The United States, a former net crude importer, is now set to become a net exporter of crude by 2022 according to projection by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
The EIA newly released Annual Energy Outlook 2018 projects that the United States will become a net energy exporter in 2022, primarily driven by changes in petroleum and natural gas markets.
The EIA raised the US 2018 average crude output forecast to 10.59million barrels per day (bpd), at which rate the US overtakes Saudi Arabia, the biggest producer among the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
According to the EIA, the transition from net energy importer to net energy exporter occurred even earlier in some sensitivity cases that modify assumptions about oil prices or resource extraction. Sensitivity cases with less energy production project that the United States will remain a net energy importer through 2050.
It stated: “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. 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, U.S. net energy trade still decreases, but the United States remains a net energy importer through 2050.
Nigeria has over the years, increasingly seen reduction in US imports of its crude. Latest data by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) showed that Europe is now biggest importer of Nigerian crude grades by 36.59 percent, followed by Asia with 28.43 percent, North America with 16.57 percent, while Africa imports 13.17 percent and 2.84 percent goes to South and Central America.