Nigeria

Nigeria Seizes Foreign Vessel for Alleged Theft of Shell Crude

27 Apr 2017   Nigeria

Nigeria detained a vessel with crew members from countries including Pakistan, Indonesia and Ukraine for alleged theft of crude from a facility owned by Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the navy said. The tanker, MT TECNE, was apprehended before dawn on April 25 while loading crude from the Afremo platform operated by Shell’s Nigerian unit, Ibrahim Dewu, a navy spokesman, said Wednesday by phone from the southern city of Warri. “They had siphoned about 2,000 metric tons of crude oil from the loading jacket before their arrest,” he said. A Nigerian, three Ghanaians and a Benin national were among the crew arrested, he said. Organized criminal gangs have for years stolen crude from pipelines and facilities in the Niger River delta, home to the country’s oil industry, either for sale to vessels waiting offshore or for local refining. Nigeria’s Petroleum Ministry estimates that sometimes as much as 10 percent of […]

Nigeria: Malabu Scandal – Group Wants Nigerian Govt Involved in Italian Trial

26 Apr 2017   Nigeria

The Human and Environmental Development Agenda, HEDA Resource Centre, has petitioned Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, requesting the representation of Nigeria as an aggrieved party in the hearing of the Milan Court’s prosecution of Shell and ENI with respect to the scandalous Malabu deal. In a petition addressed to Mr. Osinbajo, who also doubles as the Chairman Asset Recovery Committee, HEDA in the petition signed by its chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, urged the federal government to request that the Italian court judge should recognize Nigeria as a civil party to the criminal proceeding in order to request adequate compensation for the damages received by the corruption scheme. “The media was awash about six years ago with information on how one of Nigeria’s richest oil field, OPL 245 was sold in shady circumstances and more than half of the $1.1 Billion paid to Malabu Oil and Gas for the procurement was used […]

Nigeria Said to Let Market Set Naira Rate on Exchange Window

25 Apr 2017   Nigeria

Central bank Governor Emefiele said to tolerate naira dropping Naira forward contracts jump to highest levels since March Nigeria’s central bank will let the market determine the naira’s rate in a new foreign-exchange window for portfolio investors as the nation struggles to revive its economy amid a dollar shortage. Naira forward contracts and banking stocks rose. Governor Godwin Emefiele told senior bankers that he would tolerate the naira weakening in the window, which started today, according to a person who attended meetings with the policy maker over the past two weeks. While that may cause the currency to depreciate to its black-market level, the central bank probably won’t devalue the interbank exchange rate, the person said, declining to be identified because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly. Isaac Okorafor, a spokesman for the central bank, didn’t answer calls to his mobile or immediately respond to a text message. Nigeria […]

Africa: Two Oil Giants Could Face Trial in Italy Over Nigerian Deal

21 Apr 2017   Nigeria

This Thursday a Milan court is to decide whether to go ahead with criminal proceedings against the oil giant Shell and its Italian partner ENI in connection with the purchase of the rights to a Nigerian oil field. “Etete can smell the money. If, at 70 years old, he does turn his nose up at 1.2 bilion he is completely certifiable.” That’s a quote from a confidential email which is embarrassing the oil giant Shell. For years, Shell had strenuously denied that it knew anything about the involvement of convicted money launderer and former Nigerian oil minister Dan Etete in its purchase of the rights to one of Nigeria’s biggest oil fields. But last week, the British environmentalist and anti-corruption organization, Global Witness, published confidential emails written by a Shell employee. This correspondence, which went right to the top of the Shell management hierarchy, proves that there was a […]

Nigeria: Nowhere to Hide – Prosecutors Turn Up the Heat On Oil Execs At Heart of Corruption Scandal

21 Apr 2017   Nigeria

The latest developments in a multi-billion dollar corruption scandal show how the net is closing in on oil bosses who allow shady deals to happen on their watch – and how vital global transparency rules that make such deals much harder must be upheld. Last month, we celebrated a huge victory for the people of Nigeria when news broke that the Nigerian government seized a valuable block OPL 245 from oil giants Shell and Eni. The move followed years of investigations by Global Witness and our partners into the companies’ backroom deals and undisclosed payments that led to them getting hold of the lucrative block. This was truly historic news in itself – but it’s just the start of the story. Developments are occurring thick and fast as the heat is turned up on the individuals at the centre of the scandal. On Thursday, Italian authorities requested that Shell, […]

Nigeria to Restore Oil Output Even as OPEC Weighs Extending Cuts

14 Apr 2017   Nigeria

Bonga, Forcados facilities will restart by July after work OPEC must extend cutbacks to keep prices above $50 a barrel Nigeria will revive oil production this summer as it completes maintenance and repairs, and expects fellow OPEC members to continue to cut their output in the second half of the year, Oil Minister Emmanuel Kachikwu said. Africa’s second-biggest producer will finish repairs on the Forcados pipeline by June and complete maintenance at the Bonga oilfield the following month, Kachikwu said in a Bloomberg Television interview. The country’s output slumped to 1.27 million barrels a day last month, the lowest in decades, according to data provided by the nation. It aims to reach 2.2 million barrels a day. Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 0:00Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVERemaining Time -0:00Playback Rate1 Chapters Chapters captions settings, opens captions settings dialog captions off, selected CaptionsFullscreen This is a modal window. No compatible source […]

Shell Knew Nigeria Ex-Minister’s Company Would Get Oil-Deal Cash

12 Apr 2017   Nigeria

Transaction under investigation amid allegations of corruption Company previously said it was unaware minister would be paid Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it knew some of the $1.1 billion paid to the Nigerian government in 2011 for an exploration license would go to a company linked to the country’s former oil minister, changing its previous stance on a deal that’s under investigation for alleged corruption. The Anglo-Dutch oil company reiterated that its joint purchase with Eni SpA of the license was “fully legal” and it paid no money to Dan Etete or his company Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd. Following the publication of internal emails showing staff discussed the risk that funds from the transaction could ultimately be used to pay off officials, Shell acknowledged on Tuesday that it was aware of the former minister’s involvement. “We knew that the Federal Government of Nigeria would compensate Malabu to settle […]

Nigeria: Malabu Scandal – Jonathan Must Have Gotten $200 Million, Middleman Tells FBI, Others

11 Apr 2017   Nigeria

Former President Goodluck Jonathan probably received as much as $200 million to approve the controversial $1.3 billion sale of OPL 245 oil field, Italian prosecutors said in court documents. The documents, which were extracts of a thorough investigation by Italian authorities into the deal, also confirmed that Shell and ENI knew a good chunk of the $1.3 billion will be disbursed as kickbacks to Nigerian politicians, yet went ahead with the deal. The findings were obtained by BuzzFeed and Italian business newspaper, Il Sole 24 Ore. BuzzFeed released its own version earlier today. The prosecutors quoted Ednan Agaev, a Russian middleman who helped negotiate the transfer of the oil block to Shell and Eni, as saying that Dan Etete, the former Petroleum Minister at the heart of the oil scandal, said he intended to dole out as much as $400 million in bribes if the deal went through. If […]

Nigeria: Malabu Scandal – After Telling Lies for Years, Shell Admits It Knew Etete Would Benefit From $1.1 Billion

11 Apr 2017   Nigeria

After repeated denials in various countries, Anglo-Dutch oil giant, Royal Dutch Shell, on Monday finally admitted it had foreknowledge that the $1.3 billion itself and ENI paid to Nigerian government for the OPL 245 oil block licence would ultimately be used to settle convicted former Minister of Petroleum, Dan Etete. “Over time, it became clear to us that Etete was involved in Malabu and that the only way to resolve the impasse through a negotiated settlement was to engage with Etete and Malabu, whether we liked it or not,” The New York Times quoted Andy Norman, a spokesperson for Shell, as saying in an email Monday. The Dutch oil giant knew the Nigerian government “would compensate Malabu to settle its claim on the block,” Mr. Norman added. The confession came a day after intercepted telephone conversation between Shell’s chief executive, Ben van Beurden, and his then chief financial officer, […]

Eni, Shell deny wrongdoing in Nigeria after allegations of improper payment

11 Apr 2017   Nigeria

Oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and Eni reiterated on Monday that neither they nor their personnel had been involved in any wrongdoing in Nigeria, including improper payments to Nigerian officials. The comments follow media reports alleging how hundreds of millions of dollars from the two companies were used for illicit payments. A joint investigation by BuzzFeed News and Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore on Sunday claims to show transactions worth $1.3 billion made in 2010-2011 that Shell and Eni paid to acquire an exploration license for an offshore oil block known as OPL 245. The money was paid to the Nigerian government, but BuzzFeed and Il Sole said documents showed Shell’s top executives at the time knew those sums would go to Malabu Oil and Gas, […]

Niger Delta Diplomacy At Work: Oil Production Recovers In Nigeria

10 Apr 2017   Nigeria

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s nascent campaign to negotiate with separatists in the oil-rich Niger Delta has proven to be more effective in restoring oil output to pre-conflict highs than his previous all-out war tactic. “Despite the president’s initial threats and bluster on the delta, common sense now seems to be prevailing,” Cheta Nwanze, of Lagos-based head of research at SBM Intelligence, told World Oil this week. “The government needs steady oil production to stand any chance of a quick end to the economic recession.” It’s a numbers game, really. Oil output hit a low last August, with production falling to 1.4 million barrels per day, compared to the 2014-2015 average of 2 million bpd. Since Lagos declared that it had reached a truce with a consortium of militant groups in November, production has recovered to 1.68 million bpd. Only a single force majeure, a clause that allows production companies […]

Nigerian oil output slumps to 1.676 mil b/d in March: ministry

5 Apr 2017   Nigeria

Nigeria’s crude oil and condensate production averaged 1.676 million b/d in March, a fall of over 200,000 b/d from the previous month, the country’s petroleum ministry said Tuesday. The ministry said the country’s oil output was 1,676,045 b/d in March, down from around 1.9 million b/d in February, but it did not provide the reason for the sharp month-on-month fall. However, sources close to the matter said output was down mainly due to maintenance at the Bonga field, which averages around 150,000-200,000 b/d. Shell said in early-March that Bonga production would be shut in for about four to five weeks due to turnaround maintenance and engineering upgrades at the Bonga floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. Nigerian oil production still remains sharply below its capacity of 2.2 million b/d, with the main export grade Forcados still shut in. But Nigerian oil output has recovered gradually this year as […]

Prospects for Nigerian oil rising, regional explorer says – UPI.com

4 Apr 2017   Nigeria

A memorandum of understanding with GE Oil & Gas could help lift more oil out of a Nigerian basin, regional exploration company Lekoil said.  Lekoil, a company focused on West African oil and gas production, said it signed a memorandum of understanding with the GE subsidiary to develop a work project for the Ogo oil field in Nigeria.  Lekoil CEO Lekan Akinyanmi said the Ogo field is a world-class discovery and the agreement with GE is just a first step toward development for the rest of the oil production license area.

Nigeria: $12 Billion Trans-Sahara Gas Pipeline On Track – NNPC

25 Mar 2017   Nigeria

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, yesterday, disclosed that it is committed to the Trans Saharan Gas Pipeline, TSGP, and that the project was still on track. According to a statement, GMD of NNPC, Maikanti Baru, disclosed this in Abuja while receiving the National Coordinator of The New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD-Nigeria), Ms.Gloria Akobundu. The $12 billion Trans Saharan Gas Pipeline is a 4,401 kilometres natural gas project to be constructed from Nigeria, starting from Warri, Delta State, to Algeria via Niger Republic, and from Algeria to Spain. It was conceived under the NEPAD Initiative championed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Abdoulazeez Boutaflika of Algeria and Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal. The proposed gas pipeline, to be built through a partnership between the NNPC and Algeria’s Sonatrach, would stretch 1,037 kilometres from Nigeria to the Niger border, 841 kilometres from Niger to Algeria, 2,303 […]

Shell Oil Spills Led to ‘Astonishingly High’ Pollution in Nigeria

24 Mar 2017   Nigeria

Royal Dutch Shell PLC oil spills that haven’t been cleaned up for over eight years have contributed to “astonishingly high” levels of pollution in a Nigerian community, according to a consultant who helped produce a confidential damage assessment for Shell and its partners in the cleanup. Shell admitted liability for two large oil spills from a broken pipeline in 2008 in Bodo, a Niger Delta fishing community that, according to U.K. court claims, was inundated with over 500,000 barrels of oil—roughly twice the amount when…

Nigeria orders developers in Niger Delta to resume work within 30 days

22 Mar 2017   Nigeria

Nigeria has given contractors 30 days to resume delayed development projects in the Niger Delta oil region or face prosecution, the presidency said on Tuesday. The government has been trying to build new roads and launch other projects to drag the region out of poverty and create jobs, aiming to give local people alternatives to joining the militants attacking oil facilities. The government has “directed that the list of all contractors who have not returned to site within the stipulated period be compiled and submitted to the Ministry of Justice and the Economic Financial Crimes Commission for investigation and prosecution,” it said in a statement. Many projects have been delayed due to the collapse in oil revenues or to graft accusations. The presidency also ordered the ministry of environment to ensure “progress” of an cleanup of oil spills in the Ogoniland area, a project delayed for years. “The Federal […]

Shrinking GDP, Surging Prices to Keep Nigerian Rates on Hold

21 Mar 2017   Nigeria

Faced with a contracting economy, surging inflation and a rigid exchange rate, Nigeria’s central bank will have little choice but to keep its key interest rate unchanged on Tuesday. The Monetary Policy Committee led by Governor Godwin Emefiele has held the policy rate at 14 percent since July and is unlikely to make a change, according to all 17 economists and analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Foreign-exchange policy has become a common agenda-item for the committee as the nation maintains a managed currency float and has stopped importers of goods it deems non-essential from buying dollars on the official market. While this has contributed to a rapid increase in consumer prices, Emefiele said on March 11 that allowing the naira to freely float will hurt the economy, which shrank by 1.5 percent last year, the first contraction since 1991. “They won’t cut because inflation remains high, and they won’t hike […]

Nigeria: Oil Companies Urged to Relocate Bases

17 Mar 2017   Nigeria

Captains of industry and commerce have endorsed calls by the Nigerian government for oil companies to relocate their headquarters to their areas of operations. The Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA) said this would be a major step in quelling the under development, poverty and associated social vices of militancy and insecurity in the areas. “Doing otherwise will tantamount to playing the ostrich game,” said Dr Emi Membere-Otaji Fnim, PHCCIMA President said. He mentioned international firms like Shell, Chevron and Total. Fnim said the move to relocate the firms would also increase economic activities while the youths would be gainfully engaged instead of doing crime. “It’s time for government to in reality walk the talk to rejig the economies of the oil producing area states,” said Fnim. The call comes amid militants’ attacks in the Delta State, which while is the continent’s leading […]

Nigeria’s Proposed Sale of Oft-Bombed Oil Assets Won’t Be Easy

13 Mar 2017   Nigeria

For sale: stakes in oil fields. Bids from world class energy companies preferred. Pipelines and terminals associated with the deposits only blown up about a dozen times in the past year. Deal may depend on crude prices. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s government on March 7 proposed a plan to jump start the economy by, among other things, selling stakes in joint-venture oil projects within the next three years. Given a militancy escalation that blighted those very assets last year, and previous struggles to privatize state businesses, analysts inside and outside the west African country say such sales won’t be straightforward. “Nigeria’s track record on privatization and divestments has not exactly been the best, so people are probably going to greet this news with a certain degree of skepticism and I think rightly so,” Manji Cheto, a West Africa specialist at Teneo Intelligence in London, said by phone. “I don’t […]

Nigeria: President To Return After Time Abroad For Treatment

10 Mar 2017   Nigeria

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will return to Nigeria on March 10, according to an official statement by the president’s office, Reuters reported. Buhari has been out of the country in the United Kingdom since Jan. 19, remaining in London longer than the originally planned 10 days. There is no official information as to why he remained overseas so long for treatment. There have been numerous questions in the Nigerian political scene about Buhari’s health. If he does not return, Nigeria’s political balance would be undermined. A political compromise between the country’s stark regional divides switches the presidency between leaders from different regions. Buhari is from the north but his Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is from the south. As Buhari continues to lean on his trusted circle of northern political allies, public frustration over the north’s perceived domination of Nigeria’s political system is growing .

Nigeria: Shell Shuts Down Bonga, Reduces Nigeria Oil Production

8 Mar 2017   Nigeria

Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) has halted production at Nigeria’s Bonga oil field. The exercise, which commenced on March 4, was put in place for maintenance that will last at least a month. SNEPCo said in a statement that Bonga, Nigeria’s first deepwater development, is expected to resume production at some point in April, without giving further details. Reuters news agency reports that market sources had expected work on the field because there were no exports planned in March, compared with typical exports of roughly 200,000 barrels per day (bpd). Bonga produced an average of 192,500 bpd of oil in 2015, according to the latest annual data from Nigerian state oil company NNPC. The nation’s first deepwater development has capacity to produce 225,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil and 150 million standard cubicfeet (scf) of gas. The new development has forced Nigeria’s oil production down to […]

Nigeria: Senate Investigates Widespread Fraud in Oil & Gas Industry

7 Mar 2017   Nigeria

The Joint Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream, Upstream) and Gas at the weekend said it had uncovered a large-scale fraud of about N10 trillion allegedly perpetrated by officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its allies between 2006 and 2016. The committee said during a press briefing in the nation’s capital, Abuja, that the fraud was allegedly perpetrated by NNPC officials in connivance with some independent marketers and other key players in the petroleum industry. The committee, therefore, said it had secured the strong support of President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the Senate to carry out a holistic investigation of the fraud with a view to bringing perpetrators to book. The committee argued that the whopping sum was huge enough to finance the country’s budget for two consecutive fiscal years as it threatened that with the support of the federal government and […]

Nigeria Charges Shell, Eni With Corruption Over Oil License

4 Mar 2017   Nigeria

Nigeria’s anti-graft agency filed new charges against Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Eni SpA , alleging the companies “corruptly” paid $801 million in 2011 when acquiring an offshore oil field. The European oil majors gave that sum to former Nigerian oil minister Dan Etete, his Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd. and others in relation to the purchase of Oil Prospecting License 245 and “thereby committed an offence,” according to documents from the Federal High Court in Abuja. “Eni reaffirms the correctness of its conduct within the acquisition of the license,” the Italian oil producer said in an emailed statement on Friday. The company said it hasn’t been notified of any charges relating to the deal. The latest charges come after a Nigerian court in January ordered Eni and Shell to temporarily cede control of the jointly owned license to the government pending investigations. The $1.1 billion acquisition of the […]

Nigeria Economy Contracts in 2016 for First Time in 25 Years

1 Mar 2017   Nigeria

Nigeria’s economy shrank for a fourth consecutive quarter in the three months through December and contracted for the whole year, the first such move since 1991. Gross domestic product in Africa’s most-populous country declined 1.3 percent in the quarter from a year earlier, after shrinking 2.2 percent in the previous three months, the National Bureau of Statistics said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday. The median of 10 economist estimates compiled by Bloomberg was for the economy to shrink by 1.4 percent. GDP contracted 1.5 percent for all of 2016. It was the first full-year drop in 25 years, according to International Monetary Fund data. Lower prices and output of oil, Nigeria’s biggest export, cut government revenue by about half and reduced the foreign currency available to import refined fuel and factory inputs. A weakening naira contributed to inflation accelerating to the highest level in more than a decade, prompting […]

Nigeria: Buratai Says Niger Delta Now Witnessing Less Oil Theft

28 Feb 2017   Nigeria

The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, a Lieutenant General, says contrary to notion in some quarters, illegal bunkering, refinery and oil theft in the Niger Delta had reduced. Fielding questions from journalists in Uyo, on Tuesday, Mr. Buratai said with the establishment of new army formations in the region, illegal activities were being checkmated. The army chief was on tour of army formations in Akwa Ibom, including the newly established 2 Brigade in Uyo. “Strictly speaking, there is no rise (in illegal bunkering and oil theft) because of the efforts of all the stakeholders, the military and other security agencies, working hard to make sure that the sabotage is checked. “That is why you see so many arrests, so many moves to stop the illegal bunkering. It is a new drive, new effort put by all the security agencies. “You know that we have a new 6 Division […]

Economic Slump Squeezes Nigerians Fearing Pain Isn’t Over

27 Feb 2017   Nigeria

The ‘Computer Village’ in the Ikeja suburb of Lagos, where electronic products such as mobile phones, computer hardware and accessories are sold. It’s 4 p.m. in Nigeria’s capital and Ahmed Chiji has been running from car to car near the National Mosque selling mobile-phone airtime vouchers. His total for the day: 500 naira ($1.59). That’s as little as a 20th of what he was selling at the beginning of last year before the economy, hit by falling crude oil prices, militant attacks on oil pipelines and foreign-exchange shortages, began contracting. Chiji, a 27-year-old high school dropout, says he can no longer make ends meet at a time when the inflation rate is at the highest in more than a decade. “Government is asking us to be patient for them to do something,” Chiji said at an intersection in Abuja. “I think the worst is yet to come.” The economic […]

Nigeria: Kachikwu Clarifies Nigeria’s $100 Billion Loss to Militancy in Niger Delta

22 Feb 2017   Nigeria

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has clarified the $50-$100 billion said to have been lost to the attacks of oil and gas infrastructure by the Niger Delta militants. In his recent monthly podcast, the minister was quoted by some media reports (not THISDAY) as saying that Nigeria lost $50-$100 billion in oil revenue at the peak of the militant attacks on oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta, which slashed oil production from 2.2 million barrels per day to one million barrels per day last year. But in a statement yesterday, the Technical Assistant (Media) to the minister, Uche Ozurumba Adighibe, made a clarification on the $50 – $100 billion unearned income lost to militancy, which was mentioned by the minister. Adighibe, who quoted the minister as having said in the podcast that “as at 2016 on the average and looking at it historically […]

As Consultations Continue, Nigeria Records 58 Per Cent Decrease in Pipeline Vandalism in Niger Delta

17 Feb 2017   Nigeria

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, said on Thursday that it has recorded about 58 per cent reduction in cases of pipeline sabotage. This was disclosed in the Corporation’s monthly Financial and Operations Report for December 2016. According to the report, only 18 cases of vandalized points on downstream pipelines were recorded in November 2016 as against 43 in the previous month. The downward trend in the cases of pipeline sabotage, according to the report, was due to sustained engagement with stakeholders by the Federal Government and the NNPC. The federal government has been engaging leaders and stakeholders in the Niger Delta to ensure security of oil and gas facilities as well as development of the region. Last year, President Muhammadu Buhari met with a delegation of leaders and public officials in the Niger Delta. The presidency, led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has since followed that up with […]

Nigeria Loses Up to $100 Billion in Revenue as Attacks Cut Oil

15 Feb 2017   Nigeria

Nigeria said it lost out on as much as $100 billion in revenue last year as attacks by militants in the oil-rich Niger Delta cut crude output to a record low. Production fell by 1 million barrels a day to 1.2 million a day at the peak of the attacks, Emmanuel Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum, said Tuesday in a video-clip on his Facebook page. Last year, Nigeria suffered its first full-year recession since 1991 as a resurgence of armed conflict in the delta, combined with lower oil prices, blighted the economy. While recent peace efforts have curbed the frequency of attacks on oil infrastructure, the West African nation has struggled to boost output as one of its largest export terminals remains closed. “We continue to engage,” Kachikwu said, referring to peace talks between the government and local leaders from the delta. “It is a difficult undertaking to […]

Nigerian Vice President Visits Niger Delta To Restart Peace Talks

11 Feb 2017   Nigeria

Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo visited the Niger Delta on Friday in a move that could bring peace to the oil-producing region after almost a year of militant and separatist conflict, which has seriously stunted national energy output. The African petrostate depends on oil exports for 70 percent of government revenues, but last year’s attacks by the Niger Delta Avengers and other related groups saw production drops anywhere from one-third to one-half of full capacity, depending on the time of year. Due to the decreased output, Nigeria received an exemption from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) recent deal to reduce output by 1.5 million barrels per day over the first six months of 2017. The NDA and related groups argue against Lagos’ diversion of oil profits away from states in the Niger Delta, where funds are needed for further infrastructural and economic development. A previous attempt at […]

Nigeria Rescues Oil Tanker From High-Seas Pirates

10 Feb 2017   Nigeria

The Nigerian Navy has rescued an oil tanker from pirates near Bonny Island, even as the number of high-seas hijackers is at an 18-year low, according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB). Nigerian Navy Captain Sulieman Dahun said the naval forces rescued the MT Gas Providence oil tanker, which came under pirate attack on Wednesday in River State, just off Bonny Island. The vessels 21 crew members were rescued after sending off a distress signal received by the Navy. It was the second failed hijacking attempt in the area this week. A Nigerian naval vessel also thwarted at a pirate attack on a second oil tanker, MT Rio Spirit. In 2016, there were 36 recorded incidences of high-seas piracy in Nigeria—more than double the number of incidences the year before. There has also been an increase of high-seas kidnappings in Nigeria. That said, from a global perspective, the new […]

Italian Prosecutors Request Eni CEO, Shell Stand Trial

9 Feb 2017   Italy, Nigeria

Italian prosecutors are pursuing a criminal trial for Royal Dutch Shell PLC and the chief executive of Italian oil company Eni SpA on charges of corruption tied to a controversial Nigerian deal, according to a person familiar with the matter. The prosecutors’ request—if granted by a judge over the next several months—could lay bare the operations of Shell and the actions of Eni executives in pursuit of a potentially giant…

Nigeria Struggles to Boost Oil Output; That’s Good for OPEC

8 Feb 2017   Nigeria

Nigeria’s progress in curbing militant attacks hasn’t much boosted its oil output. While that’s bad news for a country mired in its worst economic slump in 25 years, it’s making life easier for fellow OPEC members. Africa’s largest economy was pumping about 1.5 million barrels a day late last month, 30 percent below what it was hoping to achieve and only a modest recovery from an almost 30-year low of 1.4 million in August. While peace efforts have curbed the frequency of attacks in the oil-rich Niger River delta, the Forcados export terminal, the country’s third largest, remains closed and shipments are down at many others. If these disruptions persist they could have an unintended consequence: helping the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries boost oil prices. “Bringing the Forcados loading terminal back into action is key for Nigeria’s exports,” said Charles Swabey, an oil and gas analyst at BMI […]

Nigeria to Stop Fuel Importion By 2019 – Kachikwu

8 Feb 2017   Nigeria

Nigeria will stop importing refined petroleum products by 2019, Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, said on Tuesday in Abuja. Mr. Kachikwu said this at a public hearing on the review of petroleum pricing template for petrol organised by the House of Representatives. He said that within two years, the Federal Government revived refineries that were non-functional to contribute about eight million out of over 20 million litres of petrol consumed in the country daily. He explained that the Federal Government initiated a model which attracted foreign investors to partner with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to repair the country’s refineries within the two-year period. “This has consistently served as a target for this government so that by December 2018, NNPC must be able to deliver on some of the terms given them, one of which is to reduce petroleum importation by 60 per cent. […]

Nigeria Crude Exports to Hit 1.62mbpd in March

2 Feb 2017   Nigeria

Nigeria’s crude oil exports are on track for a month-on-month rise in March after a string of loading delays pushed back some cargoes. Exports are slated to reach 1.62 million barrels per day (bpd) in March on 55 cargoes, up from a revised February loading schedule of 1.48 million bpd on 46 cargoes. Shipments of Erha and Qua Iboe that were originally planned to load in February were deferred, adding to the March exports and taking away from the original February plan of 1.62 million bpd, loading programmes compiled by Reuters revealed. Meanwhile, Oil prices fell yesterday as news of another weekly increase in the United States drilling activity had oil forecasters concerned that production cuts from other producing nations may not reduce the global supply glut as much as had been hoped. Global benchmark Brent crude oil prices settled down 29 cents at $55.23 a barrel, while U.S. […]

Nigeria: Niger Delta Villagers Can’t Sue Shell in UK for Nigerian Oil Spill, Court Rules

28 Jan 2017   Nigeria

A UK High Court yesterday ruled that two Niger Delta communities devastated by oil spills cannot pursue their case against Shell in the United Kingdom for oil spills that occurred in Nigeria. The court ruled that Royal Dutch Shell could not be held responsible for the actions of its Nigerian subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC). But in its reaction to the ruling, Amnesty International said it could rob the communities of justice and allow UK multinationals to commit abuses overseas with impunity. “The Ogale and Bille communities have been hit by multiple Shell spills, threatening their health and drinking water. The UN found groundwater contamination in Ogale was more than 450 times the legal limit – when Amnesty investigators went back four years later, Shell still hadn’t cleaned up the pollution. “This ruling could mean that the communities will never receive meaningful compensation, and that […]

Nigeria Tells Shell, Eni to Temporarily Cede Oil Field Control

28 Jan 2017   Nigeria

A Nigerian court has ordered Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Eni SpA to cede control of a jointly owned oil license to the government amid an investigation into how they purchased the asset. The companies’ control of Oil Prospecting License 245 is suspended pending “investigation and prosecution of suspects” including companies and individuals accused of possible “acts of conspiracy, bribery, official corruption and money laundering,” according to documents from the Federal High Court in Abuja. “We are aware of media reports but we have not received any notification,” Eni said in an e-mailed statement. “Eni denies any wrongdoing in respect of its acquisition of a participation interest in the block OPL from the Nigerian government.” Shell spokesman Precious Okolobo declined to comment. Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, which has been investigating the sale of the license, requested the suspension, spokesman Wilson Uwujaren said by phone. He couldn’t say […]

Economic Recovery in Nigeria Hobbled by Oil, Currency Policy

26 Jan 2017   Nigeria

Nigeria’s economy may struggle to rebound from its worst slump in 25 years unless President Muhammadu Buhari can end an armed conflict in the nation’s oil-producing region and fix a currency policy that’s blocked investment. Pipeline attacks in the Niger River delta cut oil production by a third last year, slashing government revenue, while central bank intervention and trading restrictions that prop up the value of the naira have stymied trade and investment. A more favorable oil and foreign-currency environment could help the economy expand, analysts say. The International Monetary Fund estimates gross domestic product contracted 1.5 percent in 2016. “It’s oil prices and production from the delta that will determine growth,” Ogho Okiti, chief executive officer of Time Economics Ltd., said on Wednesday from Abuja, the capital. “When monetary authorities floated the naira, they expected fiscal policies that attract investment and boost activity. But that didn’t happen, and […]

Fitch Downgrades Nigerian Rating Outlook on Dollar Shortages

26 Jan 2017   Nigeria

Fitch Ratings Ltd. revised the outlook on Nigeria to negative from stable over concerns that a lack of foreign exchange will hamper the economy, and affirmed the West African nation’s rating at B+, four steps below investment grade. While Nigeria’s economy will probably expand at 1.5 percent this year, after contracting by an estimated 1.5 percent in 2016, the non-oil industry will continue to be constrained by foreign-currency shortages, the ratings company said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday. “Access to foreign exchange will remain severely restricted until the Central Bank of Nigeria can establish the credibility of the interbank foreign-exchange market and bring down the spread between the official rate and the parallel market rates,” Fitch said. The central bank removed a currency peg in June but continued to intervene to keep the naira at about 315 against the U.S. dollar, compared with almost 500 on the parallel […]

GE proposes investing in Nigeria’s ailing oil refineries

25 Jan 2017   Nigeria

General Electric Co ( GE.N ) has proposed investing in Nigeria’s oil refineries, potentially convening a consortium of companies to improve capacity at the run-down facilities. GE’s plan and similar promises from companies like Italy’s Eni ( ENI.MI ) to work with Nigeria to rehabilitate the country’s three oil refineries could help the government as it tries to reduce costly imported oil products. The work was raised during a meeting with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), a GE spokeswoman said late on Tuesday. “We propose that work commences either with the Warri or Port Harcourt refinery as a pilot, as we set a target to improve the refinery capacity before the end of 2017,” GE told the NNPC, according to a statement from the state oil firm. Imports are consuming […]

Nigeria Sees Oil Hitting Mid-$60s in Coming Months as OPEC Bites

25 Jan 2017   Nigeria

Oil Reaches Mid-$60s in Months Crude oil prices, hovering around $55 a barrel since early December, will climb by about $10 in the coming months as OPEC-led measures to curb a glut take hold, Nigeria’s oil minister said. “Ultimately, the effects over the next few months will get us to where we want to be, which is in the mid-$60s,” Minister of State for Petroleum Emmanuel Kachikwu said in a Bloomberg Television interview from Rome. Oil surged at the end of November and in early December after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries surprised the market with output cuts and enlisted the help of non-member suppliers to eliminate a surplus. While militant attacks on its energy infrastructure meant Nigeria itself was spared from having to pump less, OPEC could ask for its participation, Kachikwu said. Nigeria is now seeking […]

Nigeria: Militants Didn’t Blowup Pipeline in Ughelli, Says Military

20 Jan 2017   Nigeria

The Nigerian Military has denied reports that militants blew an oil pipeline in Delta State after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s visit, saying it was a bush-burning incidence that was put under control immediately. A statement issued by the Director, Defence Information (DDI), Brig.-Gen. Rabe Abubakar, yesterday in Abuja said: “The report to say the least is not only a ruse but a complete imagination of its author as the said incident was a bush burning, which was immediately put under control. This prompt action prevented environmental catastrophe that the incident might have caused’. According to some observers of the peace efforts of the present government, the incidence was an indication that the visit of Osinbajo to the Niger Delta region was a wasted effort, as action, which supposedly happened in Ughelli, Delta State, would have been in apparent defiance of the “efforts of the Federal Government at […]

Fire reported at Nigerian oil pipeline

19 Jan 2017   Nigeria

Citing possible terrorism, Nigerian media reported Wednesday an oil pipeline was on fire less than a day after the vice president was in an oil-rich region. Nigerian newspaper Vanguard reported an oil pipeline controlled by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Co. was on fire in the oil-rich Niger Delta, “sparking fears of attacks by suspected militants.” No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack and the newspaper said it couldn’t verify the cause of the blaze, which was said to have been extinguished by midday Wednesday in Nigeria. A militant group calling itself the Niger Delta Avengers emerged last year with a campaign of violence aimed at pressuring the government to distribute the nation’s oil wealth in a more equal fashion. In an […]

Nigeria Reclaims Africa’s Top Oil Producer Spot

11 Jan 2017   Nigeria

Nigeria may have reclaimed its position as Africa’s top oil producer which it lost to fellow African oil producer, Angola earlier in March 2016. According to the December 2016 Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), crude oil production from Nigeria rose slightly above that of Angola even before the January 2017 planned production cut agreed by OPEC and non-OPEC producers. Angola would be expected to cut about 78,000 barrels per day (bd) of its production in the agreement which was sealed in late 2016. But secondary sources in the MOMR indicated that in November, Nigeria and Angola produced 1.692 million barrels (mb) of oil apiece. Similarly, information from primary sources in the MOMR stated that Nigeria produced 1.782mb of oil as against Angola’s 1.688mb to show its takeover of Angola by about 94,000bd. “According to secondary sources, OPEC crude oil […]

Nigeria: Fuel Scarcity Looms As Nation’s Marketers Fail to Repay Loans

11 Jan 2017   Nigeria

The inability of petroleum marketers to pay or service banks loans in the last two years is threatening further importation and could worsen the financial position of banks. The marketers under the aegis of the Independent Petroleum Products Importers (IPPIs) said in a communiqué yesterday that members owe some banks as much as N305 billion ($1 billion) which has increased to N465 billion due to accumulated interest. They cited government’s discontinuation of the fuel subsidy regime and failure to pay outstanding arrears before the new pricing regime as reasons for their problems. Already funding for fuel imports is affected and this could create product scarcity and raise pump prices. The scarcity of kerosene worsened yesterday in Lagos, Calabar, Kano and Kaduna states as a litre of the product sold for N400. Unresolved issues on funds borrowed for fuel imports could also negatively impact banks’ profitability as they will be […]

Nigeria remains upbeat over tentative output recovery

7 Jan 2017   Nigeria

Despite intractable militancy and ongoing theft from pipelines which has hobbled its oil production, Nigeria’s government remains resolutely upbeat over its plans to turn things around in 2017. Nigeria, which has been exempted from the OPEC deal to cut output from January, hopes to pull its economy out of recession on the back of the upswing in global crude prices and restore oil production to at least 2.2 million b/d, Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari said in early December. Negotiations with militants in the Niger Delta to end attacks on oil facilities are also progressing and a new funding scheme for upstream ventures with foreign partners was recently agreed. For now, Africa’s biggest oil producer continues to suffer from the oil price downturn as oil accounts for about 90% of its foreign exchange earnings and about 80% of the government’s total revenue. The Nigerian economy slipped further into recession in […]

Shell battles Nigerian communities in high-stakes London lawsuit

7 Jan 2017   Nigeria

A court in London will decide in coming weeks whether Royal Dutch Shell can face trial in the UK over oil spill allegations in Nigeria, a decision some legal experts predict could attract more cases against multinationals in Britain. The High Court will judge whether members from two communities, Bille and Ogale in Nigeria’s oil-rich Delta region, can sue the Anglo-Dutch company in British courts. The communities say Nigerian courts are unfit to hear the case against Shell subsidiary Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC). Shell says the case should be heard in Nigeria because the matter is “uniquely a Nigerian problem”. Shell also denies responsibility for the spills, which it says were due to sabotage and illegal refining. If the High Court rules in favor of the communities, some […]

Shell Pipeline Fire Threatens to Deepen Nigerian Oil Output Drop

6 Jan 2017   Nigeria

Royal Dutch Shell Plc shut the Trans Niger oil pipeline after a fire, threatening to worsen a drop in Nigerian output due to unplanned disruptions. The line can transport about 180,000 barrels a day to the Bonny Export Terminal in the Niger Delta was halted Tuesday due to a blaze at Kpor in Ogoniland, Precious Okolobo, a company spokesman in Lagos, said Thursday by phone. Shell declined to comment on the impact on production. Nigeria’s daily output dropped by 200,000 barrels to 1.45 million in December, ending three months of gains as the African nation struggled to restore capacity after a year of militant attacks on oil infrastructure. Production fell to 1.39 million barrels in August, the lowest level since 1988, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Nigeria Targets 2.6 Million Barrels Per Day Refining Capacity

5 Jan 2017   Nigeria

Nigeria may be on the path to becoming self-sufficient in the production of petroleum products, as the Federal Government expects to increase the country’s refining capacity from 445,000 barrels per day to 2.62 million barrels per day. To achieve this, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), has granted licences to 22 private firms to establish refineries, which are expected to produce 1.97 million barrels per day in the short, medium and long period. If these refineries come on stream, the country is expected to save over $15 billion yearly from the importation of petroleum products, create jobs and meet the needs of industrial firms, which depend on by-products from refineries. Already, nine companies have submitted bids for co-location of new refineries within the complexes of Nigeria’s three existing refineries in Kaduna, Warri and Port Harcourt, which are expected to increase the nation’s refining capacity from 445,000 barrels per day […]

Dozens of companies land Nigerian crude oil contracts

5 Jan 2017   Nigeria

Nigeria’s state oil company said more than 30 companies, with nearly half of those foreign entities, have received one-year term contracts for crude oil. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. awarded contracts to 39 companies covering about 1.3 million barrels of oil per day. Sixteen of the companies were either foreign refineries or international traders, with the rest of the terms going to Nigerian corporations. Based on current oil prices, the contracts are valued at about $72 million. Each is for 32,000 barrels per day, apart from a subsidiary of the NNPC, Duke Oil, which gets 90,000 bpd. NNPC Managing Director Maikanti Baru said in a statement that more than 220 companies put bids forward, which he said is a testament to transparency in the Nigerian energy sector. “There is nothing that is hidden just as you have seen today,” he said. No U.S. […]