Russia halts petroleum exports, putting Nigeria and others at risk


Nigeria’s petrol imports are set to be disrupted by Russia’s new embargo on petrol exports, which will take effect on March 1.

According to the French international news agency Agence France-Presse, the Russian government has announced a six-month ban on petrol exports in order to secure sufficient fuel supply for domestic consumption.

According to AFP, Russia, the world’s third-largest oil producer, has experienced occasional fuel shortages since last summer as a result of increased demand and refinery maintenance.

“Restrictions on petrol exports are implemented for six months, from March 1 to August 31,” the administration stated in a statement on Thursday.

In 2023, Russia produced 43.9 million tonnes of petrol and exported approximately 5.76 million tonnes, accounting for roughly 13% of its entire output.

According to Reuters, the biggest importers of Russian fuel are African countries such as Nigeria, Libya, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates.

According to a report from 2023, Nigeria’s petrol imports from Russia increased by 84% in a year, reaching 3.8 million litres (24,000 barrels) in 2023, up from 558,300 liters (3,700 barrels) in 2022.

This information was gathered from Argus West Africa Oil’s report on Nigeria’s fuel and the European trade overview.

Following embargoes imposed by the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States in response to the invasion of Ukraine, Russia has sought alternative markets.

The government stated that the prohibition was aimed at “maintaining a stable situation on the fuel market during a period of high demand associated with spring agricultural works, the holiday season and scheduled repairs of oil refineries.”

The Russian government is determined to minimize fuel shortages in the domestic market before the forthcoming elections next month, in which President Vladimir Putin hopes to preserve control.

Last year, Russia banned the export of diesel and gasoline, causing farmers in some areas to struggle with grain harvesting owing to fuel shortages.