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. […]

Nigerian crude oil exports to edge higher in February

5 Jan 2017   Nigeria

Nigeria’s crude oil exports are on track to edge higher in February, due in part to deferred January cargoes, loading program compiled by Reuters showed on Wednesday. The loading program of 1.62 million barrels per day (bpd) on 50 cargoes comes despite only three cargoes of Bonga crude being planned, compared with seven in January. Traders said the field has planned maintenance in the second half of the month. Field operator Shell did not immediately respond to a query about maintenance plans. Much of the gain is from cargoes that were meant to load earlier, with several ExxonMobil-operated crude oil grades having been delayed by a strike by workers in December. The original export plans for both January and December had been higher than the February program, but both fell short of the plans […]

More oil possible from Nigeria

31 Dec 2016   Nigeria

LONDON, Dec. 30 (UPI) — A minority player in OPEC-member Nigeria said it was able to stimulate crude oil production at one of its operating areas by about 15 percent. Africa-focused San Leon Energy, which lists its headquarters in London, holds a minority stake in oil mining lease No. 18 onshore Nigeria. The company said new boring at wells in the lease area increased gross production to around 61,000 barrels of oil per day. “The well has now been temporarily shut in to allow minor production upgrades and additional work-over operations, and current gross OML 18 production is around 53,000 bpd,” the company stated. Nigeria is exempt from an agreement crafted by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut production next month because of militant attacks on its oil sector. The managed decline is aimed at bringing the market back to a reasonable balance between supply and demand. […]

Nigeria Aims For “Lasting Peace” As Oil Output Hits 1.8 Million Bpd

16 Dec 2016   Nigeria

Nigeria is producing around 1.8 million barrels of oil daily, up from an average 1.63 million bpd in the third quarter of the year. The current rate of production is still 400,000 bpd below the peak of 2.2 million bpd before the militant attacks on oil infrastructure started in the Niger Delta. Oil Minister Emmanuel Kachikwu, who presented the figures, said the top priorities of the government for 2017 were to achieve “lasting peace” in the oil-rich region and improve Nigeria’s oil refining infrastructure. Kachikwu was speaking at a forum in Nigeria’s capital Abuja, where later in the day he is expected to sign a deal with several Western oil companies that will settle unpaid debts from joint ventures totaling US$5.1 billion. The companies involved in the deal include Italy’s Eni, Shell, Exxon, and Chevron. Interestingly enough, in September, the government in Abuja said it was launching a lawsuit […]

Post OPEC Deal: Nigeria Plans To Increase Oil Output By 500,000 Bpd

15 Dec 2016   Nigeria

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is eyeing an increase to his country’s oil production to 2.2 million bpd , the volume it had pumped before militant attacks in the Niger Delta started crippling the country’s output and exports in early 2016. Presenting next year’s budget in Parliament, Buhari said he was willing to restore the 2.2-million-bpd production level—a statement that is probably cringeworthy for OPEC, who is hard-selling the cuts to the volatile markets, and who had exempted Nigeria from the collective cuts deal to curb its output to 32.5 million bpd, effective in January. “We must all come together” to see peace in the Niger Delta, Reuters quoted President Buhari as saying in Parliament. At the beginning of 2016, Nigeria’s oil production was some 2.1 million bpd, but scores of militant attacks on oil infrastructure in the delta has dragged down production, which was around 1.5 million bpd in […]

Nigeria Cuts 2017 Growth Forecast to 2.5%, Minister Says

14 Dec 2016   Nigeria

Nigeria cut its 2017 growth forecast by half a percentage point as the ongoing economic slump slows output, the Budget and National Planning Minister Udo Udoma said. West Africa’s biggest economy will probably grow by 2.5 percent compared with an earlier projection of 3.02 percent, Udoma told lawmakers in the capital, Abuja on Tuesday. “We realized that it is not achievable due to the current economic recession,” he said. Nigeria’s economy contracted in the first nine months of this year partly because the price and output of oil, its biggest revenue earner, dropped, and as it suffered shortages of power and foreign currency. These factors and delayed passage of this year’s budget meant to stimulate the economy could cause it to shrink by 1.7 percent for all of 2016, according to the International Monetary Fund . That would be the first full-year contraction in 25 years. President Muhammadu Buhari […]

Ghana: Airlines Panic As Nigeria, Ghana Run Out of Aviation Fuel

13 Dec 2016   Ghana, Nigeria

Foreign airlines operating in Nigeria are panicking over current fuel shortage on the West African coast that may affect their operations especially as the Yuletide season beckons. While Nigeria, which is the major market on the continent, is running short of supply to airlines, neighbouring Ghana that has lately become the aviation fuel hub for most airlines, is facing a similar challenge. The Guardian yesterday learnt that the development was already a major source of concern to operations, as some airlines with Nigerian passengers have begun to make a detour in Libreville, Gabon, for fuel. Aviation sources say airlines may begin to ration flights to Nigeria during the festive season, especially when there is no guarantee of getting fuel in neighbouring countries for top-up — and this could frustrate business tourism by jacking up […]

Nigeria, Morocco wealth funds sign pipeline deal to bring natural gas to Europe

6 Dec 2016   Morocco, Nigeria

A new pipeline project to bring Nigerian gas through Africa to Europe has been launched by the sovereign wealth funds of Nigeria and Morocco, the latest attempt to link Nigeria’s vast gas resources with the lucrative European gas market. The Trans-African Pipeline will be developed jointly by the Moroccan sovereign wealth fund Ithmar Capital and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, the partners said Monday. Nigeria has huge gas reserves totaling some 5.1 Tcm, according to the latest BP Statistical Review of World Energy, but few options for monetizing the gas other than its LNG export facility. A previous pipeline project — the Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline — was agreed on between Nigeria’s NNPC and Algeria’s Sonatrach in 2002, and an intergovernmental accord signed in 2009. But there has been little progress on the project since, given the huge distances involved and the high cost of developing such a vast pipeline […]

Nigeria: How Nigeria Can Benefit From Opec’s 1.2 Million Barrels Oil Cut

2 Dec 2016   Nigeria

Following OPEC’s decision on Wednesday, Nigeria can, in the next one year starting January 1, 2017, pursue programmes aimed at increasing its crude oil production capacity and growing national reserves and exports. Although pipeline vandalism reduced daily production, sometimes to as low as 1.4 million barrels, Nigeria’s daily production averages about 2.1 million barrels. The country’s aspiration has been to raise that level to about 2.3 million barrels and build national reserves of about 30 billion barrels. These are some of the benefits the country stands to gain as one of the three countries – out of the 14-member Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC – granted special concessions from the group’s decision on Wednesday to cut crude oil production by about 1.2 million barrels per day, effective January 1, 2017. OPEC President, Mohammed Al-Sada, explained that the output cut resolution, which would be binding for the first six […]

Nigerian Cabinet Approves 20% Increase in Spending for 2017

2 Dec 2016   Nigeria

Nigeria’s cabinet approved a 20 percent increase in spending proposals next year, taking the figure to 7.3 trillion naira ($23.3 billion), according to the Budget and Planning Ministry. President Muhammadu Buhari will probably present details of the spending plan to the lawmakers on Dec. 8, the ministry’s spokesman Akpandem James said Thursday by phone from the capital, Abuja, citing communication from Budget Minister Udoma Udo Udoma after a cabinet meeting. Lawmakers in the Senate and the House of Representatives will debate the budget proposals and return an approved version to the president to sign into law, he said. The increased spending proposal from 6.1 trillion this year signals the government’s determination to stimulate the economy of Africa’s most populous nation that’s forecast by the International Monetary Fund to contract by 1.7 percent in 2016. The Senate earlier rejected the government’s spending plan for the next three years, as well […]

Nigeria, Two Others Get Special Concessions As Opec Agrees to Cut Oil Output

2 Dec 2016   Nigeria

Nigeria, Iran and Libya got special concessions Wednesday, as the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, reached the much-sought consensus to cut oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day, effective January 1, 2017. The cut, which is the first after eight previous attempts since 2008, is considered a massive boost to efforts by the global oil cartel to shore up oil prices and end a record glut that has paralyzed economies. It is also seen as a major achievement by OPEC’s Secretary General, Nigeria’s Mohammad Barkindo, whose diplomatic shuttles since assumption of office in August, led to the “Algiers Accord” that sought to stabilize the market and boost price. OPEC President, Mohammed Al-Sada, who announced the resolution on Wednesday at the end of the body’s 171st meeting in Vienna, Austria, said the adjustment in output would be shared among all members of the group, to bring their ceiling […]

Nigeria: Professionals Bombing Oil Installations – Buhari

30 Nov 2016   Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari says the sophistication involved in the bombings of oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta indicates that those behind it are not ordinary Nigerians, but professionals. Buhari stated this at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja yesterday shortly after he was decorated as the grand patron of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAE). President Buhari specifically charged the NAE to appeal to its members not to deploy their skills for the destruction of the the infrastructure built over the years. He said: “If I will go in the negative side, ‎how can an ordinary Nigerian go into the sea, 70 kilometres or more, go down two meters and blow up oil installations? That cannot be an ordinary Nigerian. So, I hope you will appeal to your colleagues to make sure that what we have built, they should regard it whether they are working with […]

Buhari toils with Herculean task of reviving Nigeria’s economy

29 Nov 2016   Nigeria

Nigerians who voted Muhammadu Buhari into office last spring thought he would spearhead efforts to deliver the overhaul he promised. In September they learnt that, 16 months into his presidency, Mr Buhari had different ideas. “Change begins with you,” the 73-year-old leader told Nigerians in a speech that launched what he called a “reorientation campaign”, aimed at promoting civic responsibility. This was reminiscent of the “war on indiscipline” he led in the 1980s as military ruler. His latest directives were derided on social media as tone deaf and unrealistic. Voters agreed with Mr Buhari’s diagnosis that corruption “was killing Nigeria” and endorsed his plans for fundamental change. Endemic corruption has long plagued Nigeria, but outright theft of state wealth reached new levels under the previous president, Goodluck Jonathan. This left the country in a perilous state when oil prices crashed in 2014, generating sympathy for the dire straits the […]

Nigeria: Confusion As Explosion Rocks NPDC Pipeline in Delta

28 Nov 2016   Nigeria

There was confusion in parts of Ughelli in Delta State on Sunday as an explosion rocked a pipeline belonging to Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC). Though security operatives believed that the explosion was as a result of a fault, some community sources thought it was an attack by suspected militants. “Yes, there was a huge explosion on a pipeline known as Abura line at about 7.45 p.m operated by NPDC but we are not sure whether it was bombed or a fault”, a community source disclosed. A military source however confided in THISDAY that the Joint Task Force (JTF) code named Operation Delta Safe has launched investigations to unravel the circumstances surrounding the explosion on the pipeline. It was gathered that the Commanding Officer 222 battalion, Agbarha-Otor, Lt. Col. U. S Abdulsalam, the Ughelli South Division Police Officer, Oghenedoro Samuel, and heads of other security agencies in […]

Nigeria’s Oil Minister Has Eye on Shale as OPEC Readies Cuts

25 Nov 2016   Nigeria, Shale Oil

Kachikwu sees crude rising just above $50 if deal is reached Producers due to meet on Nov. 30 to allocate output quotas As OPEC prepares for talks on eliminating a global crude glut, Nigeria’s oil minister says he’s more concerned about the potential for U.S. shale suppliers to replace the lost barrels by ramping up their own output, quelling any price rally the producer club might achieve. “The challenge is less with OPEC and more with the outer forces we don’t control,” Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, the country’s minister of state for petroleum, said Thursday in an interview in Tokyo. “The U.S. is beginning to ramp up volumes again.” Nigeria is among nations at the sharp end of the global crude surplus. Prices are below its fiscal break even and surging U.S. shale production restricted its biggest export market to a fraction of what […]

Nigeria: Govt to Niger Delta – Oil Facilities Destruction At Your Peril

24 Nov 2016   Nigeria

The Federal Government has warned the people of Niger Delta region that the destruction of oil facilities will ultimately destroy their livelihoods, aspirations and future. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo gave the warning at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja yesterday while meeting with a group known as the Urhobo Leaders of Thought led by its president, Chief Tuesday Onoge. According to the vice president, vandalising pipelines and oil installations in the Niger Delta is akin to destroying facilities meant to help the people of the region. A statement by Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, quoted Onoge as lamenting that if the funds sent to the Niger Delta in the last 16 years were judiciously spent, the people of the region would have benefited; asking “What happened to these monies?” Onoge was also quoted as saying that his group condemned the destruction of oil and gas installations in the Niger […]