and Indonesia had previously vied between themselves to occupy one of the five slots, the report said
Whereas the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd produces 22 million tons per annum of gas annually (mtpa), and still working on a plan to expand its production to 30 mtpa, the US is said to have 46 million tons per annum gas exporting plants already in operation or ramping up. Nigerian officials say there is a current plan to construct an ambitious gas pipeline that terminates at Morocco, in order to keep European markets in sight.
While Nigeria was once the second-largest supplier of oil to the US, the US, on the other hand, achieved their current Top World Ten position just three years after lifting its 40-year ban on crude oil exports. The US was forced to significantly reduce imports of Nigerian crude oil in the past few years as it upped the production of its shale oil which is similar to Nigeria’s crude.
As a result, US oil imports from Nigeria plunged to 9.599 million barrels in the first three months of this year from 15.879 million barrels in the same period of 2018, according to latest data from the US Energy Information Administration.
The US further upped its game with oil exports to 2.002 million barrels per day in 2018, from 1.118 million bpd in 2017, emerging the seventh biggest exporter of crude oil, the 2019 Annual Statistical Bulletin of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries said. It overtook Angola, Venezuela, Kazakhstan, Norway, Mexico and Brazil.
Nigeria witnessed oil exports crash to 1.811 million bpd in 2018 from 1.979 million bpd in 2017.
The US Energy Policy and Conservation Act had enacted regulations constraining the US crude oil from being exported outside national territories. However, in December 2015, Congress lifted the ban and volumes of crude oil exports skyrocketed significantly thereafter.
OPEC noted in a report that after the lifting of the ban, US major oil destination moved from Canada to Western Europe and particularly Asia. Some of the largest importers of Nigerian crude oil, such as India and the Netherlands have become the main purchasers of US crude.
Further in the OPEC report, Nigeria’s oil exports to Asia and Pacific dropped to 387,200 million bpd in 2018 from 512,600 bpd in 2017. According to import statistics, the US used to be the biggest importer of crude oil worldwide until 2017, when China outperformed the world’s biggest economy.