The United States cut its imports of Nigerian crude oil by 48.87 million barrels or 43 percent in 2018, according to the latest data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
The US imports of Nigerian crude fell to 64.06 million barrels last year from a five-year high of 112.92 million barrels in 2017.
The EIA data showed that the country imported 75.81 million barrels of Nigerian oil in 2016, up from 19.85 million barrels in 2015.
US imports of Nigerian crude fell from 148.48 million barrels in 2012 to 87.40 million barrels in 2013 on the back of the shale oil boom.
Light sweet Nigerian crude is very similar to the light oil produced in US shale. As US shale production has grown, the appetite for Nigerian crude in the US has dropped dramatically.
Crude oil exports from the United States to the United Kingdom overtook supplies from other countries including Nigeria for the first time since such shipments began in 2015.
In January, the US supplied the equivalent of almost one in every four barrels of crude processed by UK oil refineries, or 264,000 barrels per day, illustrating the outsized role American oil now has in Britain’s energy mix, The Financial Times reported on Wednesday.
That level was more than Norway, Russia, Nigeria or Algeria, according to data from the cargo-tracking company, Kpler, which have all been major suppliers to the UK in recent years.
The surge in US crude supplies comes as the country’s production has risen close to 12 million bpd, up from just five million bpd a decade ago, thanks largely to oil supplies from shale formations that have been exploited through advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
That has allowed the US to pursue a policy that the Trump administration has dubbed “American energy dominance”, with the country overtaking Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer, as well as becoming a major gas supplier.