Industry experts have said Nigeria stands a chance of losing some of its traditional crude oil buyers to rival producers such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, following a drop in exports of the commodity from the country, largely caused by the recent upsurge in militant attacks on oil infrastructure in the Niger Delta, The Punch reports.
An oil expert and Professor of Law and Co-Director, Institute for International and Immigration Law, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University, United States, Emeka Duruigbo, said, “There is a real struggle to acquire or maintain market share by existing or fully returning players, notably Iran and Saudi Arabia”. Duruigbo added, “Any opening created by Nigeria’s inability to meet its supply commitments is an invitation to these countries to exploit the gap and leverage their strengths. I would be deeply concerned if I were manning Nigeria’s economic ship at the moment.”
The Head of Energy Research, Ecobank Capital, Mr. Dolapo Oni, said, “Since that supply is no longer available for the market, it will give room for other producers such as Iran and Saudi Arabia to ramp up production and fill the gap. And that is what I expect to happen”. “There is a risk that Nigeria may lose its market share to those countries. But countries such as India like Nigerian crude,” he said, adding that other buyers in Asia such as Malaysia and Singapore might turn to other producers for their imports.