Anxiety as India, Nigeria’s new biggest consumer, discovers oil
India, Nigeria’s new biggest oil importer and consumer, said at the weekend it has discovered oil at the North Atharamura-1 well in Tripura Block, raising anxiety on the future of Nigeria’s crude oil sale and revenue.
Nigeria, Africa’s biggest crude exporter depends largely on proceeds from crude to service over 85 per cent of its budget.
The country turned to India after the United States, which hitherto imported over one million barrels of crude, dropped its oil import’s volume due to discovery of shale oil in commercial quantity.
U.S Crude import from Nigeria, penultimate week, dropped to the lowest in 15 years, according to data released by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Jubilant Energy NV, which spear-headed the Indian exploration said it has had submitted the notice of discovery to the Indian Government.
“Subsequent to the successful conventional testing in the Lower Bhuban formation in the North Atharamura-1 well in Tripura Block AA-ONN-2002/1, a Notice of Discovery has been submitted to the Management Committee of the Block and Government of India, as required by the Production Sharing Contract,” the company said.
North Atharamura-1 is the second exploratory well of the two well Phase-II minimum work program for the Block. The well was spud on 12 Feb 2013 and reached a Measured Depth (MD) of 11,155 feet (3,400 meters) May 17.
This development, Daily Independent gathered at the weekend has however raised concern in the government circle and at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over the future of Nigeria’s crude exportation and revenue.
A management staff of the NNPC who craved anonymity because, he was not authorised to speak to the press told Daily Independent in a telephone chat the news of oil discovery was received with serious concern.
“Although crude sale is done through agreement, which covers some months and, at times years, you should not expect us at the NNPC or expect them at the Presidency to rejoice over the news of Indian oil discovery.
“It should sincerely make us to think outside the box and de-monopolise the crude oil influence on our economy. This, as people in government also know, should be done fast by developing the non-oil sector,” he said.