The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Thursday said India had replaced the United States as the largest importer of crude oil from Nigeria.
It said that India was closely followed by China and Malaysia as the biggest buyers of the nation's oil.
This is contained in a statement signed by the NNPC's Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, Mr Ohi Alegbe, in Abuja.
It quoted Dr Tim Okon, the corporation's Coordinator, Corporate Planning and Strategy, Tim Okon, as making the disclosure in Moscow, Russia at the ongoing 21st World Petroleum Congress (WPC).
The U.S which had traditionally taken the bulk of Nigeria's crude has in recent months drastically reduced its demand which now stands at about 250,000 barrels per day.
India, however, now purchases some 30 percent of Nigeria's daily crude production which currently hovers around 2.5 million barrels," it said.
It added that "Nigeria will not ignore any market in its quest to remain competitive in the global oil and gas industry.
Asia is important and in that respect, we have regards for all markets.
The important thing is to make sure that you are selling the products that you have and you do not ignore any market.
The Asian countries have since replaced the U.S.
The corporation said that Nigeria was participating in the Moscow congress to assess global business opportunities in the petroleum industry, especially in the gas sub-sector.
It also said that the Petroleum Industry Bill currently before the National Assembly needed to be passed to enable the country to maximise its potentials in the oil and gas industry.
I cannot talk about future incentives if the principal law that would give birth to it has not been passed.
It was always helpful to do things in a timely manner and that is an important point to stress.
Many of the countries like Ghana, Brazil, Mozambique and even Uganda, that were trying to get new legislations passed, have had them passed," the statement also quoted Okon as saying. NAN