Oil: Obama reins in drilling as India and Nigeria strengthen energy ties

Oil: Obama reins in drilling as India and Nigeria strengthen energy ties

Elisa Maria Giannetto
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The USA scales back drilling as Nigeria and India take advantage of apparent oil price recovery to sign new exploration partnerships

Obama’s recent environmental order has been vehemently criticized by Trump and members of his entourage. The outgoing president has permanently barred oil and gas drilling in large swaths of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, enacting a provision in the 1953 Outer Continental Shelf Lands Acts that grants the president the power to act unilaterally in this arena. Trump will be forced to explore legal strategies to block Obama’s decision. But by that point, Democrats hope the 2020 election will already be fast approaching.
While the United States appears to be moving backwards on oil and gas exploration, India and Nigeria are bolstering trade relations with the aim of helping to make both countries economic leaders in their respective regions. New Delhi is looking to Africa as a place to explore and extract natural resources and seeking to build a special partnership with the country led by president Muhammadu Buhari. An important step in this process was the meeting between Nigerian energy minister Emmanuel Kachikwu and his Indian counterpart to sign a preliminary oil deal worth 15 billion dollars. According to OPEC estimates, India’s oil demand will likely double by 2040, for a total of 10 million bpd. The likelihood that the agreement will be signed during the coming weeks is high, in part thanks to positive signs from oil markets. Although experts are waiting to see how the holiday season will go, the price of oil already appears to be on the rise.