World Oil Supplies Still ‘Fairly Substantial’ After Saudi Attacks – US Official

Indigenous Firms Plan To Increase Oil Output
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World oil markets can still draw on sizeable reserves despite the weekend’s devastating attack on Saudi Arabian production facilities, US Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Monday.

The attack sent oil prices rocketing higher on Monday, stoking fears that costlier energy could dampen global economic growth and weigh down global equities markets.

“The market… has a fairly substantial amount of oil out there available,” Perry told CNBC.

READ ALSO: Oil Prices Shoot After Saudi Drone Attack

Perry also said it was “premature” to discuss drawing on US strategic reserves while damage to Saudi output was still being assessed.

US and Saudi officials have blamed Iran for the attacks but Tehran has dismissed the accusations, suggesting that Washington was seeking a pretext to attack the Islamic republic.

Meanwhile, Saudi authorities are considering whether to delay an IPO for oil giant Aramco after this weekend’s attack on its oil facilities shut down a major chunk of global production, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Huthi rebels backed by Iran, who have been locked in battle with a Saudi-backed coalition for years, claimed responsibility for the attacks on Aramco facilities.

The attack shut down about half of Saudi production, or some five percent of global production, according to Craig Erlam of foreign exchange company Oanda.


Brent Crude Oil Rises To $60 Per Barrel

Indigenous Firms Plan To Increase Oil Output
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Benchmark oil contract Brent North Sea crude climbed back to $60 per barrel on Wednesday, with OPEC cutting output and on easing concerns over weak demand growth.

Around 0940 GMT, Brent crude for delivery in March stood above $60 for the first time in 3.5 weeks and was up 20 percent compared with two weeks ago, prior to an oil production cut by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-cartel producers from January 1.


Brent Oil Drops Under $70 For First Time Since April

Indigenous Firms Plan To Increase Oil Output
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Brent crude oil sank Friday under $70 per barrel before a weekend meeting of major oil-producing nations in Abu Dhabi.

In London morning deals, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in January fell as low as $69.69 per barrel, a slide of 96 cents on the day, on surging US energy stockpiles. It comes as OPEC and non-cartel members meet this weekend to discuss a possible cut in crude output amid slumping prices.


Crude Prices Rise Above $80 For First Time Since 2014

Indigenous Firms Plan To Increase Oil Output
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Benchmark oil contract Brent North Sea briefly surged above $80 a barrel Thursday, hitting its highest level since late 2014 and extending a recent run higher fuelled by tight supply concerns.

European stock markets meanwhile rose as the euro weakened against the dollar, but Wall Street pulled back in early New York trading.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in July jumped to $80.18 a barrel in the late European morning — the highest level since November 2014 — after a gain of more than one percent compared with Wednesday’s close.

By mid-afternoon, it had pulled back to $79.65, still 37 cents higher from Wednesday.

Global oil supplies could be hit by President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal, and also by falling production in crisis-hit Venezuela, the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday.

Iran, Venezuela behind oil’s rise 

“The catalyst for the latest move appears to be more concerns about the state of the supply and demand balance and OPEC’s apparent unwillingness to do anything about it even as Iran faces fresh sanctions and Venezuelan production is pressured,” said Greg McKenna, an analyst at AxiTrader.

Iran has meanwhile said that Chinese state-owned oil company CNPC will replace Total on a major gas field project in the country should the French energy giant pull out over renewed US sanctions against Tehran.

Prior to Thursday’s oil-price rally, crude futures had already been rising strongly thanks to steady demand growth and a landmark deal by oil-producing countries, both inside and outside the OPEC cartel, to lower output.

Oil’s rise could meanwhile further push up inflation, impacting growth by quickening the pace of expected rises for interest rates.

“Clearly the recent rise in oil prices is going to pose a problem for some central banks due to the temporary impact it will have on the inflation data, especially when you consider that in the past year, Brent crude prices are up more than 50 percent,” Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda trading group, told AFP.

“The biggest test may come in countries that are already seeing the target or above target inflation like the UK.”

With markets expecting inflation to pick up the pace, including for other reasons such as improved wages growth, 10-year US bond yields have hit seven-year highs, adding to expectations of a series of US rate hikes this year.

“The ghost of the 10-year Treasury yield has returned to spook markets again, with equities failing to make much progress as attention fixates on the key global benchmark,” Chris Beauchamp, a chief market analyst at IG trading group, said Thursday.

Dollar firms 

On currency markets, the dollar benefited from bets on higher US rates, keeping it around multi-month highs against its major peers.

The greenback is holding at 2018 highs against the euro, also as horse-trading to form an Italian government fuels uncertainty in one of the eurozone’s biggest economies.

A string of disappointing data on the economic bloc is also bearing down on the single currency.

 Key figures around 1335 GMT 

Oil – Brent North Sea: UP 37 cents at $79.65 per barrel

Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP 39 cents at $71.88 per barrel

London – FTSE 100: UP 0.4 percent at 7,766.76 points

Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 0.7 percent at 13,084.06

Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.6 percent at 5,601.00

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.5 percent at 3,580.19

New York – Dow: DOWN 0.2 percent at 24,722.43

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.5 percent at 22,838.37 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 0.5 percent at 30,942.15 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.5 percent at 3,154.28 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1797 from $1.1808 at 2100 GMT

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3496 from $1.3491

Dollar/yen: UP at 110.73 yen from 110.34 yen


NNPC Records $476.25m Crude Oil, Gas Export Receipts

NNPC Records $476.25m Crude Oil, Gas Export Receipts


The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has recorded total export receipts of $476.25m in December 2017, from the sale of crude oil and gas as against $201.11m in November 2017.

This is contained in the monthly NNPC Financial and Operations Report for December 2017, which was released on Wednesday in Abuja.

According to the report, while receipts from crude oil amounted to $342.16m, gas and miscellaneous receipts accounted for $ 94.85m and $39.24m respectively.

On Naira receipts, the report showed that domestic crude oil and gas sales in the month amounted to N96.68bn, consisting of N89.11bn from domestic crude oil and N7.57bn from domestic gas.

Of the Naira receipts, the sum of N77.57bn was transferred to the Federation Account in the month under review, while N19.11bn was paid for Joint Venture Cash Call (JVCC), being a first line charge to guarantee continuous flow of revenue stream to Federation Account.

The report further showed that from January to December 2017, the corporation remitted a total of N857.36bn into the Federation Account, N644.05bn for Joint Venture financing, and N19bn to the Federal Government for debt repayment.

In terms of natural gas off-take, commercialisation and utilisation, the report indicated that out of the 234.08 Billion Cubic Feet (BCF) of gas supplied in December 2017, a total of 138.99BCF was commercialised, comprising of 39.53BCF and 99.46BCF for the domestic and export markets respectively.

According to a statement from the NNPC spokesman Ndu Ughamadu, this translates to a total daily supply of 1,275.09 Million Standard Cubic Feet of Gas (MSCF) to the domestic market and 3,209.70MSCF of gas supplied to the export market.

The report also showed that 60.89% of the average daily gas produced was commercialised, while the balance of 39.11% was re-injected, used as upstream fuel gas or flared.

The statement read in part: “A total of 828MMSCF of gas per day was delivered to the gas-fired power plants in the month under review to generate an average of 3,342 Mega Watts (MW), a modest 11.4% increase on the November, 2017, gas-to-power delivery of 743MSCF to generate 3,115MW.

“Federation Crude Oil and Gas liftings are broadly classified into Equity Export and Domestic. Both categories are lifted and marketed by NNPC and the proceeds remitted into the Federation Account.

“Equity Export receipts are also paid directly into Federation Account domiciled in Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) after adjusting for Joint Venture (JV) Cash Calls.

“Domestic Crude Oil of 445,000bopd is allocated for refining to meet domestic products supply.

“Payments are effected to the Federation Account by NNPC after adjusting for crude oil and product losses, pipeline repairs and management cost incurred during the period.

“NNPC also lifts crude oil and gas, other than the Equity and Domestic Crude Oil, on behalf of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), proceeds of which are remitted into the Federation Account.

“Third Party Finance liftings are crude oil and gas from fields that are financed using alternative finance/loan facility which require the servicing of debts before remitting the balance into the Federation Account as Price Balance.”

Indigenous Firms Plan To Increase Oil Output

Indigenous Firms Plan To Increase Oil Output
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Data from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources has shown that indigenous oil producers are planning to increase crude oil output by almost 250,000 barrels a day by 2020.

This comes despite efforts by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia to restrict oil supply and raise prices.

Nigeria’s third-biggest independent oil producer, Shoreline Group, plans to double output by December 2019.

On its parts, the country’s second-largest oil producer Seplat Petroleum Development Company plans to produce more.

However, the report suggests that the expansion depends on several factors including the tranquillity being maintained in the Niger Delta region.

Crude Oil Has Done Nigeria More Harm Than Good, Says Ekpu

Mr. Ekpu

A former Publisher of Newswatch, Mr Ray Ekpu, says the discovery of crude oil in Nigeria 61 years ago in the old Rivers State is the root of the country’s main problem.

He said this known while speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast show Sunrise Daily, two days after the nation marked its 57th Independence anniversary.

“In 1956, we had a good fortune or so we thought, of discovering oil in Oloibiri, present day Bayelsa State and two years later (1958), we started exporting oil.

“I think that is where we started courting trouble because we had easy money. We had some white people who came to dig the ground, bring the oil and sell it for us and we did nothing after that.”

The veteran journalist, who observed that Nigeria has an advantage when compared to other countries rich in both natural and human resources, called for the revival of agriculture.

He said, “We still have so much (resources). There are not many countries in the world that are as rich in mineral resources, solid and liquid and manpower as Nigeria.

“If I take a historical approach to our trajectory as a country, I will say in the immediate pre-independence period, we were self-sufficient and we only relied on agriculture.

“We fed ourselves, we even exported cotton, cocoa, palm oil, kernel, rubber and so on. We employed 80 percent of our population.”

Unfortunately, the good times during which General Yakubu Gowon as head of state “had to pay salaries for workers in the Caribbean” didn’t last according to Mr Ekpu.

“Today, we are looking for who will pay salaries to our own staff,” he said.

“About 13 states cannot pay the salaries of their staff and the pension benefits of their retirees. So that is the irony of our situation,” lamenting that the nation has spurned the sector.”

The former Newswatch boss wondered why issues of agitation would arise across the polity considering the large deposits of resources.


Oil Prices Rise Above $50 Per Barell

Nigeria To Exit Joint Venture Cash Calls With Oil Companies

Oil prices are currently at fresh two-month highs and on track to post the strongest weekly gains, on signs that crude oversupply is easing.

According to oilfield services firm, Baker Hughes, the number of oil rigs operating in the United States rose by two to a total of 766 last week.

Traders’ investors were expecting the update on U.S. rig count, in order to assess any sign of a slowdown in drilling activity.

Brent Crude futures were up 92 cents, or 1.8 per cent, at 52 dollars 41 cents a barrel, while U.S. west Texas intermediate crude futures rose 61 cents, or 1.2 per cent, to 49 dollars 65 cents a barrel by 5:00pm.

Crude Oil Theft: Court Upholds Conviction Of Nine Foreigners

Court Strikes Out PDP Application To Stop Ondo LG PollsThe Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos has upheld the conviction and sentence of nine foreigners for stealing 3,423.097 metric tonnes of crude oil from Nigeria.

Justice Frederick Oho who read the judgment on Monday agreed with the submissions of the EFCC Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo and held that the appeal of the foreigners lacked merit and subsequently dismissed it.

Other justices of the Appeal Panel were Justice Hussein Mukhtar and Justice Mohammed Shuaib.

All three upheld the judgment of Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos.

The Federal High Court had convicted the foreigners; five Filipinos and four Bangladeshi nationals to a jail term of five years each, on the four charges against them with an option of a five million Naira fine for each count.

Their vessel, Mt Asteris, and its crew were intercepted by the Nigerian Navy Ship, Beecroft, during a routine patrol in Lagos in March 2015 while trying to export the stolen product.

Nigeria’s Refineries Processed 10 Million Barrels In Q1

Nigeria’s refineries processed 10 million barrels of crude oil in the first quarter of the year, higher than the eight million barrels, produced in the 2015 calendar.

The production was successful as a result of interventions in the south-south oil producing region, through dialogue with militants, which reduced attacks on oil facilities.

Last year’s militancy, cut crude output by over 50 per cent, producing only 24 million barrels.

According to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the 10 million barrels seen in the first quarter equates the 111,000 barrels per day, of the refineries’ capacity.

Agencies Shun House Probe Of Undeclared Crude Oil Exports

Agencies Shun House Probe Of Undeclared Crude Oil ExportsTwelve government agencies on Monday failed to appear before the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee probing the alleged undeclared crude oil and liquefied natural gas exports to global destinations.

Those that failed to appear before the lawmakers who summoned 15 agencies include: The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, Nigeria Customs Service and Nigerian Ports Authority.

The Chairman of the House Committee, Honourable Adbulrazak Namdas, who seemed unhappy with the development, tasked government agencies to play their part in the fight against corruption.

“Reports have it that over 57 million barrels of Nigerian crude oil were illegally exported and sold in the USA between January 2011 and December 2014.

“The estimated revenue loss by the Government of Nigeria is around $12 million at an exchange rate of 196 Naira to a dollar; this translates to over two trillion Naira,” Honourable Namdas said.

The Minority Whip of the House, Honourable Yakubu Barde, who declared the event open, said the allegations and others have left a shadow on Nigeria’s development.

“The specter of oil theft and associated crimes in the industry in Nigeria is unending and has remained an albatross on the national development needs till date.

“The problem of oil subsidy and the ‘ripping off’ of Nigeria and Nigerians may be assuming the crimes of yesteryears.

The Committee was forced to adjourn its sitting till Tuesday, April 11.

Niger Delta Should Have Special Development Status – VP Osinbajo

VP Osinbajo Visits Gbaramatu Kingdom in Niger DeltaNigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday paid a visit to the Gbaramatu Kingdom in Delta State, recommending that the region should have a special development zone status.

Osinbajo was accompanied by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu and was received in Delta State by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.

In his address of welcome, entitled: ‘We must prepare for the future’, he advocated sustainable development for the Niger Delta region.

“An Area Of Poor Infrastructure”

“The Niger Delta that we see today, including this great kingdom, is an area of poor infrastructure – few schools, few hospitals, and severe pollution.

“The Niger Delta of today, is one of daily pipeline vandalism. In 2014 alone, there were over 3,700 incidents of pipeline vandalism.

“The Niger Delta of today is one where, aside from environmental degradation, between 1998 and 2015, over 20,000 persons have died from fire incidents, arising from breach of the pipeline.

“Everywhere you go, there are signboards of proposed projects, mostly uncompleted or abandoned altogether.

“Many of the initiatives to change the story, have not been able to make the big changes required,” the Vice President stated.

Citing several examples, dating back to the 60’s, down to the present day amnesty programmes, the Professor Osinbajo said many of such programmes have not been able to meet up with their objectives.

However, he charged the people, stressing that “the future, is not a future of environmental degradation, poor infrastructure, poor roads”and the likes.

Rather, it is a future of “progress and development” but according to him, “there is no time, as the future is already here”.

He then stated that in order to ensure that the future is not worse than today, three things must happen.

Also he believes that while the government plays its own part, the people have to combine efforts with it, in order to realise the desired development.

One of such things, he stressed, was that the people “must recognise the unique environmental and terrain challenges of the Niger Delta.

“We must recognise that the Niger Delta is a special development zone for this nation.

“It means that the Federal and State governments, the National Assembly representatives, along-side the NDDC and the civil society representatives, of the Niger Delta people must sit together, develop, plan and fund an arrangement for rapid development,” he stressed.

Also, in furtherance of development in the region, Professor Osinbajo revealed that the Pan Niger Delta Forum had come up with 16 dialogue issues that would be extremely helpful in ascertaining its key development priorities.

He stated that the region must also hold some of the international oil companies, to their agreement with host communities.

“We must promote indigenous participation in oil companies,” he added.

He also hinted that in the 2017 budget, provision had been made for the commencement of the Lagos-Calabar railway. (the coastal railway).

Mr Osinbajo is expected to also visit a number of oil communities across some Niger Delta states, where he is expected to address issues affecting the region and bring an end to militant attacks on Nigeria’s oil and gas facilities.

According to a statement from the Office of the Vice President, Professor Osinbajo would also be visiting Bayelsa and Rivers States at a later date to be announced.

Spokesperson for the Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, described the move as further demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s readiness and determination to comprehensively address the Niger Delta situation.