International arbitration sought over Gambian oil licenses

19 Oct 2017   Gambia

African Petroleum said its looking to international arbitration to protect its assets off the coast of Gambia. After hinting of trouble earlier this week, African Petroleum said it was now pursuing legal routes to protect its assets off the coast of Gambia. The company said that its subsidiaries in Gambia filed requests for arbitration at an international dispute chamber to protect two of its offshore licenses. “We believe arbitration is necessary to protect our interests in these licenses in which we have made significant investment over the years,” CEO Jens Pace said in a statement . Two Gambian blocks combine for an estimated 1 billion barrels of unrisked barrels of oil and are in close proximity to the SNE oil field offshore Senegal, one of the largest finds in recent years. West African countries have been at odds over their […]

African Petroleum shaky, but confident, about oil offshore West Africa

African Petroleum upbeat about its prospects despite a series of setbacks with its West African portfolio. Photo courtesy of African Petroleum. Oct. 16 (UPI) — Some of the more promising oil basins off the coast of West Africa are close to the point of pay off despite recent setbacks, African Petroleum said Monday. African Petroleum has assets in Gambia, Senegal, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone. Of those, Senegal holds the most oil in its territorial waters, but much of the region is unexplored and the full potential has yet to be realized. Hailed as one of the largest discoveries when declared in 2014, the companies tied to Senegal say the SNE offshore field, combined with other exploration developments, may hold more than 1.5 billion barrels of oil. Australian energy company FAR Ltd. and British company Cairn Energy, the operator, declared a new discovery offshore Senegal in August , just […]

Russia, Morocco Sign String Of Energy And Military Deals

13 Oct 2017   Morocco, Russia

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev discussed supplying liquefied Russian natural gas to Morocco on a visit to Rabat on October 11 during which he signed a string of energy, military, and other deals. Medvedev met with Moroccan Prime Minister Saadeddine El Othmani and presided at a signing ceremony for 11 bilateral agreements covering cooperation in such areas as customs, agriculture, the military, culture, energy efficiency, and nuclear energy. Medvedev touted what he called a “very promising project to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to meet the needs of the Moroccan economy,” saying during a press conference that “the potential for cooperation is huge.” Russia’s energy minister, Aleksandr Novak, on a visit to Morocco last month said an LNG regasification terminal was being built and the two countries discussed gas deliveries by the Russian groups Gazprom and Novatek, local media reported. Morocco has few oil and gas reserves of its […]

Nigeria: Government Rules Out Possibility of Building New Refineries

12 Oct 2017   Nigeria

The Federal Government has ruled out the possibility of building new refineries to compliment the four existing ones in Nigeria.The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, who made this known in an online media chart with journalists recently, said government has no immediate plans to build new refineries. He disclosed that the Federal Government is currently planning to refurbish the existing ones, which have 450,000 barrels in terms of combined capacity.Kachikwu attributed the current drop in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to market forces. “Anything can affect the pricing either way as recently seen in the United State where the hurricane induced an almost 15 per cent increase in crude oil prices. Efficiency of refineries will definitely help to bring down price of PMS”, he added. Meanwhile, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced a total export receipt of $471.90 million for the month […]

Nigerian producers eye India’s new-found appetite for US crude

12 Oct 2017   Nigeria, USA

The competition that Nigerian crude oil cargoes has faced from US crude oil grades in Northwest Europe over the past two years has begun to expand into other regions, according to trading sources. Largest buyer of Nigerian oil India importing more US oil NNPC pragmatic on US crude threat Since the US crude export ban was lifted in December 2015, there has been a gradual increase in shipments of US barrels to Northwest European and Mediterranean refiners, with the flow increasing sharply in recent weeks due to a wider Brent/WTI futures spread. As Northwest Europe is a major demand center for Nigerian light sweet barrels, this could be a rather bearish development for Nigerian differentials. In recent weeks, this competition has also extended east, with India increasingly looking to the US for its crude oil buy tenders. India is the largest buyer of Nigerian crude and as such plays […]

Niger Delta State Looks To Break Free From Oil

11 Oct 2017   Nigeria

Bayelsa, a state in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, will search for non-oil natural resources to diversify away from its main commodity—oil. This is what the state’s new commissioner in the Ministry of Mineral Resources said after taking office. Markson Fefegha added that there are plans in place to buy geological survey equipment to be used for mapping the province and its mineral resources. Funding will hopefully come from international mineral resources companies, but the Bayelsa government is also considering directly approaching the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and China’s Exim Bank. According to commissioner Fefegha, the discovery and exploitation of new mineral resources will boost Bayelsa’s monthly internal revenue to US$14 million (5 billion naira), from about US$5.56 million (2 billion naira) currently. These plans, however, do not aim to replace oil revenues, but rather to complement them. Admitting that Bayelsa is dependent on the income […]

Rosneft To Buy 30% Stake In Giant Zohr Gas Field

Russia’s oil giant Rosneft has closed the deal to buy from Italy’s Eni a 30-percent stake in the offshore concession in Egypt where the giant Zohr gas field is located, for US$1.125 billion, the Russian firm said on Monday. Rosneft also refunded its share in past project costs to the Italian company, which discovered Zohr in 2015 and plans to start production by the end of this year. Zohr has a total potential of 850 billion cubic meters of gas in place and is the largest natural gas field ever discovered in the Mediterranean, according to Eni, which has also divested an additional 10 percent in the concession to supermajor BP. Under the initial terms of Eni’s deal with Rosneft from December last year, the Russian firm would pay US$1.125 billion and the pro-quota reimbursement of past expenditures, which amounted at the time to around US$450 million. In addition, […]

French supermajor Total places bet on offshore Guinea

10 Oct 2017   Guinea

French energy company Total said Monday it was expecting a big oil pay off from the under-explored deep waters off the coast of the Republic of Guinea. The company signed an evaluation agreement with the National Office of Petroleum of Guinea for deep and “ultra-deep” areas off the Guinean coast. “By taking this position on a new under-explored area, Total pursues its exploration strategy targeting deep offshore prospective basins,” Kevin McLachlan, a senior vice president for exploration and production at Total, said in a statement . “Therefore, Total has the opportunity to evaluate a very large area, located in an extension of the prolific Mauritania-Senegal basin where we already are.” Companies like Australia’s FAR Ltd. […]

Total to Map Guinea Oil Blocks with Option to Acquire Three

7 Oct 2017   Guinea

French oil giant Total signed an agreement on Friday with Guinea’s national oil company ONAP to carry out seismic mapping of deep and ultra-deep offshore blocks with an option to acquire three of them, a statement said. Total’s interest in Guinea expands on an already aggressive strategy in the deep waters offshore West Africa, though the deal appears less binding than those signed this year in Mauritania and Senegal where it bought stakes in blocks. The company will have one year to carry out a first evaluation of the blocks and will share the results with ONAP. “At the end of this period, the group will have the possibility of subscribing to three blocks for an exploration programme in conformity with […]

Egyptian Company to Develop Mature Oil Fields With Mexico’s Pemex

5 Oct 2017   Egypt, Mexico

State oil company Pemex’s effort to secure a partner for two shallow-water fields in the Gulf of Mexico fell flat as none of the registered companies presented bids. Cheiron, part of the Pico Group, will join Pemex in the Cárdenas and Mora fields in the southern state of Tabasco, which are estimated to contain combined reserves of about 93 million barrels of light and extra light crude. Cheiron specializes in developing mature fields. Cardenas and Mora are in the second of three areas for which Pemex was seeking partners at Wednesday’s auctions. No bids were made for two shallow-water fields in the Gulf of Mexico—Ayín and Batsil—under a production-sharing contract. Bids for the onshore Ogarrio field are scheduled for later Wednesday. All three auctions are for 50% stakes in the projects. Ayín and Batsil are located in the southern Gulf of Mexico near Pemex’s main offshore-producing region, although at […]

Libya’s Sharara Oil Field Resumes Production

5 Oct 2017   Libya

After a three-day suspension of production due to a blockade by an armed group, Libya’s giant Sharara oil field re-opened on Wednesday, Bloomberg reports, quoting an emailed statement by Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC). As of Wednesday, the NOC lifted the force majeure at Sharara—which had been closed since Sunday evening—and is able to restart delivering oil from Sharara to customers, the Libyan company said. Less than a month after Sharara returned to pump oil following a two-week disruption, the field closed again on Sunday evening, shutting in more than 230,000 bpd of Libya’s crude oil production. According to a trading source who spoke to Reuters on Monday, the latest shutdown at Sharara was due to a protest over salaries. Just before the oil field was closed on Sunday, it was producing around 236,000 bpd, an engineer at the oil field told Reuters. The armed group that had blocked […]

Egyptian Company to Develop Mature Oil Fields With Mexico’s Pemex

5 Oct 2017   Egypt, Mexico

State oil company Pemex’s effort to secure a partner for two shallow-water fields in the Gulf of Mexico fell flat as none of the registered companies presented bids. Cheiron, part of the Pico Group, will join Pemex in the Cárdenas and Mora fields in the southern state of Tabasco, which are estimated to contain combined reserves of about 93 million barrels of light and extra light crude. Cheiron specializes in developing mature fields. Cardenas and Mora are in the second of three areas for which Pemex was seeking partners at Wednesday’s auctions. No bids were made for two shallow-water fields in the Gulf of Mexico—Ayín and Batsil—under a production-sharing contract. Bids for the onshore Ogarrio field are scheduled for later Wednesday. All three auctions are for 50% stakes in the projects. Ayín and Batsil are located in the southern Gulf of Mexico near Pemex’s main offshore-producing region, although at […]

Nigeria’s “Zero Oil Plan”

4 Oct 2017   Nigeria

I recently reported on the development of economic diversification plans among countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as oil demand prepares to reach a climax in 30 years. Nigeria, among other African producers, has begun to adopt the same policy, according to new goals announced by Abuja this week. The National Economic Council (NEC) aims to increase total non-oil government revenues fivefold from $5 billion to $25 billion over an unspecified timeline. Nigerian oil revenues collapsed by $100 billion between 2015 and 2017 due to the ongoing oil price crisis, curtailed only slightly by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) agreement to lower output by 1.2 million barrels per day. A militancy in the Niger Delta seriously curtailed oil production in the country’s oil-rich areas. Locals argue that Lagos, the Nigerian economic capital, and Abuja, the political capital, have monopolized the nation’s oil wealth, leaving those residents […]

Libya’s Sharara Oil Field Closed Again, 230,000 Bpd Output Offline

3 Oct 2017   Libya

Less than a month after Libya’s giant oil field Sharara returned to pump oil following a two-week disruption, Sharara closed again on Sunday evening, and more than 230,000 bpd of Libya’s oil production is currently offline again, Reuters reported on Monday, citing an oil source and an engineer at the field. Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) was “working towards a swift restart of production. At this moment, there are no plans to declare force majeure,” Reuters quoted the NOC as saying in a statement today. According to a trading source, the latest shutdown at Sharara was due to a protest over salaries. Just before the oil field was closed on Sunday, it was producing around 236,000 bpd, the engineer at the field told Reuters. Yesterday’s shutdown is the latest in a string of issues with blockades and closings at the Sharara field this year. At the beginning of last […]

KBR to work at gas sites in Algeria hit by terror attacks in recent years

3 Oct 2017   Algeria

Engineering company KBR said Monday it would support construction activity for gas operations in Algeria at two sites hit in terrorist attacks in recent years. KBR, which has headquarters in Texas, said it was awarded a contract for management support services by a joint venture between British energy BP, Algerian energy company Sonatrach and Norwegian major Statoil. “Under the terms of the contract, KBR will provide detail design engineering, procurement services, as well as construction management at the major gas developments at In Salah Gas and In Amenas,” the company stated Monday . Algeria has the 10th-largest natural gas deposits in the world and is the third-largest supplier to Europe. Its exports have been in decline, however, […]

OPEC-member Libya still in turmoil, EU report finds

3 Oct 2017   Libya

A European memo on the status of stability in OPEC-member Libya warns that progress in the war-torn country may be limited. The EUobserver reported Monday it obtained access to a “restricted” report from the European Union’s Border Assistance Mission in Libya that describes lingering fractures remaining in Libya six years after civil conflict led to the death of long-time ruler Moammar Gadhafi . “Sustainable progress may remain limited in the absence of a political solution, an end to the military conflict and a return to stability,” the 21-page document read. Last month, the mandate for the U.N. Support Mission in Libya was extended for another year. In its resolution , the U.N. Security […]

Libya’s giant Sharara oilfield closed as gunmen press demands

3 Oct 2017   Libya

FILE PHOTO: A general view of the El Sharara oilfield, Libya December 3, 2014. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny/File Photo TRIPOLI (Reuters) – An armed group forced Libya’s giant Sharara oilfield to close late on Sunday, shutting off production of more than 230,000 barrels per day (bpd), the head of the state oil company said. Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) declared force majeure on deliveries of Sharara crude, citing “unrest”, according to a letter seen by Reuters. NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla promised that production would restart by Monday evening. Sanalla told reporters that the armed group, Brigade 30, were demanding the release of group members who had been detained. In comments to Libya’s Channel TV station, he said they were guards demanding salary payments. It was unclear if the guards were employed in an official capacity at the field. A statement purporting to be from Brigade 30 said it had closed the […]

Nigeria: How Much Did Former Oil Minister ‘Steal’?

3 Oct 2017   Nigeria

Cape Town — Diezani Alison-Madueke, served under former president Goodluck Jonathan from 2010 to 2015 and was Nigeria’s first female minister of petroleum resources. She has been accused of corruption and misappropriation of the country’s funds during her administration. Since leaving office in 2015, Alison-Madueke has been implicated in bribery, fraud, misuse of public funds, and money-laundering cases in Nigeria, Britain, Italy and the United States. The former minister is alleged to have stolen at least U.S.$90 billion from the state. Do you know how much US.$90 billion is? The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, described the assets recovered from embattled former minister, as just the beginning. A string of court ordered forfeitures has already began after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission applied to the courts to reclaim the money and the property on behalf of the government. The anti-graft agency has […]

Morocco Boosts Solar Investments To Benefit Agriculture

2 Oct 2017   Morocco, Solar

In early August the Ministry of Energy, Mining and Sustainable Development (Ministère de l’Energie, des Mines et du Développement Durable, MEMDD) earmarked Dh2.3bn (€206.1m) for investments in solar power, to be directed towards projects capable of lifting agricultural output. The capital will be used to promote the use of solar energy to power water pumps for irrigation as part of a plan to expand agricultural water access to more than 100,000 ha of new land by 2021. The move should also help reduce consumption of butane gas in farming operations, part of broader government efforts to shift towards clean energy. Solar capacity expands at the Noor Ouarzazate complex The government of Morocco has been pursuing renewable energy for some time. In mid-2016 Noor II and Noor III, the second and third facilities of the massive Noor solar power complex near Ouarzazate, were commissioned. Estimated to cost $9bn in total, […]

Russia’s Man in Libya Turns to the Street in Bid to Take Power

2 Oct 2017   Libya

Campaign says 700,000 people have signed pro-Haftar petition UN has declared its peace effort dead, will start again In a vast square in Benghazi, a group of men is gathering signatures for a petition calling on their military hero to move beyond his eastern fiefdom and take control of all Libya. They sit behind tables flanked by a portrait of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who’s dressed in a gray suit rather than his usual uniform and is surrounded by fawning supporters. Haftar controls more territory than any other Libyan leader and some major oil facilities. The Popular Authorization Movement for Saving the Country wants to propel him to Tripoli, seat of the rudderless United Nations-backed government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj. The campaign says it has collected 700,000 names — more than a 10th of Libya’s people and a figure critics dismiss as an exaggeration — and is being […]

Port in Libya’s Benghazi reopens after three-year closure due to clashes

2 Oct 2017   Libya

Benghazi’s commercial port officially reopened on Sunday after a three-year closure due to fighting between rival factions in the east Libyan city. To mark the opening Abdullah al-Thinni, prime minister of a government based in the east, arrived on board a tanker sent from the eastern city of Tobruk. The port does not export oil, but imports gas and some petroleum products as well as general cargo, and local costs for these would be reduced by the port’s reopening, port spokesman Nasser Al-Maghrabi said. “Today Benghazi port opened and a tanker from Tobruk entered as a message to the world that the port is safe and we are ready to receive tankers,” port manager Abdulazim Al-Abbar said by telephone. “Until now we have not received notification of tankers arriving for exports and imports – for now we are starting up and waiting.” Like Benghazi’s airport, […]

Libya Is Preparing To Ramp Up Oil Production

29 Sep 2017   Libya

As a rather bullish sentiment has fallen over the oil markets, Libyan oil production is now set to rise after disruptions at the Sharara oil field are now behind it, according to a new report by Bloomberg . Total output will reach 950,000 barrels per day as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) battles a supply glut to force an increase in global oil prices. The Sharara field, the largest in the North African country, reached 230,000 bpd this week, according to an anonymous source that spoke to Bloomberg. In August, Libyan production had reached 1.05 million bpd, but weeks of unrest at major fields had since caused the growth to falter. OPEC should approach Libya and Nigeria, the two exempted OPEC members who were allowed to continue raising their crude oil output despite the November 2016 deal, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told journalists earlier this […]

Uganda plans to join OPEC after first oil fields flow in 2020: minister

28 Sep 2017   Uganda

Uganda will seek to join OPEC once the East African nation starts pumping crude out from Lake Albert oil fields along the western border with the Democratic Republic of Congo at the end of the decade, Uganda’s energy and minerals minister Irene Muloni said Wednesday. Article — Feature: Ghana’s output ramps up on Sankofa oil field The Ugandan government took the decision to join OPEC after consultations with other existing member states, including Equatorial Guinea, Muloni told an oil and gas conference in Kampala. “When we start producing our oil, we will join OPEC, to reap the benefits from being a member of the organization, these include stability of prices,” she said. “We remain on course to deliver first oil in 2020.” Article continues below… Oilgram News brings you fast-breaking global petroleum and gas news on and including: Industry players, upstream and downstream markets, refineries, midstream transportation and financial […]

Nigeria’s NNPC expects force majeure on Bonny Light to be lifted ‘very soon’

27 Sep 2017   Nigeria

State-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation expects the force majeure on Nigeria’s Bonny Light crude to be lifted “very soon,” Mele Kyari, group general manager of NNPC’s crude oil marketing division told S&P Global Platts Wednesday. “I cannot give you an immediate time frame but I know that it will be very soon,” as soon as repair works are completed, Kyari said in an interview on the sidelines of the the APPEC conference in Singapore. Asked whether the force majeure will be lifted in October, he said “it is very likely yes.” Force majeure was declared September 16 on Nigeria’s Bonny Light crude, due to issues affecting one of the two major pipelines leading into the grade’s terminal, a spokesman for terminal operator Shell Petroleum Development Co. of Nigeria, or SPDC, has said. Article continues below… The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is set to have a significant impact on […]

Oil Majors Brace For More Niger Delta Attacks

25 Sep 2017   Nigeria

The slow pace of talks between the Nigerian government and representatives from the Niger Delta—exacerbated by the impending 2019 elections—have frustrated the militants who prompted the negotiations, causing oil majors to be concerned about an impending wave of attacks on the oil and gas infrastructure in the area, a new research note from Verisk Maplecroft says. “The fragile peace in the Niger Delta is on the cusp of breaking down again,” Malte Liewerscheidt, the consultancy’s senior Africa analyst, said. “Militant groups are running out of patience, the government is unable to deliver on its promises, the president is a ‘lame duck’, and the umbrella group negotiating on behalf of the militants shows signs of disintegration.” The collective effect of these realities pressurizes Nigerian politics going into the 2019 elections. High-strung rhetoric from opposing parties, who either promise too much or too little to the residents of the oil-rich Niger […]

Nigeria: Pressure On Nigeria As the World Turns Away From Oil

25 Sep 2017   Nigeria

It may assault sensibilities of some people to insinuate that Nigerians will have to drink their oceans of ‎oil, as it may be unscientific to suggest that the resource will dry up soon. But the alarm bells are ringing loudly as the world increasingly turns away from oil. The rate at which major oil consuming countries are setting deadlines for the use of the commodity spells doom for any oil economy. And indeed Nigeria! Sooner than later we would be asking ourselves what we did with all that oil. A very expressive analyst puts it this way: “‎They say life is not fair, but God is fair. He compensated the Arabs for the harsh desert conditions with abundant oil resources, and evidently they have used it well, but why did He give Nigeria so much oil and gas?” That may be a special favour to the country, but he […]

Nigerian Oil Output Below 1.8 Million BPD Quota

23 Sep 2017   Nigeria

Nigerian oil production remains below 1.8 million barrels per day, in compliance with a quota set on the African nation by OPEC earlier this year in response to its explosive output growth through 2017. Oil Minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu made the announcement in Vienna, where the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ headquarters is located. The bloc has already agreed to extend output cuts through March 2018, although another extension may be in the works. Nigeria and Libya had both been exempt from the agreement when it was first announced last November. Both countries had seen their oil output decline steeply due to months and years of domestic strife, respectively. A militancy in the Niger Delta sprung from Abuja’s revenue sharing plans, which did little to develop the oil-rich lands which provide the fossil fuels that provide the federal government with the vast majority of its wealth. But the country’s […]

Nigeria ready to play OPEC ball, Russia says

23 Sep 2017   Nigeria

Nigeria may be ready to give up its status as an OPEC member exempt from the effort to balance the market with production cuts, Russia’s oil minister said. Members of a committee monitoring an agreement to cut the equivalent of about 2 percent of world’s oil demand out of the market met Friday in Vienna to discuss the impact. The measure is aimed at draining global stockpiles closer to a five-year average. Most OPEC members are in full compliance with the agreement, though exemptions for OPEC members Libya and Nigeria have complicated the effort. Both countries were sidelined from the effort so they could steer oil revenue toward national […]

Nigerian fuel truck drivers start strike; shortages feared

21 Sep 2017   Nigeria

Nigerian fuel truck drivers have begun a strike, their union said Wednesday, triggering fears of a fresh shortage of oil products.  In addition to seeking a pay rise and a better welfare package, the drivers are protesting the government’s neglect of the roads. The spokesman for the drivers’ unit of the blue collar oil workers’ union Nupeng, Tokunbo Korodo told S&P Global Platts on Wednesday that while the bad state of most Nigerian roads had claimed the lives of many drivers in accidents, employers have refused to increase drivers’ wages.  “In compliance with the directive by the national executive of Nupeng, drivers have been directed to stop [fuel] loading at the depots across the country,” Korodo said.

Oil Traders Empty Key Crude Storage Hub

21 Sep 2017   South Africa

Companies said to be selling crude from Saldanha Bay in Africa Brent crude time-structure strengthens, encouraging sales Oil traders are emptying one of the world’s largest crude storage facilities, located near the southernmost tip of Africa, as the physical market tightens amid booming demand and OPEC production cuts. Total SA , Vitol Group and Mercuria Energy Group Ltd. are selling crude they hoarded in Saldanha Bay, South Africa, during the 2015-2016 glut when the market effectively paid traders to store oil, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named discussing private operations. Crude demand is now seasonally outstripping supply, tightening the physical market for some crude varieties to levels not seen in the last two years and encouraging traders to sell their stored oil. Learn More “The market is selling inventories from everywhere,” Mercuria Chief Executive Officer Marco Dunand said in an interview in […]

Nigerian Workers Stop Oil Product Loading As Union Goes On Strike

19 Sep 2017   Nigeria

Oil workers in Nigeria stopped on Monday the loading of oil products, natural gas, and aviation fuel as the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) joined an indefinite nationwide strike of its current affiliate United Labour Congress of Nigeria (ULC), demanding better conditions and pay as well as recognition of the ULC. Electricity union workers have also joined in the strike. The ULC is a breakaway union from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). ULC split from the NLC last year over power struggles, and the NUPENG oil and gas workers’ union is now affiliated with the ULC. The ULC demands to be recognized and registered as a union. It also demands that roads to oil facilities be repaired and army personnel withdrawn from security duties at the oil infrastructure installations. The government, on the other hand, says the strike is illegal. The NLC, from which ULC […]

Nigeria: Oil Production Dips to 1.3mbd Over Vandalism, Says NNPC

15 Sep 2017   Nigeria

An average of 700,000bpd of crude oil was deferred in 2016 due to pipeline sabotage, this brought Nigeria’s production down to as low as 1.3 million barrels per day from 2.2 million barrels targeted for the period. At an average price of $52 per barrel, the country differed about $13.286 billion (N4.05 trillion). The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, stated this in a keynote address at the maiden edition of the Nigerian International Pipeline Technology and Security Conference (NIPITECS 2017) in Abuja yesterday. He said Year-To-Date 2017; NNPC had recorded 27 breaching incidents on the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP), adding that for the Trans Forcados Pipeline (TFP) with a capacity of 300,000bpd, 17 breaches were recorded in 2016. NNPC also suffered at least 15 breaching incidents on the TFP, while charging members of the Pipeline Professionals’ Association of Nigeria (PLAN) to […]

Nigeria To Shutter Three Oil Refineries To Rehabilitate Output

14 Sep 2017   Nigeria

Wednesday . The Kaduna , Warri and Port Harcourt refineries will shutter to allow the national oil company to return refining capacity to their nameplate levels, NNPC managing director Dr. Maikanti Baru told reporters at the capital. “As you know, it is being the perception of the public that the repairs of the refineries are never done thoroughly. So this time, our intention is to shut down the refineries when we are ready, and then fully bring them back to what they should be as new refineries,” Baru said during the Nigerian Pipeline Security Conference going on in Abuja this week. Despite being Africa’s largest crude oil producer, Nigerian refining capacity is low, which has forced the government to spend foreign currency reserves on purchases of refined oil goods. Building new refineries within the country’s borders would allow Lagos to revitalize aging oil facilities while preserving foreign currency resources. […]

Nigeria Defies Calls To Curb Crude Oil Output

13 Sep 2017   Nigeria

Although it faces mounting pressure to join OPEC’s production cuts, exempt producer Nigeria will resist any attempt to cut its oil output because it needs time at least until March next year to make sure its production gains are sustainable, Oil Minister Emmanuel Kachikwu told the Financial Times in an interview published on Tuesday. “We have a nine-month exemption period within which to come back to the table,” Kachikwu told FT. “You need that timeframe to see if any recovery is sustainable,” the minister added, putting further pressure on fellow OPEC members in trying to persuade Nigeria to join the cuts. “They should let us exhaust those nine months and see whether we have been able to establish stability,” Kachikwu told FT, commenting on his country’s plans regarding joining the cuts. The Joint OPEC-Non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC)—the panel tasked to supervise compliance with the cuts—is meeting in Vienna […]

Baker Hughes gets in on Egyptian natural gas bonanza

12 Sep 2017   Egypt

A contract to provide services for the giant Zohr natural gas field off the Egyptian coast is a win-win for its economy and our business, Baker Hughes said. Drilling services company Baker Hughes, a GE company, said during the weekend it secured a contract from Petrobel, a joint venture between a subsidiary of Italian energy company Eni and the Egyptian General Petroleum Corp., for work on underwater production systems for the Zohr field. “The Zohr field is one of the most significant developments of its kind, and through this project we can show the efficiency gains that such complex projects can achieve through our enhanced portfolio,” Lorenzo Simonelli, the president and CEO at Baker […]

Egypt muscling in on global gas production

12 Sep 2017   Egypt

Baker Hughes, a GE company, announced September 9, 2017 a major subsea contract from Petrobel for phase two of the “supergiant” Zohr Gas Field situated in the Mediterranean Sea, off the Egyptian coast. BHGE will provide project management, engineering procurement, fabrication, construction, testing and transportation of a subsea production system, and will support the installation, commissioning and start-up operations. Lasting impact If Zohr delivers on the promise, it would have a lasting impact on Egypt’s gas future and repayment of its $3.5 billion debt to foreign gas companies, a figure quoted by Eng. Tarek El-Molla, Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, as reported in Egypt’s state media in February 2017. “The Zohr gas field is playing a major role in the development of Egypt’s domestic energy resources, revenue generation and economic growth,” said Eng. El-Molla, following the recent signing ceremony. Lorenzo Simonelli, president and CEO, BHGE, said: “The […]

The Plastic Fantasy That’s Propping Up the Oil Market

11 Sep 2017   Energy Demand, Kenya

Kenya’s mountains of plastic bags might not seem central to oil’s grand narrative, but they are. Last week, the East African country banned almost everything about them: making them, importing them, selling them, using them, with penalties of up to four years in jail or fines up to $38,000. This type of prohibition carries a warning for an oil business that’s depending on petrochemicals — and the plastics made from them — to pick up the slack when we all switch from gas guzzlers to electric cars. Saudi Aramco is betting its future on petrochemicals. The International Energy Agency thinks they’ll drive crude sales for decades, accounting for 44 percent of oil demand growth between 2015 and 2040. But, as Kenya shows, the days of single-use plastic packaging may already be numbered. And with this stuff making up about a quarter of all the plastic used, that will have […]

Niger Delta Militants Rescind Threat Against Oil Majors

11 Sep 2017   Nigeria

A coalition of militants in the Niger Delta who had previously vowed to attack Nigerian oil and gas pipelines if their demands were not met by October 1 st , has agreed to rescind their threats on the fossil fuel infrastructure in the delta. Abuja held several closed-door meetings with the coalition on Thursday, after which the group declared its loyalty to the Pan Niger Delta Forum, which is negotiating with the federal government to increase the proportion of oil revenues used to develop the oil-rich delta. “ Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators, which comprises over 250 groups with their leaders and representatives present at yesterday’s meeting, officially withdraw our quit notice issued to the Northerners and Yorubas living in Niger Delta region; call off planned resumption of attacks on oil and gas installations across the Niger Delta region and beyond from September 10, […]

Libyan oil production back to normal

9 Sep 2017   Libya

Operations at the Sharara oil field in Libya, the country’s largest, are back to normal following short-term “irregularities,” an Austrian energy company said. Mustafa Sanalla, the head of Libya’s National Oil Corp., blamed “gangsters” for shutting down some of the pipelines tied to the Sharara oil field in late August . That followed a worker protest at Sharara earlier in the month and the NOC said more than 360,000 barrels per day of Libyan crude oil production had been shut in at a cost of $160 million. A report from commodity pricing group S&P Global Platts, sent to UPI earlier this week, said Libyan crude oil production fell from July levels of 990,000 barrels per day to 830,000 barrels per day in August because of security issues […]

Largest Libyan Oilfield Back Online After Armed Assault

9 Sep 2017   Libya

Libya’s largest oilfield is now fully operational following a couple of weeks of output turbulence, according to UPI , who received official confirmation of the oilfield’s operational status from Austrian energy firm, OMV. The “irregularities” had been caused by “gangsters,” said Mustafa Sanalla, head of Libya’s National Oil Corp. In late August, the assaults by the armed group Reyayna Patrol Brigade had forced some of the pipelines connected to the Sharara field to be shut down. The ordeal cost $160 million in lost production after 360,000 barrels of output got shut in. Libyan output fell from 990,000 bpd in July to 830,000 bpd in August due to the pipeline closures. “After some short-term irregularities production is back to normal,” a spokesman for Austrian OMV told UPI. Reuters reported on Monday that foreign workers at Libya’s largest oil field bad been evacuated after news emerged of unspecified activities near the […]

Libya’s Biggest Oil Field Is Said to Resume Pumping Crude

8 Sep 2017   Libya

Libya’s largest oil field resumed production after a halt of more than two weeks, putting pressure on OPEC and other producers seeking to rein in a global supply glut and firm up prices.  Libyan authorities reopened a valve on the pipeline from the southwestern Sharara field to the Zawiya refinery after they reached a final agreement with a militia group that had closed the link, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The pipeline’s reopening allowed Sharara to resume output, the person said.  State-run National Oil Corp. accused the group earlier of closing Sharara, El-Feel and Hamada oil fields since Aug. 19. NOC lifted the force majeure legal status that had been declared at Sharara and El Feel and which protects a company from liability if it can’t fulfill a contract for reasons beyond its control, the person said. El-Feel, also known as Elephant, and Hamada resumed production last week, other people familiar with the matter said at the time.

The North African nation’s crude output dropped 35 percent after the forced closing of the three fields, disrupting a revival of its production and exports. However, the decline helped ease the burden on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allied suppliers as they seek to strengthen their accord to cut output. Libya, like its fellow OPEC member member Nigeria, is exempt from the global production cuts because of internal strife.  The NOC has blamed a militia organization it called the Rayayina Patrols Brigade for the disruptions, including the Aug. 19 shutdown of the pipeline valve that curbed Sharara’s output by 283,000 barrels a day. Sharara, with a production capacity of 330,000 barrels a day, is run by a joint venture between the NOC and Repsol SA, Total SA, OMV AG and Statoil ASA.

Nigeria: Total’s Egina to Raise Nigeria’s Oil Output By 200,000bpd in 2018

8 Sep 2017   Nigeria

Federal Government’s plans to increase crude oil production to four million barrels daily (bpd) will receive a boost, as the multi-billion dollar Egina Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, currently being constructed in South is schedule to add 200,000 bpd to Nigeria’s output by the fourth quarter of 2018. Total Upstream Nigeria Limited (TUPNI) said the completion of the 200,000bpd vessel would be on schedule and within budget as Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) is nearing its completion. When TUPNI and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), insisted that the Egina FPSO must be integrated in Nigeria, it was quite a challenge to find the shipbuilding company, which would build an integration yard. In the global oil and gas industry, the fabrication and integration of the FPSO modules requires high-end technology, which only a few international companies have the capacity to take on the scope of responsibility. […]

Libya Resumes Production At Largest Field Amid Rising Oil Prices

7 Sep 2017   Libya

Libya’s largest oil field, Sharara, will resume production following a two-week halt, after a pipeline blockade ended yesterday. This is what an unnamed source from Libya’s oil industry told Reuters, with the Sharara to resume output today, according to Bloomberg. The pipeline that was blocked feeds crude oil from Sharara to the Zawiya export terminal. The armed group responsible for the latest blockade, which began on August 19, was one led by Ashraf Al-Gurj—the leader of an organization from Zintan that calls itself the Reyayna Patrol Brigade. The same group was behind the August shutdown of another two fields as well, El Feel and Hamada. The three shutdowns cost Libya 360,000 bpd in lost output, the National Oil Corporation said at the time. Al-Gurj’s group claims they are fighting for more investments by NOC in Zintan but according to Libyan media, the more likely reason for the blockades is […]

Is Egyptian Oil Set For A Rebound?

4 Sep 2017   Egypt

This week Egypt signed three major exploration deals with oil giants Royal Dutch Shell and Apex worth at least $81.4 million. The hefty international contracts will kickstart a large-scale oil and gas exploration in 16 new fields in the oil-rich Western Desert. In a statement released by the Petroleum Ministry, it was announced that Shell will be investing $35.5 million in a single deal, while U.S.-based Apex has signed two different deals totalling $45.9 million, a hefty investment for their first ever projects in Egypt. The deals collectively encompass a massive 1.7 million acres , comprised of the areas of West Badr el Din and South East Meleiha. While Egypt was once a major player in the global oil supply, their production has fallen sharply over the last years as demand has increased, putting them in the unfortunate position of being a net importer after years of being an […]

No change in status for Libyan oil production, OMV says

1 Sep 2017   Libya

U.N. delegation tours Benghazi in early August. Special envoy Ghassan Salame says Libyans can’t understand why they’re power in an oil-rich country. Photo courtesy of the U.N. Support Mission in Libya. Sept. 1 (UPI) — There’s been no change in the Libyan production status since conflict sidelined hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil capacity, Austria’s OMV said Friday. Contacted by UPI on Friday, the company through a spokesperson said there is no change to the status of its operations in Libya. The Austrian energy company said production from some of its operations in Libya were offline and deferred the status to Libya’s National Oil Corp., which OMV said was working to “sort this out.” “There is no need for OMV to change the guidance of an average production in Libya of 20,000 barrels per day for 2017,” the spokesperson said. Libya’s NOC said earlier this week that more […]

OPEC Oil Output Slips From 2017 High On Renewed Libyan Outages

1 Sep 2017   Libya, OPEC

OPEC oil output has fallen this month by 170,000 barrels per day (bpd) from a 2017 high, a Reuters survey found, as renewed unrest cut supplies in Libya and other members stepped up compliance with a production-cutting deal. A dip in supply from top two producers Saudi Arabia and Iraq helped to boost OPEC’s adherence to its output curbs to 89 percent, up 5 percentage points from July but still short of the levels above 90 percent achieved earlier in the year. The decline from Libya, and the lack of a further sizeable increase from Nigeria, will ease concerns that extra barrels from the two nations could swamp cutback made elsewhere. Libya and Nigeria were exempt from the cuts because conflict had curbed their production. “Libya’s […]

Libya’s economic recovery hurt by attacks on oil centers

1 Sep 2017   Libya

With a loss from missing oil revenue, the closure of Libyan oil fields by militants is thwarting economic progress in the country, an oil director said. The Libyan National Oil Corp. said force majeure, a contractual condition related to circumstances beyond the control of the parties involved, was declared for production at three oil fields. The NOC said militants had shut in more than 360,000 barrels of oil per day in the west of the country at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. “This is a national tragedy,” NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in a statement . “Our production was recovering, not quite enough to balance the budget, but enough to give us hope that our financial position could stabilize.” The […]

Are Libyan Oil Production Gains History?

1 Sep 2017   Libya

In addition to the negative repercussions of hurricane Harvey, which heavily impacted the Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production and petrochemical plants, global oil markets are facing disruptions from the Middle East. The market has not been focusing on geopolitical security issues lately, but over the coming months geopolitics is sure to become an increasingly important factor. Political instability and civil wars, particularly those involving OPEC member states, are far from reaching a conclusion. The market’s optimism about the heavily reported production increases of Libya, Iraq and Nigeria may be misplaced. Libya’s return to the market, with production reportedly breaking 1 million bpd while targeting 1.3 million bpd, could already be a thing of the past due to growing instability on the ground. Libya’s production increases, which have been questioned by insiders, have proven to be unsustainable due to fighting between militias and government forces in oil producing […]

Nigeria Pays $120 Million Demurrage Annually On Imported Fuel

30 Aug 2017   Nigeria

The federal government is currently counting significant losses arising from demurrage paid by vessels which bring in imported petroleum products into the country. Available statistics shows that the country pays $120 million annually on demurrage due to infrastructural constraints. LEADERSHIP learnt that major marketers who augment importation of products into the country reportedly build the cost into final receipts issued to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, which bore the additional cost so that pump price stays at N145 per liter for Premium Motor Spirit, PMS also called fuel. LEADERSHIP reports that infrastructural constraints has continue to have a significant impact on the distribution of petroleum products; with 70 per cent of Nigeria’s domestic petroleum products demands being met through petroleum importation. As at 2016, Nigeria spent N2.5 trillion on the importation of refined petroleum products according to data from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), making […]

What’s Next For Libya As Oil Production Slips

29 Aug 2017   Libya

World Oil reports that an attack by an armed group caused the field’s pipeline to its nearest export terminal to close. The development sets Libya 330,000-bpd back on its goal of reaching and surpassing pre-Ghaddafi-ousting levels of production. On average, the country pumped 1.6 million barrels of oil per day before the Arab Spring brought the previous dictatorship to its knees. The El Feel field, another major oilfield, declared a force majeure last week, sources familiar to the case said, while expressing their hesitation due to the private nature of the matter. The same situation unfolded at the Hamada field, according to Arabian Gulf Oil Co. spokesman Omran al-Zwai. Just last month, Libya’s July output was at a four-year high , perhaps signaling the success of the fledgling regime backed by the might of Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army. The Islamic State is moving in on Haftar if reports […]