International Trade:

Issues Regarding Imposition of an Oil Embargo Against Nigeria

GGD-95-24: Published: Nov 10, 1994. Publicly Released: Nov 10, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed the potential economic and political effects of a multilateral oil embargo on Nigeria and an U.S. oil embargo on Nigeria.

GAO found that: (1) although a multilateral oil embargo could have a devastating effect on Nigeria's economy, there is little international support for implementing such an embargo; (2) a multilateral embargo on Nigerian oil could reduce worldwide oil supplies by 1.6 million barrels per day and cause U.S. and international oil and gas prices to increase by $2 to $5 per barrel or 5 to 12 cents per gallon, respectively; (3) Department of Energy officials believe that any potential adverse effects of a Nigerian oil embargo on international and domestic oil prices could be offset by increases in oil production by other oil producing nations; (4) the international community does not support a proposed multilateral oil embargo because Nigeria is not viewed as a serious threat to world peace and security; (5) a unilateral U.S. embargo on Nigerian oil would have virtually no effect on Nigeria's economy and oil exports; (6) U.S. commercial interests in Nigeria could be significantly adversely affected by an unilateral embargo; and (7) the potential political impact of a multilateral or unilateral oil embargo is difficult to predict because Nigeria's political opposition is fragmented and its political situation is volatile.

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