Even when the United States (US) has greatly reduced her import of Nigerian crude oil, the World’s eighth largest exporter of crude oil, Nigeria, is now the biggest importer of kerosene from the United States to Africa.

Nigeria has emerged as the worldwide second-largest importer of US kerosene, according to data newly released by Energy Information Administration (EIA), the statistics arm of US Department of Energy.

The report which covered year 2015 showed that Nigeria imported 1.25 million barrels of the US kerosene from January to December, 2015. The country is only second to Canada who remained the top US kerosene importer, with 3.3 million barrels imported last year.

Behind Nigeria is Finland, which bought 12,000 barrels. Panama imported 6,000 barrels; Netherlands bought 5,000 barrels, and Colombia imported 4,000 barrels. Venezuela, China and Japan bought 3,000 barrels each, while the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Ecuador purchased 2,000 barrels respectively.

Ghana, Honduras, Hong Kong, Chile, South Korea, Dominican Republic, Turkey, Israel, Belgium, Bahamas and Peru bought just 1,000 barrels each, the report also stated.

Other products imported from the US by Nigeria include Liquefied Petroleum Gas, lubricants, petroleum coke, fuel ethanol and finished motor gasoline.

The country imported 1.72 million barrels of the LPG; 290,000 barrels of lubricants; 121,000 barrels of petroleum coke, 161,000 barrels of fuel ethanol and 616,000 barrels of finished motor gasoline, the EIA data showed.

Nigeria bought a total of 1.427 million barrels of the US kerosene in 2014. In 2013, 1.040 million barrels were imported; 272,000 barrels in 2012; 1,000 barrels in 2009; 4,000 barrels in 2008, and 1,000 barrels in 1995.

Nigeria depends largely on importation to meet its domestic fuel demand, creating a lucrative market for refiners in the US, Europe and other African countries such as Cameroun and Cote d’Ivoire.

The country’s four refineries have over the years operated far less than their combined nameplate capacity of 445,000 barrels per day.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in January announced that it had shut down the Port Harcourt and Kaduna refineries, owing to crude supply challenges arising from recent attacks on vital crude oil pipelines.

The 150,000bpd refinery in Port Harcourt and the 110,000 bpd Kaduna refinery had resumed operations in December after several months of shutdown.

Warri, Kaduna and Port Harcourt refineries, which had resumed production of refined petroleum products in July last year after undergoing rehabilitation, were shut down in August, September and October, respectively before resuming in December.

The NNPC had earlier in January announced that the nation’s three refineries in Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Warri had attained a combined daily production of over 6.76 million litres of petrol per day, which is projected to increase to over 10 million litres per day by the end of January 2016.

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