Africa

Libya Gets Better at Keeping Oil Flowing as Industry Stabilizes

18 Aug 2017   Libya

Libya’s getting better at resolving stoppages in its oil industry, underpinning a growing perception that the OPEC member is closer to becoming a stable producer again. (Bloomberg) — Libya’s getting better at resolving stoppages in its oil industry, underpinning a growing perception that the OPEC member is closer to becoming a stable producer again. That’s because of the duration of the incidents. While in prior years protests could shutter fields for months and years, now the stoppages are being resolved within days and barely hindering flows. Sharara, Libya’s biggest field, had several short disruptions this year, including two this month, after being closed for more than two years. Mustafa Sanalla, chairman of state-run National Oil Corp., was quick to visit Sharara this week to resolve the latest dispute, offering to revise security measures. “One fundamental change that allows upstream activities to restart quickly after a disruption is that Sanalla […]

Nigeria: Oil Production At $32 Per Barrel Too High – Kachikwu

18 Aug 2017   Nigeria

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, has decried the high cost of oil production at 32 dollars per barrel, saying it makes cost of Foreign Direct Investment very expensive. Kachikwu made the assertion at the 2017 annual conference of the National Association of Energy Correspondents (NAEC), in Lagos. The minister said that the Federal Government was making frantic efforts to bring down the cost to 15 dollars per barrel in order to significantly bring down cost of FDI. “The outcome of this initiative will be a win-win for investors and the nation,” Kachikwu said. He said the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) had been structured to fully turn around the petroleum sector and make it attractive to investors. Kachikwu also said that the security issues and funding gap in the area of refinery had delayed the take-off of refinery projects, even after licences had been issued. […]

Nigeria: NNPC Cuts Production Cost to $23/Barrel

18 Aug 2017   Nigeria

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said yesterday that the country has saved a minimum of $3billion per annum by cutting the cost of crude oil production from $78 dollars per barrel to $23 per barrel as at August 2015, representing 70.5 per cent reduction. The Group General Manager of National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), a unit of NNPC, Engr. Dafe Sejebor, disclosed this during the inauguration of the anti-corruption committee of the unit. A statement issued by the Corporation’s spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu, noted that NAPIMS arrived at the figure after looking at the difference between the $78 and $23 which represent the old and new cost of production in relation to the present daily average production in the country. “If you knock down your cost of production from $78 per barrel to $23, take the difference and multiply by the average daily production, you will discover that […]

Libya Boosts Oil Output At Biggest Field

17 Aug 2017   Libya

Crude oil output at Sharara–the biggest field in Libya, which is exempt from OPEC cuts–rose to 230,000 bpd on Tuesday—a 30,000 bpd increase just since Sunday, Bloomberg reports , citing an unidentified source familiar with the issue. In another boost to Libyan oil exports, the Zueitina oil terminal resumed loading, Merhi Abridan, head of the Zueitina workers’ union, told Bloomberg. The Zueitina oil terminal had ceased loading cargos on Sunday, as port workers protested, demanding better working conditions. This meant that oil coming from the fields around Zueitina was to be stored at the port for the duration of the protest, and a spike in exports would likely follow. As of Sunday, Bloomberg sources claim that Sharara’s output had fallen by 100,000 bpd over the past week, to 200,000 bpd. There had been an incident involving the theft at gunpoint of two vehicles property of Repsol, the company operating […]

Libyan Oil Liberator Aims To Boost Russian Ties

16 Aug 2017   Libya, Russia

In a sign that Libya’s powerful military is moving closer to Russia, Libyan National Army (LNA) commander Khalifa Haftar—the man responsible for recapturing the country’s oil ports and essentially restarting production—is meeting top officials in Moscow. Haftar is the key political and military rival to the Western-backed central government in Tripoli, and his trip to Russia indicates a fragile game of alliances that could upset the delicate balance of control over Libyan oil. Last weekend’s was not Haftar’s first visit to Moscow: he had visited Russia at least twice in the past year, and has been forging friendly relations with Moscow, while the U.S. is supporting the increasingly weakened internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA). During Haftar’s meeting with Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu this past weekend, “Special attention was paid to situation in the North Africa focusing on situation in Libya. The parties stressed the importance of […]

Libya’s Sharara oilfield output dropped after security breaches: engineer

16 Aug 2017   Libya

Production at Libya’s Sharara oilfield dropped to between 130,000 and 150,000 barrels per day (bpd), from about 280,000 bpd, because of recent security breaches, an engineer who works at the field said on Tuesday. Field employees had difficulty accessing some of the field’s facilities after cars and mobile phones were stolen, said the engineer, who did not want to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media. It was not clear if production at Sharara had recovered since the security problems, which occurred several days ago. On Monday, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said security breaches in recent days were the result of an individual act, that the perpetrator had been punished and that the field was safe and secure. It gave no information about any impact on […]

Protesters drag Shell Niger Delta oil facility shutdown into fifth day

16 Aug 2017   Nigeria

Protesters on Tuesday dragged the shutdown of a Shell crude oil facility in the Niger Delta into its fifth day, after storming the flow station demanding jobs and infrastructure development last week. Echoing a common complaint in the impoverished swampland that produces most of Nigeria’s oil, the protesters said they were not benefiting from the region’s oil wealth and wanted an end to the oil pollution that has ruined much of the land. Protesters still numbered around 800 people, praying and cooking under canopies set up at the Belema Flow Station in Rivers state as security personnel watched. Shell had evacuated staff late on Thursday, the day before the protest, and shut the facility when it became clear the demonstrators were on their way there, the company has said. The firm also said last week that its “commitment to the welfare of host communities in […]

Oil Prices Inch Higher As Libya Closes Crude Export Terminal

15 Aug 2017   Libya, Prices

The Zueitina oil terminal in Libya has ceased loading cargos as port workers protest, demanding better working conditions, Bloomberg quoted the head of the workers’ union Merhi Abridan as saying. This means that oil coming from the fields around Zueitina will be stored at the port for the duration of the protest, and a spike in exports will likely follow. Zueitina is managed by a joint venture between the National Oil Corporation, Occidental Petroleum, and Austria’s OMV. The port exports an average of six 600,000 to 630,000-barrel cargoes a month, Abridan told Bloomberg. The workers at the port are demanding to be paid 20 months worth of delayed salaries, as well as health insurance, annual leave, payments for overtime work, and more time for maintenance work. At the same time, however, Libya’s overall crude output has been reduced by a decline in the production from its biggest field, Sharara. […]

Nigeria: We’ll Continue Operation Till You Empower Us, Ex-Illegal Oil Refiners Tell FG

15 Aug 2017   Nigeria

 Former illegal oil refiners in Rivers State have vowed to continue in their illegal dealings in petroleum products until the Federal Government provides them with empowerment.  The artisanal refiners, who are mainly drawn from the Ogoni extraction, noted that they cannot leave their only source of survival until the Federal Government provides them an alternative.  Their position was disclosed to Minister of State for Environment and Chairman, Governing Council, Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, Ibrahim Jibrin, in Port Harcourt, at a one-day consultative meeting organised by the office of the Project Coordination, HYPREP.  Speaking for the ex-artisanal refiners, Mr. Domka Humphrey said they can only stop refining petroleum products illegally if the Federal Government empowers them and include them in the remediation process in Ogoni.  Humphrey said: “Sir, I will tell you our minds, if you don’t empower us, we will not stop refining, because this is what we feed our families and relations with. We don’t have anything doing after government took away the pipeline surveillance from us.

Libya’s Oil Output Disrupted by Security Threats, Shut Terminal

14 Aug 2017   Libya

Sharara oil field output said to drop to 200,000 barrels a day Zueitina terminal ceased loadings on Saturday: union chief Libya’s biggest oil field has reduced crude production by more than 30 percent in recent days and the Zueitina export terminal ceased loadings over the weekend, throwing the OPEC country’s output back on a downward spiral. Output at the Sharara field was down to 200,000 barrels a day on Sunday, compared with 300,000 barrels a day about a week ago, a person familiar with the matter said Sunday, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential. Workers were being kept from certain areas for their own safety after two company vehicles were stolen at gunpoint, the person said. Zueitina port ceased loading on Saturday after employees demanded better working conditions, according to Merhi Abridan, head of the worker’s union. Libya’s crude output and exports reached a three-year […]

Nigerian Protesters Storm Shell Crude Oil Flow Station

12 Aug 2017   Nigeria

Hundreds of Nigerians stormed on Friday a Shell-owned crude flow station that feeds the Bonny export terminal, protesting against lack of jobs and demanding infrastructure development, according to a Reuters witness. The protesters were also asking for an end to oil pollution in the Niger Delta and claimed that they were not benefiting from the oil-rich resources in the restive area. The army sent reinforcements to the Belema Flow Station in Rivers State, after the protesters had said that they would remain at the facility for two weeks, according to the witness. It was not immediately clear if the protest had disrupted any operations or if the situation has had an impact on crude oil production. The Nigerian unit of Shell said on July 24 that it had shut its Trans Niger Pipeline due to a leak, while the managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said […]

Oil prices fall further as Libyan field resumes production

9 Aug 2017   Libya

Oil prices slipped further in Asian trading on Tuesday following a recovery in output at Libya’s largest oil field and as doubts about OPEC-led production cuts continue to weigh on the market. Global benchmark Brent crude futures were down 23 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $52.14 a barrel at 0244 GMT after dipping 0.1 percent in the previous session. U.S. crude futures were down 18 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $49.21 a barrel, having fallen 0.4 percent on Monday. Production from Libya’s 270,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) Sharara field was returning to normal after a brief disruption when armed protesters broke into a control room in the coastal city of Zawiya, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Monday. Libya was exempted from a push to cut global production and bolster oil prices led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other big producers like […]

Oil prices fall further as Libyan field resumes production

9 Aug 2017   Libya

Oil prices slipped further in Asian trading on Tuesday following a recovery in output at Libya’s largest oil field and as doubts about OPEC-led production cuts continue to weigh on the market. Global benchmark Brent crude futures were down 23 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $52.14 a barrel at 0244 GMT after dipping 0.1 percent in the previous session. U.S. crude futures were down 18 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $49.21 a barrel, having fallen 0.4 percent on Monday. Production from Libya’s 270,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) Sharara field was returning to normal after a brief disruption when armed protesters broke into a control room in the coastal city of Zawiya, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Monday. Libya was exempted from a push to cut global production and bolster oil prices led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other big producers like […]

Libyan oil production issue resolved

9 Aug 2017   Libya

Libyan oil disruption resolved and production is ramping up, a spokesperson for an energy company with a stake in operations said. File photo by cherezoff/Shutterstock Aug. 8 (UPI) — Matters that led to a disruption at Libya’s largest oil field have been resolved and the situation is improving, a spokesperson for an energy company said. A worker protest during the weekend led to halt in production from the Sharara field, the nation’s largest. According to Bloomberg News, which first reported the disruption , the field was pumping around 275,000 barrels per day by the latest count from July. A spokesperson from Austrian energy company OMV, which has a stake in those operations in the country, told UPI in response to emailed questions that “the issue is solved and production is ramping up.” Libya holds, by OMV’s estimate , around 47 billion barrels of oil. Onshore areas are considered mature, […]

Libya’s Sharara oil field gradually shutting down: engineer

7 Aug 2017   Libya

 Libya’s Sharara oilfield, which has been producing 270,000 barrels a day (bpd), is gradually shutting down after the closure of a control room in the northern city of Zawiya, an engineer at the field said late on Sunday. The engineer did not give details of why the control room had closed but posts by oil workers on Facebook said it had been stormed by an armed group. Libya has been exempted from an OPEC-led push to cut global production and bolster oil prices and the recovery of the North African country’s output over the past year has complicated the bloc’s efforts to curb global supply. A Libyan oil source, who confirmed Sharara was being shut down, said supplies of gasoline and jet fuel from Zawiya, which is home to an export terminal and a refinery, had also been halted. There was no immediate comment from the […]

Niger Delta Legalizes Illicit Oil Refineries

7 Aug 2017   Nigeria

The Nigerian government will make illicit refineries operating in the Niger Delta legal, and will even supply them with crude oil, the presidency announced yesterday. The legalization process will take until the end of the year, and the crude they will process will be sold at a reasonable price. The move, in stark contrast with years of forceful shutdowns of illegal refineries in the poverty-ridden Delta, follows negotiations between the federal government and local community leaders that were aimed at resolving problems, including oil theft that causes spills and losses for pipeline operators as well as lack of jobs in the area. Oil theft is how most of these mini-refineries get the crude to process, and it has been a major headache for Nigeria’s oil industry. Last month, Bloomberg’s Paul Wallace reported that according to Wood Mackenzie estimates, almost a third of the crude that flows along pipelines in […]

Nigeria’s NNPC in funding deals with foreign partners to develop oil fields

3 Aug 2017   Nigeria

Nigerian National Petroleum Corp said Thursday it had agreed new funding arrangements with four foreign partners to develop new oil fields in the Niger Delta that will substantially increase Nigerian reserves and daily production. The first of the deals, with US major Chevron Corp., is for development of two offshore oil blocks OMLs 91 and 91 and is expected to add 211 million barrels of oil and 1.9 Tcf of gas to Nigerian reserves, and potential output of 30,000 b/d of oil equivalent, the NNPC added. The second agreement was signed with the Shell, Total and Eni joint venture partnership for the development of several onshore and offshore oil fields that had long been delayed due to a lack of funds. “The deal (Project Santolina) is for an accelerated upstream production comprising of 156 development activities across 12 OMLs and 30 fields in the Niger Delta,” NNPC said. Lack […]

A reporter’s journey through Tripoli: Long lines, kidnappings and murder

2 Aug 2017   Libya

The line at the bank was two blocks long and Abdul bin Naji was once again praying for the doors to open. He desperately needed his $60. With Libya in the throes of a currency crisis, that was the weekly limit for withdrawals. For the past month, though, the bank hadn’t had any cash. That didn’t stop bin Naji and hundreds of others from arriving every night to get a good spot in line. On this morning, the unshaven airline employee was third from the door. At 10 a.m., the bank still hadn’t opened. “Thirty-two days and no money,” he sighed. Excruciatingly long bank lines are the latest misfortune for Libyans trapped in a cycle of war and economic upheaval. Six years after the revolution that toppled dictator Moammar Gaddafi, the mood […]

Nigeria: Security Still a Challenge in Niger Delta – Shell

2 Aug 2017   Nigeria

Shell Petroleum Development Company has disclosed that its operation is still threatened by insecurity in the Niger Delta. The company indicated in its latest report that crude oil theft, sabotage and related damage to oil and gas facilities continue to present significant security concerns in parts of the Niger Delta, as well as environmental damage, which is aggravated by the proliferation of illegal refineries in the area. It stated that illegal refining and third-party interference are the main sources of pollution in the Niger Delta today. According to the report, third-party interference is the cause of 90% of the number of spills of more than 100 kilograms from The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited operated Joint Venture (SPDC JV) pipelines in 2016. It stated that security in parts of the Niger Delta remains a major concern with persisting incidents of criminality, vandalism, threats from self-described militant groups, […]

Nigeria: Government Vows to Halt Oil Production If Cost Remains High

2 Aug 2017   Nigeria

International Oil Companies (IOCs) and their indigenous counterparts may soon be forced to halt operation, as the cost of producing a barrel of crude oil remains high. The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, says there is no way the country can keep producing, while the prices of crude remain low. The minister said that the oil sector has suffered infrastructural deficit of over $15 billion (N4.59 trillion) as many investment has been put on hold due to the low oil prices. At an international conference and exhibition organised by the Society of Petroleum Engineers in Lagos, he said it is better for Nigeria to stop crude oil production than to produce at a high cost. The minister said that government is compelled to work towards drastic reduction of cost of production because “there is no way this country will produce oil at this sort of […]

Nigeria: 3 Yrs of Low Oil Price and Nigeria’s Struggle for Survival

2 Aug 2017   Nigeria

After trading at over U.S.$100 per barrel for some years, the price of oil began to tomble down around July, 2014, falling to below U.S.$30 per barrel. The collapse of the price of crude created serious economic crisis for oil-reliant countries, including Nigeria. It was not unexpected that Nigeria became one of the countries most affected by the downturn. Central to the economic crisis that would later befall the country was her over reliance on oil. Oil accounts for 69 per cent of exports, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and around 70 per cent of government revenue. The impact started to be felt at the most unfavourable period, at the crucial time a new administration had just come into office. The slump in crude prices, Nigeria’s mainstay, hammered the country’s earnings, leading to a significant decline in the country’s foreign reserves and a free fall of […]

Nigeria: Boko Haram Attack On Nigeria Oil Team Killed Over 50

31 Jul 2017   Nigeria

More than 50 people were killed in a Boko Haram ambush on an oil exploration team in northeast Nigeria earlier this week, multiple sources told AFP news agency on Thursday, warning the death toll could rise. Tuesday’s attack in the Magumeri area of Borno state on a convoy of specialists from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was the group’s deadliest in months. It underscored the persistent threat posed by Boko Haram fighters, despite government claims they were a spent force, and also the risks associated with the hunt for crude in the volatile Lake Chad basin. Details of the ambush, which was initially thought to be a kidnapping attempt, have been slow to emerge and an exact death toll difficult to establish, as the military strictly controls access to rural Borno. Telecommunications and other infrastructure have been severely damaged or destroyed in the conflict, which has left at […]

Nigerian media reports halt to some crude oil production

28 Jul 2017   Nigeria

Nigerian media reported Thursday the federal government opted to halt crude oil exploration in part of the Niger Delta because of heightened security concerns. Militants struck a crude oil pipeline in Nigeria early this week , sidelining more than 100,000 barrels of oil per day. On Wednesday, militants abducted dozens of oil contractors working for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., though security forces were said to have conducted a successful rescue mission. Nigerian news service This Day reports nine soldiers and one civilian were killed during the operation. Nigeria is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, but is exempt from a multilateral agreement to stem production because it needs oil revenue to fund national security efforts. Improvements late […]

Nigeria To Shake Off The Shackles Of Oil

27 Jul 2017   Nigeria

Nigeria is now saying that “era of oil booms” may be over—for good. According to its national petroleum policy approved this week by the federal executive council, the country plans to cut its oil exploration costs and move away from reliance on revenues from crude oil exports. Its expectations are that oil prices will hover near $45 per barrel “for the foreseeable future”, necessitating a shift towards diversifying its economy and develop its own refining and petrochemical sectors. “The most realistic line of action for any nation with oil as the backbone of its economy is to diversify, because indices strongly point to the possibility that the era of oil booms may be over for good”, said the policy . In accordance with this 112-page policy document, the other aim of Africa’s second biggest oil producer is to reduce the cost of extracting oil, which now stands at $29 […]

Unlikely humanitarians – shippers returning to Libya face a tough moral dilemma

26 Jul 2017   Libya

A surge in Libyan oil exports — production has increased sharply in the past few months, jumping to four-year highs of over 1 million b/d this month — is seeing more and more oil tankers travel to and from the North African country’s key oil terminals, increasing tanker activity and pushing up freight rates in the Mediterranean. So far, so good for shipowners. But as more tankers call at Libyan ports, something which they were happy to avoid altogether less than a year ago, they can find themselves being drawn into the role of unlikely — and possibly begrudging — humanitarians. Increasingly they are receiving calls to assist unseaworthy vessels carrying migrants heading for Europe, shipping sources say. Under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) — which was first introduced after the sinking of the Titanic — all vessels have a legal obligation to […]

Militants hit Nigerian crude oil pipeline

26 Jul 2017   Nigeria

Nigerian crude oil production was lowered following a militant tank on an oil pipeline, the state oil company said. File photo by vanhurck/Shutterstock July 25 (UPI) — A militant attack on a crude oil pipeline in Nigeria has sidelined more than 100,000 barrels of oil per day, the head of a state oil company announced. Maikanit Baru, the head of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., said as-yet identified saboteurs caused a breach on a major transit artery, curbing 150,000 barrels of oil per day. The rupture from the Trans-Niger pipeline came as parties to a committee monitoring a production agreement coordinated by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, of which Nigeria is a member, met to consider its impacts. Baru said the problem at the pipeline created obstacles to sustaining what he said was the 2.2 million barrels of crude oil production per day reached last week. “Unfortunately, we […]

Libya’s Oil King Won’t Be Stopped By OPEC

24 Jul 2017   Libya

Conflict-torn Libya, divided between rival factions in the east and the west, recently reached 1 million bpd of crude oil output—for the first time since 2013. The oil production recovery has put in the spotlight the chairman of Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC), Mustafa Sanalla, whom analysts see as a central figure in the oil sector, wearing the hats of both a diplomat and an oil minister. It will be Sanalla who will lead Libya’s delegation at the upcoming meeting of the Joint OPEC-Non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) in Russia, at which he will argue his country’s position and share production plans for the immediate future. And the monitoring committee will be eager to find out how much Libya’s plans could further offset the cartel and friends’ production cuts, from which the African nation is—for now at least—exempt. Winning exemption at the time of the November OPEC deal wasn’t […]

Backing Of Workers, Communities Key To Libya’s Oil Revival

21 Jul 2017   Libya

When the head of Libya’s state energy company visited Sharara oil field in early July, community leaders and workers crowded into a conference room to ask about jobs, training and services for local people. When, they asked, would their villages start to see the benefit of the country’s rising oil production? “You’ve been very patient,” Mustafa Sanalla reassured them, before adding: “You need to be patient a little longer.” Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) raised output to more than one million barrels per day (bpd) at the end of June for the first time since 2013, a feat that seemed near impossible after the chaos that followed […]

Nigeria Oil Thieves Keep a Lid on Output Even as Bombs Abate

21 Jul 2017   Nigeria

The continual disruption blighting the impoverished delta region threatens plans to exceed 2 million barrels a day, according to Wood Mackenzie. (Bloomberg) — The Agbada 2 flow station should have been buzzing with activity, pumping crude to one of Nigeria’s largest export terminals. Instead it was idle in the muggy, mid-morning heat as Wilcox Emmanuel, the facility’s manager, shrugged in resignation about the thieves who’d shut him down. As much as 30 percent of the oil sent by pipelines through the swampy Niger River delta is stolen, consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. estimates. That’s depriving the country of income amid a crippling recession and compounding the pain of a global price slump for Africa’s largest producer. At Agbada, the wells dotting the surrounding forests had been closed for three weeks following a pipeline leak that was probably deliberate. “Who knows when we’ll be back up?” Emmanuel said. The 60,000-barrel-a-day flow […]

Libya’s NOC chief to attend OPEC, non-OPEC meeting: statement

18 Jul 2017   Libya, OPEC

The head of Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Tuesday he would lead a Libyan delegation to a meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers in St Petersburg, Russia on July 22 to share his country’s production plans. NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla will share with a technical committee “the factors enabling and constraining Libya’s production recovery”, he said in a statement. “I will consult with significant Libyan decision-makers before I leave and hope to present a unified Libyan position in St Petersburg that will show we can act together in the national interest,” Sanalla said. The technical committee involving six OPEC and non-OPEC members is due to convene before ministers from the countries hold talks in the Russian city on July 24. OPEC members Libya and Nigeria have boosted production since they were exempted from an OPEC-led deal to cut output, weighing on global prices. […]

Egypt Sets Sights on Doubling Natural Gas Output by 2020

18 Jul 2017   Egypt

Three recently discovered major gas fields are expected to raise Egypt’s natural gas output by 50 percent in 2018 and 100 percent in 2020, the petroleum ministry said. “The fields of Zohr, North Alexandria and Nooros are among the most important projects that will increase natural gas production … and will contribute to (Egypt’s) natural gas self-sufficiency by the end of 2018,” Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla said in a statement, which set out the production forecasts. Egypt’s natural gas production rose to about 5.1 billion cubic feet per day in 2017 from 4.4 billion cubic feet in 2016 with the start of production from the first phase of BP’s North Alexandria project. Egypt has been seeking to speed up gas production […]

U.S. seeks to recover $144 million in Nigeria oil industry bribery case

15 Jul 2017   Nigeria

The U.S. Justice Department on Friday filed a civil complaint seeking to recover about $144 million in assets obtained through paying bribes to a former Nigerian oil minister, the department said in a statement. The complaint said that from 2011 to 2015 two Nigerian businessmen conspired with others to pay bribes to the minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, who steered lucrative oil contracts to companies owned by them. The proceeds were laundered in and through the United States, and were used to purchase assets including a $50 million Manhattan condominium and an $80 million yacht, it said. Alison-Madueke was charged with money laundering in Nigeria, the country’s financial crimes agency said in April. She previously denied to Reuters any wrongdoing when questioned about missing public funds and corruption allegations.

Libya gains balance Nigerian oil loss

15 Jul 2017   Libya, Nigeria, OPEC

Officials from a state oil company in Libya brief representatives from Norwegian energy company Statoil about the potential to bring production back to normal levels. Photo courtesy of the Libyan National Oil Corp. July 14 (UPI) — Disruption to Nigerian oil exports is offset by production gains from Libya, which is on pace to add another 100,000 barrels per day to the market, a market report found. Nigeria and Libya are two members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries exempt from a multilateral effort to balance the market with production declines so they can steer oil revenue to national security efforts. Since the deal was implemented in January, both countries have stabilized somewhat and in part undermined the broader OPEC-led effort. OPEC economists in their monthly market report for July said that, combined, Nigeria and Libya were adding about a quarter million barrels of oil per day to […]

Shell Nigeria Declares Force Majeure On Nigerian Light Oil Exports

15 Jul 2017   Nigeria

Shell’s Nigerian unit declared a force majeure on Bonny Light crude oil exports effective 12:00 local time on Thursday, just two weeks after it had lifted a previous force majeure on exports of the grade. According to Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd, as quoted by Reuters, the force majeure was declared after Aiteo, the operator of the Nembe Creek Trunk Line—one of two pipelines that export the Bonny Light grade—shut down the line. On June 30, a Shell spokesman told Platts that the company had lifted a force majeure on Bonny Light exports on June 28. That force majeure was declared on June 8 after the other export pipeline, Trans Niger Pipeline, was shut down following a sabotage attack by oil thieves. The grade was exported, but cargoes were delayed by around 10 days. Exports of Bonny Light in June were planned at 203,000 bpd . The […]

Capping Libya, Nigeria Output Won’t Help Erase The Glut

14 Jul 2017   Libya, Nigeria, OPEC

The steady recovery of oil production in Libya and Nigeria in recent months has prompted OPEC to consider limiting the output of the two African producers that are currently exempt from cuts in the deal. The Joint OPEC-Non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) is gathering in Russia on July 24, and has invited Nigeria and Libya to attend to discuss their current production and short-term plans. According to Kuwait’s Oil Minister Issam Almarzooq, OPEC might ask the two nations to cap output as soon as possible. Talk of Libya and Nigeria possibly capping crude production has had little effect on the market, and analysts doubt that a limit would be lower than the current production of the two countries. Observers think that the two producers would agree to cap output when they reach their short-term production targets, which is 1.25 million bpd for Libya and 1.8 million bpd for Nigeria. […]

Failure to address Africa’s rising population is not an option

14 Jul 2017   Africa, Population

Africa will dominate global population growth in the 21st century. Almost 1bn people, or 13 per cent of the world’s population, live in sub-Saharan Africa today. That number will more than double by 2050 and 4bn people (or 36 per cent of the world’s population) could live in the region by 2100, according to a projection last month by the UN Population Division. The main reason for the rapid growth is a sharp decline in infant and child mortality, with no associated reduction in birth rates. Today, sub-Saharan women have five children on average, compared with 6.7 in 1970. Growing populations in the sub-Saharan region will influence societies, economic outcomes and geopolitics. In addition, the expected effects on food and water security (exacerbated by climate change) will be unprecedented. These trends will impact not only the region but the rest of the world. Europe appears to be particularly vulnerable as migration from sub-Saharan Africa is likely to intensify in coming decades. The good news is that African demographics appear to be commanding more international attention. The G20-Africa Partnership Conference, held in Berlin in June, focused specifically on Africa’s population boom. The G20 Summit in Hamburg this weekend will also address Africa’s population size and highlight the need for better employment opportunities. Sub-Saharan Africa is at a crossroads regarding the potential to capture a demographic dividend — an economic surplus triggered by the decline in birth rates, a decrease in the number of young dependants and an increase in the proportion of working-age adults. But the pressing policy question is whether the region can replicate the conditions that enabled several east Asian countries to prosper from their own demographic dividends from the early 1960s to the 1990s.

Nigeria to put off deciding whether to join OPEC cuts, minister says

13 Jul 2017   Nigeria, OPEC

Nigeria supports OPEC’s efforts to stabilize oil prices, but it wants to wait before deciding whether join the cartel’s cuts in oil production, its oil minister said on Wednesday. “Hopefully, in the next two to three months we can see how predictable the production return has been and then can say we feel stabilized and need to make the corresponding cuts,” Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu told reporters. Nigeria and Libya, whose output has been hit by political turmoil and attacks, are exempt from an the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreement, which is an effort to reduce a glut of crude oil on world markets. Nigeria’s benchmark level to join the OPEC cuts is production of 1.8 million barrels of crude a day. Its current output is around 1.7 million barrels a day, excluding condensates, Kachikwu said. Nigeria’s output had improved in recent months, after the government […]

More oil discovered off the coast of Senegal

12 Jul 2017   Senegal

More oil discovered in the deep waters off the coast of Senegal, which the companies involved say confirms its potential. Photo courtesy of Cairn Energy July 11 (UPI) — Oil was discovered again off the coast of Senegal, which companies said Tuesday would be added to the reserve potential in the emerging basin. Scottish energy company Cairn leads a consortium probing the reserves in waters off the coast of West Africa. At its FAN South-1 exploration well offshore Senegal, the company said oil was encountered and work was under way to establish the potential for commercial development of the deepwater prospect. Cairn Energy CEO Simon Thomson said FAN South-1 was the tenth well drilled in three years and the second to uncover oil and the deeper portion of the basin. According to FAR Ltd., the company’s drilling partner, FAN South-1 could hold as much as 134 million barrels of […]

Algeria seen as African leader for renewable energy

11 Jul 2017   Algeria, Renewables

General Electric highlights Algeria’s renewable energy potential during low-carbon conference for African economies. File photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI July 10 (UPI) — Algeria is ahead of the curve when it comes to renewable energy potential in Africa and General Electric aims to ride that momentum, a regional manager said. GE sponsored a conference on renewable energy in the African sector, highlighting Algeria’s lead in wind and solar power developments. By 2030, the government aims to install about 22,000 megawatts of renewable power, which would be about eight times the level of natural gas consumption by today’s standards. Touffik Fredj, the regional chairman and CEO for GE, said that, for its size, Algeria has a great capacity for wind energy. “The country is heavily involved in energy transition and the integration of renewable energies,” he said in a statement . “We look forward to seeing this transition happen and thereby […]

At least 23 Egyptian soldiers killed in deadliest Sinai attack in years

10 Jul 2017   Egypt

At least 23 Egyptian soldiers were killed when two suicide car bombs tore through military checkpoints in North Sinai province on Friday, security sources said, in one of the bloodiest coordinated assaults on security forces in years. Islamic State militants are waging an insurgency in the rugged, thinly populated Sinai Peninsula. They have killed hundreds of soldiers and police since 2013, when the military ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi after mass protests against his rule. The two cars blew up as they passed through two checkpoints outside of a military compound just south of Rafah, on the border with the Gaza Strip, the security sources said. No group claimed responsibility for the attacks. The security sources said another 26 soldiers were injured in Friday’s attacks. The military put the casualties lower, saying the attacks had killed and injured a total of 26 soldiers, without providing a breakdown of the […]

More oil possible from Libya, Nigeria, a report finds

7 Jul 2017   Libya, Nigeria, OPEC

A report Thursday from oil pricing group Platts stated that more production is possible from OPEC members Libya and Nigeria, adding to supply-side concerns. A survey of production from members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries by Platts found total group production rose 220,000 barrels per day between May and June. Total production last month was a six-month high for OPEC. OPEC, with support from non-member state producers like Russia, is coordinating an effort to balance a lopsided market with managed production declines. Libya and Nigeria are exempt from the arrangement so they can support national security efforts with oil revenue. Platts reported that Libyan oil production in June was around 810,000 barrels per day for its highest level in nearly […]

Libya’s eastern commander declares victory in battle for Benghazi

6 Jul 2017   Libya

FILE PHOTO: General Khalifa Haftar, commander in the Libyan National Army (LNA), leaves after a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Russia, November 29, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo Libya’s eastern commander Khalifa Haftar said on Wednesday his forces had taken full control of Libya’s second city Benghazi from rival armed groups after a three-year campaign. The battle for Benghazi between Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) and an array of Islamist militants and other fighters has been part of a broader conflict since Libya slipped into chaos following the 2011 fall of strongman Muammar Gaddafi. Victory would mark a major advance for the former Gaddafi ally who has slowly gained ground in eastern and southern Libya in defiance of a U.N.-backed government in the west in the capital Tripoli that is struggling to extend its influence. “Your armed forces declare to you the liberation of Benghazi […]

East Libya forces say they’ve taken full control of Benghazi

6 Jul 2017   Egypt

 Libyan forces in the country’s east say they have cleared the final remaining pockets of the city of Benghazi of Islamist militiamen and armed opponents. The head of the self-styled Libyan National Army, Gen. Khalifa Hifter, says that all that remained were some land mines and bombs to clear. He spoke in televised comments Wednesday. He says his army “congratulates the Libyan people and thanks all the backing forces and neighboring who supported us.” He says: “Benghazi will enter a new era of security, stability, prosperity and peace. Displaced people will return home.” Celebratory gunfire and fireworks rang out in the city’s streets. Libya descended into chaos following the 2011 civil war that toppled and killed dictator Moammar Gadhafi. The oil-rich nation is now split between rival governments and militias.

Nigeria Only Oil Producing Country Struggling With Importation of Refined Products – Kachikwu

30 Jun 2017   Nigeria

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu Wednesday stated that the present oil that has remained the main stay of the nation’s economy may not last beyond 39 years. The Minister also lamented that Nigeria remained the only oil producing country still struggling with the importation of refined petroleum products. Speaking at the 5th Triennial National Delegates Conference of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN in Abuja Kachukwu described as embarrassing the country’s inability to refine oil in the country. Predicting the future of oil in the country, he said the nation’s future lies in the area of gas, saying at best, the nation’s oil reserve will last for another 25 to 39 years, while the nation’s gas reserve will last for over 60 years. According to him, “For me, the whole idea of continuing importation of petroleum products in this country is […]

Ghana Production To Average 200,000 BPD In 2017

30 Jun 2017   Ghana

Ghanaian oil production will average 200,000 barrels per day in 2017, despite a two-month shutdown at one of the small African nation’s major production facilities. The Jubilee floating, production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) facility will go offline in September and October for repairs on a damaged turret, according to Mohammed Amin Adam, deputy secretary of energy for petroleum. The Tullow-operated FPSO shut down operations in March-April 2016 as well, due to an unrelated technical problem at the 68,500-barrel-per-day facility. Meanwhile, Ghana’s Sankofa field started production three months earlier than anticipated, according to an announcement from the project’s partners earlier this month. Italian Eni holds a 44.44 percent stake in the project, which pumps 45,000 barrels of oil per day from the field in the ongoing first phase of the enterprise. By next year, the $7.9 billion Offshore Cape Three Points venture will also extract 180 million cubic feet of […]

Nigeria Near 40-Billion-Barrel Oil Reserves Target

30 Jun 2017   Nigeria

The plan by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to grow the nation’s crude oil reserves to 40 billion barrels by the year 2020 received a major boost yesterday with the execution of a tripartite agreement in Abuja. The agreement was between the NNPC/FIRST Exploration & Production Joint Venture and Schlumberger for the development of the Anyalu and Madu fields in the Niger Delta under Oil Mining Licence, OML 83 and OML 85, offshore Nigeria. Under the agreement, Schlumberger would provide the over $700 million development cost of the Anyala and Madu fields which would generate 193 million barrels of crude oil into the current reserves of 37.2billion barrels and an additional 800 billion cubic feet of gas into the nation’s proven gas reserves which currently stand at 197 Trillion Cubic feet of gas. In terms of daily production, the fields will yield 50, 000 barrels of crude oil […]

Nigeria: Neiti – Over U.S.$21.8 Billion Unaccounted for By NNPC

24 Jun 2017   Nigeria

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has revealed that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is supposed to remit over $21.8 billion billions to the Federation Account. The agency’s Director of Communications, Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, on spoke thursday on ARISE Television, a THISDAY sister broadcast station, said the discovery came as a result of the audited account of the NNPC. He explained that the unremitted amount was a combination of monies earned by the NNPC and all its subsidiaries from several projects executed in the oil sector in the past few years, but were not remitted to the federation account. He further said the agency’s report had been made known to the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who was impressed with its findings. He said the agency discovered that the money was earned but not remitted to the Federation Account. He added that such unremitted money could be […]

Rosneft aims to export Egyptian natural gas

24 Jun 2017   Egypt, Russia

Russian energy company Rosneft is expected to start exporting natural gas from an Egyptian field considered to be among the world’s largest. Eni made its initial gas discovery in the Zohr field in Egypt two years ago and quickly described it as the largest ever made in regional waters and potentially the largest in the world. Egypt aims to become a regional hub for gas and liquefied natural gas, though availability at the domestic sector could complicate growth. In December, the Italian company sold off a 30 percent stake in the Egyptian basin to Rosneft in an agreement valued at about $1.6 billion. A source close to the company was quoted by Russian news agency Tass as saying Rosneft aims to deliver gas to regional […]

Nigerian Crude Exports to Hit 17-Month High in August

23 Jun 2017   Nigeria

Nigerian crude exports will top 2 million barrels per day in August, reaching a 17-month high, according to new data compiled by Reuters on Thursday. Attacks by militants in the Niger Delta had crippled production in 2016, but the African nation has been rebuilding output steadily through 2017. Drops in output last year were so bad that OPEC exempted Abuja from the bloc’s November deal to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day. The new rise in exports can partially be attributed to delayed shipments from July, Reuters said. An estimated 2.02 million bpd of Nigerian crude will leave ports on 67 tankers in August, along with another 97,000 bpd of condensates. The Forcados crude grade began loading again earlier this month, when Royal Dutch Shell lifted a force majeure on facilities related to the grade. A total of 10.3 million barrels of Forcados crude will be shipped […]

Once Again, Tensions Are Rising In Nigeria’s Oil Sector

23 Jun 2017   Nigeria

On 2nd May 2017, Nigeria’s House of Representatives rejected a motion requesting that the House compel international oil companies (IOCs) to relocate their headquarters to the Niger Delta. The initiative initially emerged in March 2017, when then-acting President Yemi Osinbajo disclosed that the government was considering the move as part of a wider effort to restore peace to the oil-rich region, which has suffered from decades of ethnic and political unrest. Despite over half a century of oil production in the Niger Delta – which holds 95 percent of the country’s oil reserves – Nigeria’s key oil-producing region has remained subject to extensive corruption and severe underinvestment. The Niger Delta region consists of nine states: Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ondo, Abia and Imo, but the majority of oil production is focused in Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta states. Due to endemic government corruption, and economic mismanagement, […]