Lagos, Nigeria | – Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke has stated that Nigeria’s crude oil exports to the US have dropped significantly following the shale oil production boom by the Americans.
Alison-Madueke said at a meeting with labour unions in Abuja that dramatic shift in the position of the US from being Nigeria’s biggest crude oil buyer to near zero, called for urgent reform of the Nigerian oil sector and the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill.
The minister said this just as the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Dakuku Peterside, also disclosed that the National Assembly would in its consideration of the bill expunge a certain provision that allows ministerial discretion in granting extension to the three-year deadline to end gas flaring after the PIB is passed.
“I know [labour unions] must have heard of the shale gas and the shale oil revolution in America and around the world. This has literally knocked out Nigeria from the export of oil to the US,” the minister said.
She added that the “development should spur Nigerians to impress it on the legislature to pass the PIB as soon as possible.”
Data released recently by Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics showed that exports (dominated by crude oil) to the US in the last quarter of 2013 were 12.5% of total exports compared with around 40% five years ago.
“So Nigeria must adopt new strategies. This market called shale oil and gas has resulted in Nigeria seeking new markets for its oil,” Alison-Madueke said.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producer, with a current output of around 2.0 million b/d.
The PIB seeks to overhaul Nigeria’s oil and gas sector radically and spur fresh investment, has been stuck in the Nigerian parliament for more six years now.
The statement quoted the minister saying that the delay had hindered the government in taking key decisions on the oil sector.