The US may drastically reduce its import of crude oil from Nigeria by 2022.
According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the country is projected to become a net energy exporter in four years.
In the newly released Annual Energy Outlook 2018, EIA said the transition from net energy importer to net energy exporter will not take place until 2050 in some sensitivity cases.
The US reduced its import of Nigeria’s crude in 2012 when shale production increased. However, it increased its import in the third quarter of 2017 to 28.53 million barrels from the 18.88 million imported in the corresponding period in 2016.
“The transition of the United States to a net energy exporter is fastest in the high oil price case, where higher crude oil prices lead to more oil and natural gas production and transition the United States into a net exporter by 2020,” the report said.
“In that case, higher crude oil prices also result in higher petroleum product prices and lower consumption of petroleum products, driving decreases in net petroleum imports.
“In the High Oil and Gas Resource and Technology case, with more favorable assumptions for geology and technological developments, the United States becomes a net exporter in 2020, and net exports increase through the end of the projection period.
“In cases with relatively low oil prices or less favorable assumptions for geology and technological developments, US net energy trade still decreases, but the United States remains a net energy importer through 2050.”
India, which is Nigeria’s largest importer of crude, reduced its demand in 2017 and began importing from the US.
Some other buyers of Nigerian crude also turned to US crude.