Nigeria

Nigerian Crude Exports to Hit 17-Month High in August

23 Jun 2017   Nigeria

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

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

23 Jun 2017   Nigeria

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

Nigeria’s cut exemption at risk from oil revival

23 Jun 2017   Nigeria

Upward production trend could be maintained Producer faces joining OPEC pact as output recovers August exports seen surging to 18-month high Security situation fragile despite fall in attacks Nigerian oil output has recovered to its highest level in more than a year as militant attacks have declined substantially, along with the return of key export grade Forcados. Including crude and condensate, output from OPEC’s biggest African producer plummeted to near 30-year lows of around 1.2 million b/d in 2016, from 2.2 million b/d previously, as attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta rose at an alarming pace due to resurgent militancy. But Nigerian crude oil production in May jumped to 1.73 million b/d, up 80,000 b/d from April, its highest level since March 2016, according to the most recent S&P Global Platts OPEC survey. Since then, the Forcados restart has boosted flows and production is expected to increase […]

Nigeria: Militants Give Northerners October 1 to Quit Niger Delta

17 Jun 2017   Nigeria

A coalition of Niger Delta militant groups rose from a meeting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State yesterday ordering all northerners to quit the oil-rich region. The militants threatened to attack all oil wells owned by northerners in Niger Delta before October 1, 2017. The groups, under the aegis of the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators, berated the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, Inspector General of Police, Department of State Services and the Army for not arresting those who issued an ultimatum to Igbo to leave the north. This development has stoked the tension that is threatening to tear the nation apart. The government which has initiated a peace process may have to increase its parleys with stakeholders to avert the threats to the Nigerian union. At the joint meeting between the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators and youth leaders across the region to review […]

Nigeria: Oil Output Hits Over 2.0m BPD As Shell Lifts Force Majeure On Forcados

13 Jun 2017   Nigeria

Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited has officially lifted force majeure on exports of Nigeria’s Forcados crude oil, thus increasing the nation’s oil output by additional 200,000 barrels per day. Force majeure is a legal declaration, meaning that the operator cannot fulfil a contract due to circumstances outside its control in order escape any liability. Consequently, the nation’s total production increased from two million bpd to about 2.2. million bpd, the highest in 16 months. Investigations showed that the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC has started monitoring developments in the nation in order to see the possibility of including Nigeria in its oil output cut before the end of 2017. Nigeria and Libya were excluded from the cut in May when the organisation met in Vienna, Austria to adopt an action towards achieving stability in the volatile market. At the end of the meeting, OPEC had indicated in […]

Nigeria To Return 20% Of OPEC Cuts To The Market

12 Jun 2017   Nigeria

Shell lifts force majeure on Forcados oil in Nigeria Royal Dutch Shell (ticker: RDSA) lifted force majeure on exports of Nigeria’s Forcados oil grade, returning about 250 MBOPD to world markets, according to shipment data obtained by Bloomberg . Europe’s largest oil company placed the crude grade under force majeure – meaning the company could miss contractual obligations due to circumstances outside of its control – more than a year ago after repeated attacks on infrastructure by the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA). The NDA militia attacked a number of oil and gas pipelines in Nigeria in an attempt to undermine the presidential administration. The attacks dropped the country’s oil output by 1 MMBOPD to just 0.8 MMBOPD in June of last year. Ready to put about 20 percent of the OPEC cut production back into global oil supply The persistent attacks on the country’s oil and gas industry were […]

Nigerian crude oil exports threaten market balance

9 Jun 2017   Nigeria, Oil Supply

The resumption of operations at a crude oil export terminal in Nigeria could lead to stronger output from the OPEC member, industry analysts say. File photo by Pavel Shlykov/Shutterstock June 7 (UPI) — Oil export operations in Nigeria are back in service following repairs, a division of Royal Dutch Shell said, adding to lingering supply-side concerns. A spokesperson for the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd said the company lifted force majeure, a contractual condition related to circumstances beyond the control of the parties involved, for exports from the Forcados terminal in Nigeria following repairs to an export artery. The spokesperson told UPI in response to emailed questions there were “three sabotage leaks” on the pipeline that were repaired with the help from federal authorities and the governments from the oil-rich Niger Delta states. Nigeria is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, but is exempt […]

Nigeria: Shell Reopens Forcados Terminal for Crude Export

9 Jun 2017   Nigeria

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) operator of the Shell/NNPC Joint Venture on Tuesday lifted the 17 months force majeure placed on Forcados Export Terminal following the completion of repairs of the leaks on the Trans Forcados Pipeline (TFP) that has affected crude receipts into Forcados Terminal. The spokesperson of Shell Nigeria, Bamidele Odugbesan who confirmed the development to LEADERSHIP in a telephone chat said the force majeure was lifted effective 16.00hour (4.00pm local time) on Tuesday, June 6, 2017. He commended the government and securities agencies for their supports in ensuring the repairs of the pipelines stressing that the reopening of the crude export terminal will further improve the prospect of meeting the 2.2 million barrel per day (bpd) export target of the government. According to Bloomberg’s loading program, Nigeria’s crude shipment this month is expected to average about 250,000 bpd, adding that the extra […]

Nigeria: Militants Threaten to Resume Bombing of Oil Facilities in Delta

9 Jun 2017   Nigeria

Warri — A militant group, New Delta Avengers, yesterday vowed to resume disruption of oil exploration activities in Delta State. The militants declared “Operation Cripple Oil and Gas Production’ saying they would use any means available to achieve their aim. Spokesman of the group, Cpl Oleum Bellum, said they were putting the Federal Government and oil companies – local and multinationals – operating in the state on notice that effective from midnight June 30, 2017 there should be no more oil and gas operations in Delta. They warned that those who try their resolve would be made a scape goat.A statement issued yesterday by members of the group who claimed to be ex-militants reads: “From the oil producing parts of Delta State, this morning, June the 6th 2017, converge in Delta State, we have agreed to resume attacks on oil facilities, resurrect the spirit of insurgency and to make […]

Nigeria’s Oil Theft Epidemic

7 Jun 2017   Nigeria

Although crude oil theft has long been the subject of intense media attention in Nigeria, the downstream theft of hydrocarbons has remained under the radar. Despite this, downstream hydrocarbon theft is big business in Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer. In 2015, the petroleum sector accounted for approximately 51 percent of the federal government’s income and more than 90 percent of export earnings. According U.S. Department of Commerce data published in February 2017, it also accounted for between 10-12 percent of Nigeria’s GDP. As global oil prices rose above $100 a barrel in the early 2000s, the theft of oil became a very lucrative business. Furthermore, due to a conspicuous lack of youth employment in the region, many of the Niger Delta indigenes (particularly young men) have turned to the illicit hydrocarbon trade (i.e. small-scale tapping of crude oil, petroleum theft / smuggling and artisanal refining) as a source of […]

Nigeria’s Forcados Oil Comes Back in Fresh Blow to OPEC Curbs

7 Jun 2017   Nigeria

Nigerian stream back after 15-month halt caused by sabotage Extra barrels equate to about a fifth of OPEC supply curbs Royal Dutch Shell Plc lifted restrictions on exports of a key Nigerian crude oil, 472 days after imposing them following militant attacks. The extra flows alone amount to about 20 percent of the supply OPEC has pledged to cut from world markets. Europe’s biggest oil company ended a force majeure of Forcados crude oil shipments at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, a spokesman said. The measure, which allows companies to miss contractual obligations, was imposed on Feb. 21 last year. Shipments this month will average about 250,000 barrels a day, according to a loading program obtained by Bloomberg. Graphic: Tracking OPEC’s Production Cuts Nigeria is adding barrels to the market just as other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are trying to remove them in a bid to […]

Nigeria Suspends Port Harcourt Refinery Concession On Transparency Grounds

31 May 2017   Nigeria

The Nigerian Senate approved on a motion to suspend a concession agreement for the Port Harcourt refinery with a subsidiary of Eni on Tuesday because the deal allegedly lacked transparency. The agreement would have allowed the Italian company’s local unit to repair and operate the 150,000-barrel-per-day facility. Eni had begun negotiations to form a partnership with the Nigerian oil firm Oando for the project, which would have allowed Lagos to reduce its dependency on imported refined oil. The Senate will now investigate the terms of the contract through a special ad hoc committee. Eni did not respond to a request for comment by Reuters. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had been accepting bids for the upgrade of three refineries—Port Harcourt, Warri, and Kaduna—until February 2nd. General Electric had also expressed its interest in being a part of the government’s rehabilitation initiative, which will save Lagos from spending millions […]

Nigeria Secures Second Exclusion From Opec Output Freeze

29 May 2017   Nigeria

Nigeria again got members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its other non-producers allies led by the Russian Federation, to exempt it from limiting the volume of oil it can produce from its oil fields within the extended production freeze agreement they reached at their second meeting in Austria, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has disclosed. This is just as the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) applauded the passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) by the Senate, and thus asked members of the House of Representatives to find similar courage employed by the senators, to accelerate the passage of its own version of the bill. Kachikwu, stated that the country and Libya, were exempted from the output freeze despite speculations they would be made to participate in the extended agreement. He however noted the country was […]

Nigeria: No Pipeline Vandalism Recorded in Three Months – Nigerian Govt

6 May 2017   Nigeria

The Nigerian government, Wednesday, said it has witnessed no pipeline vandalism arising from militant activities in the Niger Delta in the past three months. The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, made this known at the ongoing Oil Technology Conference 2017 holding in Houston, Texas, United States. A statement by the Director of Press in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Idang Alibi, stated that the near zero rupturing of pipelines in the oil rich region was mainly due to the consultations and ongoing discussions with Niger Delta stakeholders. According to the statement, pursuing peace, security and stability in the Niger Delta was an integral aspect of the implementation of the ministry’s target for the year. Mr. Kachikwu had announced in 2016 that the government was working hard to record no vandalism of oil pipelines in 2017. He also explained that there were efforts to substantially reduce youth […]

Nigeria: NEITI Begins Audit of Oil Companies, Govt’s Revenues in 2015, 2016

2 May 2017   Nigeria

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has disclosed that it has started the processes of a comprehensive independent audit of the oil and gas sector, as well as revenues earned by Nigeria in the sector in 2015 and 2016. NEITI stated in a statement, which was made available to THISDAY in Abuja that the independent audit would be conducted in line with the principles and standards of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). NEITI said its Executive Secretary, Mr. Waziri Adio, disclosed this in Lagos at a workshop for major oil companies and relevant government agencies expected to participate in the exercise. Adio, the statement added, explained that the workshop was designed to acquaint the participants with the structure and content of the template, the kinds of questions that NEITI would ask and the answers expected to be provided by the covered entities. “This workshop […]

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. […]