Apart from petroleum, Nigeria’s other natural resources include natural gas, tin, iron ore, coal, limestone, niobium, lead, zinc and arable land.
Nigeria is the largest oil and gas producer in Africa. Crude oil from the Niger delta basin comes in two types: light, and comparatively heavy – the lighter around 36 gravity and the heavier, 20–25 gravity. Both types are paraffinic and low in sulfur.
Nigeria consumes 428,000 barrels per day (B/d) of oil as of the year 2016.Nigeria ranks 37th in the world for oil consumption, accounting for about 0.4% of the world’s total consumption of 97,103,871 barrels per day.
The oil industry is the backbone of the Nigerian economy. The benefits of crude oil in Nigeria are evident. It provides 90 percent of the country’s export revenues. Nigeria is the first in Africa and the eighth in the world when it comes to oil export.
But that natural resource that could put Nigeria at the world’s map is Niobium.
Niobium consumption is dominated by its use as additive to high strength low alloy steel and stainless steel for oil and gas pipelines, car and truck bodies, architectural requirements, tool steels, ships hulls, railroad tracks. However, there are a number of other applications for niobium metal and its compounds.
Niobium is used in alloys including stainless steel. It improves the strength of the alloys, particularly at low temperatures. Alloys containing niobium are used in jet engines and rockets, beams and girders for buildings and oil rigs, and oil and gas pipelines. This element also has superconducting properties.
A lustrous light gray ductile metallic element that resembles tantalum chemically and is used in alloys .
Apart from reacting with oxygen in air at high temperatures, niobium is reactive to carbon, nitrogen, sulfur and halogens. Niobium is non-non- reactive to acids and moisture at room temperatures but reacts with acids at elevated temperatures. Niobium and its compounds may cause irritation to eyes and skin.
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