Thursday, December 26, 2013

Crude oil thieves are being sponsored by the Federal Government, the Speaker of the House of Representatives

Crude oil thieves are being sponsored by the Federal Government, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, has said, insisting that the crime is not being perpetrated by ordinary criminals, but by those who enjoy the backing of government.
Tambuwal, said this at the inauguration of the House Ad-hoc Committee on Crude Oil Theft in Nigeria in Abuja, noting that the only way to fight the crime is for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arrest and prosecute suspected crude  oil thieves in the country.

End of the year take on the energy sector

Energy has become, increasingly, a major focus of the British Columbia economy with billions of dollars of proposed projects. Those include Enbridge's controversial $6.5-billion Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan's $5.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. There are also billions in liquefied natural gas projects being considered by global energy heavyweights such as Exxon Mobil, Shell and the BG Group. The Vancouver Sun talked with Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers president David Collyer for a year-end take on these major projects.

Crude Oil boosted by products demand

Crude oil futures ended higher on Thursday, boosted by demand for refined products after industry data earlier this week showed a steep decline in gasoline and distillate inventories. 
US gasoline and ultra low-sulfur diesel (ULSD), more commonly known as heating oil, futures both rose to more than three-month highs in intraday trading as large French refineries remained offline due to strikes.
While US crude stocks unexpectedly rose last week, refineries boosted output and distillate and gasoline stockpiles fell, a report from industry group the American Petroleum Institute said late on Tuesday, indicating strong demand for oil products, including exports, Reuters reported.

Crude oil held steady near $99

NEW YORK, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices held steady at a lot more than $99 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Thursday.West Texas Intermediate crude oil added 10 cents to $99.65 per barrel.
Reformulated gasoline blendstock for January was up 1.05 cents at $2.8247 a gallon.
January heating oil added 2.55 cents to $3.1038 a quart while natural gas rose 2.1 cents to $4.437 per million British thermal units.
The national average price of unleaded regular gasoline rose at the pump, climbing to $3.268 a quart from Wednesday's $3.264, the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report said.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Crude, refined oil import falls by 20pc in Q1

State-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) imported around 1.2 million tonnes of crude and refined oil during the first quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2013-14, down by 20 per cent from the same period of the previous FY, a senior BPC official said.

The import cost also dropped by 25.69 per cent to US$821.81 million during the July-September period of this year from $1.10 billion of the same period of the previous fiscal, he said quoting statistics from the country's central bank.

The closure of the country's lone crude oil refinery, the Eastern Refinery Ltd (ERL) and suspension of several oil-fired power plants under cost-cutting measure led to the fall in petroleum consumption, he said.

The BPC did not import 100,000 tonnes of crude oil for refining in its subsidiary ERL during the August-September period as it was on 40-day routine overhauling, said the BPC official.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Brent crude rises

Brent crude futures edged higher on Thursday after seven straight sessions of losses, as the threat of Hurricane Sandy to East Coast gasoline and heating oil supplies lifted markets. Gasoline led the oil complex higher, standing up more than 2 percent in afternoon activity, and heating oil also rose as Sandy churned northward. Expectations of heavy snowfall in the Appalachians, and the possibility refineries along the coast could face disruptions helped drive prices. 

Oil boom gives U.S. new options

Things are going so well, the United States has surpassed Saudi Arabia to become the world's largest oil producer. The milestone was reached in mid-October, when total crude-oil and biofuel production hit 8 million barrels a day -- an increase of 2 million barrels a day from 2011.

The industry is predicting that by the end of 2014, the U.S. oil industry will be producing 13 million barrels a day -- an amazing feat.

Nigeria: Shell Disagrees With Amnesty, CEHRD Over Oil Spills Investigations

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) has described as “unsubstantiated assertions”, a recent statement by Amnesty International and the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) that it manipulates investigations into series of oil spills in Nigeria.
The two global bodies had declared that Shell's claims on oil pollution in the region were "deeply suspect and often untrue."

Crude Oil Theft: Act Of Terrorism Or Lack Of Political Will?

Recently, the Minister of Petroleum Resources raised the alarm over the increasing menace of crude oil theft describing it as another face of terrorism. JULIET ALOHAN takes a look at the situation and writes on whether the challenge is insurmountable or simply aided by the lack of political will to confront the threat on the nation’s commonwealth

The rising level of crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism particularly in the Niger Delta region has reached an all-time high with the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke recently describing it as another face of terrorism. The menace which led to the declaration of amnesty for repentant militants in the Niger Delta region by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, has assumed an even higher dimension prompting the question about the effectiveness of the amnesty programme which is costing government billions of naira.

Industry observers believe that the amnesty programme for militants seems to have waned, going by available statistics of crude theft. Statistics show that a total of 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) was lost to illegal bunkering in 2012, representing an increase of 45 per cent over the figure for 2011, and 67 per cent over that of 2010, while the trend for 2013 is even more alarming. They insist that unless government summons the will to fight the menace the situation will further worsen the country’s economic woes.

One Too Many Attacks
The ugly development has made operations in the Nigerian oil and gas industry one of the most expensive in the world according to the Chairman of Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mutiu Sunmonu.  Attacks on production facilities have led to several shutdowns and declaration of force majeure by the International Oil Companies (IOCs), ultimately resulting in loss of revenue to the government. In April, 2013, oil giant Shell; shut-down the 150,000bpd Nembe Creek oil pipeline due to the urgent need to clear away illegal connections.

Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) in the same month declared a force majeure regarding crude oil lifting at the Brass terminal and suspended its activities in Bayelsa State, following the intensification of illegal bunkering activities and the vandalisation of the 10-inch Kwale-Akri-Nembe-Brass oil delivery line. Another explosion and fire at a crude theft point on Shell’s facility at Bodo West in Ogoniland also forced the company to shut the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP), in June 2013, deferring some 150,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), to mention just a few.

Data from the NNPC revealed that 53 break points were discovered along the 97km Nembe Creek Trunkline in the first quarter (Q1) of 2013 reducing April and May monthly average oil production to about 2.2 mbpd and decreasing revenue that should have accrued to the Federation Account for the period by about $554.0 million (equivalent to N83billion).
Acting Spokesperson of the Corporation, Tumini Green, disclosed that crude oil production within the period dropped to 2.1 million bpd as against the estimated production figure of 2.48m bpd.

Failed Attempts To Tackle Challenge
Several attempts have been made by the federal government to tackle the challenge to no avail. The collaboration forged between the NNPC and the Inter Agency Maritime Operation Committee, whose members are drawn from the NNPC, Nigerian Navy, Air Force, Customs, Police, SSS and the Judiciary has not done any good.

In a meeting with Yakubu in Abuja, the Chairman of the Operation Committee, Rear Admiral E. O. Ogboh, said the committee was established with a mandate to address the issue of illegal bunkering in the nation’s maritime waters, but crude theft still thrive in the face of the collaboration.
There has also been the constitution of a Committee by the National Economic Council (NEC), comprising of some Governors, NNPC, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), IOCs, security agencies and other relevant bodies to work out modalities to mitigate the menace to no avail. Even the juicy pipeline protection contract awarded to some ex-militants warlords at a combined sum of N5.6 billion ended up as yet another drain on the nation’s scarce resources.

A breakdown of the contract showed that Mujaheed Dokubo-Asari got $9 million, Ebikabowei “Boyloaf” Victor Ben and Ateke Tom, each got $3.8 million, while Government “Tompolo” Ekpumukpolo, got the largest share of $22.9 million to engage their foot soldiers to protect the pipelines, but the menace has remained on the increase.

To further worsen matters, it has been alleged that some bad eggs in the Military Joint Task Force (JTF) deployed to the region to protect oil personnel and facilities have been accused of complicity in the illegal bunkering activities. Not even the much hyped crude oil finger print which Nigeria claims to be championing to detect crude oil theft as purchased by other nations has helped matters.

Alleged Culpability Of International Community
The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, recently declared that the grave phenomenon of oil theft and its global support system has continued to remain a cog in the wheel of the nation’s high economic growth trajectory. While delivering a presentation titled, “The Strengths and Obligations of the African Diaspora,” recently in London, at the Powerlist 2014, the minister said efforts at combating the menace locally is made more complicated because of the international slant of the crime.
“Theft of this magnitude is not only highly technical, but it is also an international-level crime.  It is aided and abetted by syndicates outside of Africa who are the patrons and merchant-partners of the oil thieves,’’ she said. She also made a similar accusation while speaking at the 2013 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas, USA, where she called on the global community and international oil traders to drop the appetite for stolen Nigerian crude oil.
Presenting a paper with the theme: ‘Development efforts in the West African Exploration Zone,’ the minister who spoke through the NNPC GMD, Engr. Andrew Yakubu said, “It takes two to tango, if those stealing our crude do not find a market for it there would be no incentive to steal that is why we are appealing to the international community to take action.”

Economic Implication
In the meantime, while government battles with how to effectively bring the situation under control, it is estimated that between $6bn and $12bn is lost to crude oil theft annually, with oil theft peaking at about 350,000 barrels per day (bpd), higher than the quantity of oil produced daily by Gabon or Equatorial Guinea.
According to the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Engr. Andrew Yakubu, the persistent attacks on major pipeline arteries supplying crude oil to export terminals has impacted negatively on the nation’s economy. Speaking  during his submission to the Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committee on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for the period of 2014 to 2016, Yakubu lamented that the continuous crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism and shut-ins have constrained the sector from meeting its revenue projection. He said the oil and gas sector is a key component of MTEF adding that any impact on it will have a negative effect on revenue flow to the federation account.

“The critical and most important point to note here is that when the artery conveying crude oil to the terminals is hit, this reduces our production volume by 150,000 barrels per day and for the period that the line is down that accounts for the drop in crude oil production. From February to date we have witnessed so much breaches and each time we go down about 150,000bpd goes down,” Yakubu informed.
He said the daily crude oil production figure for 2013 has been very erratic as a result of the several attacks on the arteries stating that crude oil production figure ranges between 2.2mbpd to 2.3mbpd.  According to the Corporation, about $2.23 billion (N191bn) revenue that should have accrued to the federal government from oil proceeds was lost to the activities of crude oil thieves in the first quarter (1Q) 2013 alone.

Way Forward
Appalled by the worrisome level of crude theft, experts and industry captains have picked holes in government approach to tackling the menace and called on the federal government to apply multi-dimensional strategies towards finding a lasting solution to the challenge. Managing Directors of IOCs who spoke at the 2013 Nigeria Oil and Gas (NOG) Conference and Exhibition in Abuja, noted that the issue of crude theft has grown to become an organised industrial scale business requiring more than one approach to fight.

In his presentation, SPDC Chairman, Mutiu Sunmonu, said the war against crude theft is no longer a war against the poor people of the Niger Delta, “it is a war against the big fishes,” he stated. While noting that the finger print tracing which the federal has decided to adopt as part of efforts to end crude oil theft, was crucial, Sunmonu maintained that the country still needs to apply other strategies.

“We need strategies to engender some sense of outrage so that all Nigerians can see crude theft as crime against humanity and the environment and begin to condemn it,” he said. He also advised the government to look for ways to make it more difficult for the oil thieves to access the pipelines by laying the pipes deeper below the ground. “I don’t think one solution is okay, government has to look for multidimensional strategies to end this challenge,” Sunmonu maintained.

For his part, Managing Director of ExxonMobil Nigeria, Mark Ward advised the federal government to look into the issue of poverty in the host communities which he maintained was playing a major role in the rising level of crude theft. Also speaking, former Venezuela’s Minister of Energy and Mines, Dr. Alirio Parra, urged government to apply four major strategies which he listed as identifying the market where Nigeria’s oil is sold, tracking the money from the illegal business, incorporate the communities in the fight against bunkering and to raise public outrage against crude oil theft.

Furthermore, an industry expert who spoke to LEADERSHIP on the matter explained that the pipelines, being strategic assets, ought to be conventionally outsourced by government to competent companies for protection, where it feels it is not capable of protecting them.  According to him, the global practice is that the owner of the assets works out the safety and security needs assessment of the infrastructure using a consultant, and where needs be, contract a third party to protect the assets if it becomes obvious that it cannot protect it.

He however, stressed that such services are usually contracted to the best companies after advertisement and specifying which artery of the network is most prone to vandals that needs protection. The expert who did not want to be named said the manner in which the pipeline protection contract was handed over to ex-militants under the table sends the wrong signals to the international community over Nigeria’s commitment to the principles of extractive industry transparency, which the country is a signatory to.

Also speaking to LEADERSHIP, Nigeria’s representative on the Board of the Global Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), Faith Nwadishi expressed worry that despite the contract awarded to the ex-militants and the money paid to the JTF for the protection of the assets, no visible result has been seen.  “The question to be asked is what has changed since ex-militants were paid this money? Why are we not getting results? Is the money meant for jamboree? Are they paying it to them to acquire their ships and enlarge their cabal?” Nwadishi who is also the Country Director of Publish What You Pay Nigeria, queried.

Against the background, there is therefore, the need for government to put sentiments and blame-game aside and engage in strategic reassessment and re-orientation towards bringing the challenge to an end in the interest of the nation’s economy.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

If US attacks Syria, crude oil may surge to $150/barrel - Expert

If US attacks Syria, crude oil may surge to $150/barrel but, going by experience, Indian users know the price will return to more realistic levels and are also reconciled to fuel price hikes.
The last time India experienced a oil shock was in August 2008 when crude prices galloped to $148/barrel. It was a difficult period when public sector oil marketing companies were near collapse as fuel losses soared.
Today, as tension levels rise in West Asia, with the US threatening to strike Syria, crude oil prices have once again reacted and are inching towards $120 a barrel. There is fear that a crisis could affect supplies from West Asia, and importers such as India (which coughs up over $170 billion annually for its crude oil) will face the brunt. 

It is still a million-dollar question if the US will go ahead with its plans to attack Syria, but the uncertainty is enough to prompt a surge in crude oil prices. “And, should the strikes actually happen, we will not be surprised if crude touches $150 a barrel ,” says a top-level PSU oil sector official.
Will it, therefore, be back to the grim days of 2008, when IndianOil, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation were incurring annual losses of over Rs 250,000 crore? In fact, these companies were actually borrowing heavily to stay afloat since the government compensation was slow in coming.
At one point, reports began doing the rounds that if the crisis continued, fuel supplies would be severely affected as a result of refinery shutdowns. “It was an impossibly difficult period when all of us were stressed out and wondering how long we could keep going,” recalls the official.
The Government compensation finally came with added support from the upstream oil companies (ONGC and Oil India) but the damage had been done. The three refiners were battered and this was reflected in their results in 2008-09. The silver lining was that crude had come back to the $40-a-barrel level during the last quarter of the fiscal; the alarm bells fell silent.

Prepared now

The oil industry is, however, a lot more composed this time around even as crude prices stay uncomfortably high. Part of the reason could be because everyone is reconciled to the fact that crude oil will not go below $100 a barrel. “This is the new reality and we are not naïve to think that prices will nosedive to $60 a barrel,” says a finance executive.
By the same yardstick, the think-tanks in these companies are only too aware that any sharp escalation in crude prices (as a result of the crisis in Syria) will only be temporary. It is only a matter of time before they are back to the more realistic levels of $100-105 a barrel.

Deregulation of fuels

The companies are also assured by the fact that the Government has kicked off the process of deregulating petrol and diesel. There have been blips along the way when petrol prices were not allowed to be raised during state elections but the constant dithering of yesteryear is clearly a thing of the past. Today, even the end-user is unhappily aware that a steep diesel price hike is round the corner despite the inevitable political opposition that will follow. The managements of IOC, BPCL and HPCL have also become more pragmatic to the realities of a new pricing regime. Panic and uncertainty were natural reactions in 2008 because nobody had quite seen anything as dire. “You only get tougher and more cynical with experience,” quips an oil industry veteran.
Does this mean there is little to worry about this time around? On the contrary, it is going to be a tough period, especially when the rupee has been ravaged and the economy is in dire straits. At the end of the day, it is going to be yet another rollercoaster year for India’s oil sector. Nobody is, perhaps, too vocal about it any longer because they have seen this scenario remain unchanged for the last six years now


Nigeria’s Oil Sector: Bumpy Ride No Doubt, But Many Cause For Cheer

Despite the many challenges, there are a few reassuring glimpses that presage a better future for Nigeria’s oil sector. This, writes Shaka Momodu, owes much to the gritty resolve of petroleum minister, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke

There’s no question about that; the petroleum sector is the primary driver of Nigeria’s socio-economic development - being the chief foreign exchange earner. Perhaps, its then not surprising that over 50 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry continues to reveal the complex dynamics of balancing global energy security, domestic economic growth, climate, and environmental considerations. Currently, all alternative revenue generation efforts and options for the country pale when compared to the sheer size of petroleum revenue in Nigeria.

The sector has drawn and continues to attract intense focus, wrangling and debate. In effect, being the key driver and supervisor of this all-important ministry then poses the most policy-making, operational and structural challenges - more than that experienced by any other Nigerian minister. This has been the lot of Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, the nation’s first lady petroleum minister. But significantly the Bayelsa-born technocrat has shown surprising strength, focus and vision.

On top of her game, the minister herself succinctly captures key grounds her ministry had covered in the preceding two years, a detail presented during the recent mid-term report. Her words: “The Ministry of Petroleum Resources has in the last two years vigorously pursued the Transformation Agenda of President Jonathan’s administration. Oil and gas which is the mainstay of government revenues and expenditure in Nigeria is critical to supporting various policies and programs of government.

“The Ministry of Petroleum Resources through its parastatals gives effect to government’s aspirations in the oil and gas industry and has a direct link with the ability of the government to deliver on transformation agenda through - building sustainable industries with indigenous participation; delivering quality products to the Nigerian people and creating oil and gas institutions of the future.”

More specifically, she stated that the key accomplishments in the period 2010-2013 cover the entire oil and gas value chain namely; Upstream - “where we have increased exploration in frontier areas and sustained production in spite of incessant crude theft and pipeline vandalism; Midstream (Gas) - where we have increased gas supply to power, enhanced gas commercialisation, implemented the gas infrastructure plan and gas for industrialisation.”

In the midstream (Oil) and downstream arenas, Mrs. Allison-Madueke identified the ongoing repairs and upgrading of facilities in the refineries and pipelines distribution network in order to sustain in-country product supply. In the downstream, Nigerians are of course witnesses to the product supply stability that is often taken for granted now. “We have ensured stable supply of petroleum products in spite of pipeline vandals and product theft, effective and efficient administration of the subsidy programme which remains unsustainably expensive and increased domestic refining,” she had further explained.

Perhaps of more than passing significance are specific improvements in local capacity and indigenous participation in infrastructure investments which have been vigorously pursued. The observable outcome has been in upgraded training facilities and increased regulatory compliance with local content requirements.
Going forward, some of the key positives of the petroleum ministry within this period cover the following arena:

One of her most important achievements is putting together the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), now before the National Assembly and generating all sorts of controversy. The Bill essentially targets a fundamental restructuring of the petroleum industry to maximize returns on the country’s investment in the oil and gas sector. Stemming from the Oil and Gas Reform Implementation Committee (OGIC) empanelled to review the subsisting 16 laws that governed the nation’s hydro-carbon resources arena, the PIB represents a one-stop-shop legislation that would guide the sector and effect a pro-Nigeria restructuring of the country’s lop-sided relationship with international oil companies (IOCs).

The initial efforts to push the PIB were scuttled in the Sixth National Assembly. no thanks to intense intrigues that stoked a few business divestment from Nigeria as well as prospective investors heading to nearby countries such as Angola, Ghana and Burkina Faso which boasted more stable policies. Today, for Nigeria, the story appears different.

The PIB cobbled under the watch of Diezani essentially incorporates the legal outline that will delineate and shape the oil sector. The creation of a conducive business environment for petroleum operations; optimization of domestic gas supplies, especially for power generation and industrial development; establishment of a progressive fiscal framework that encourages further investment in the petroleum industry while optimising revenues accruing to the government; the establishment of commercially oriented and profit-driven oil and gas entities; as well as the deregulation and liberalization of the downstream petroleum sector form central pegs of the PIB.

Midstream Oil (PPMC)
Of great importance is the rehabilitation and upgrade of PPMC major petroleum pipelines and strategic product depot facilities across the nation. “After many years of being inoperable due to pipeline vandals, the Port Harcourt – Aba product line has been rehabilitated and the Aba product Depot was re-commissioned after seven (7) years of inactivity. This has enabled products to be sent directly from the Port Harcourt refinery to Aba for onward distribution in the Eastern parts of the country. Aba – Enugu product pipeline is expected to be recovered by third quarter, 2013.
Similarly, Warri – Benin product line has been recovered and the Benin depot has been re-commissioned. Other lines recovered so far include: Kaduna – Suleja, Kaduna – Gusau, Suleja – Minna, Kaduna – Jos and Jos – Gombe all of which are now fully operational.

According to the Minister, her ministry is aggressively working on the recovery of the remaining product pipelines and depots namely; Enugu – Markurdi; Gombe – Maidugri and Markurdi – Yola. “Restoration work in the refineries and pipeline distribution network / storage systems have contributed to stable supply of petroleum products across the country despite the challenges of vandals and the criminal activities along these vital and critical infrastructure.”

It is to the credit of the Minister and PPMC that despite stoppage of importation by the oil marketing companies during subsidy saga, the nation did not witness any significant disruption in product supply across the country.

Growing reserves and production
The ministry in line with government’s drive to achieve the national aspiration of 40 billion barrels of oil reserves and 4 million barrels of oil per day production, including condensate, as captured in vision 20:20:20, has increased exploration activities in the Offshore, Onshore and Inland Basins.
From THISDAY checks, in order to meet the above national target, a total of 19 exploration wells were drilled comprising eight exploration wells in the JV and 11 wells (3 Exploration and 8 Appraisal wells) under the PSC in 2012.
A further 93 development wells were drilled comprising 55 development wells under JV while the PSC delivered 38 development wells and within the same year, 33 Workover wells were also drilled consisting of 32 work-over wells under JV and 1 workover well in PSC.

The petroleum ministry has significantly maintained crude oil production (including condensate) above an average of 2.30 Million Barrels per Day (MBOPD) despite illegal oil bunkering, crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism. Following the federal government’s amnesty programme, Nigeria’s production rose from an average of 1.9 mmbopd in 2009 to a peak of 2.62 mmbopd in October 2010.

Sustaining production at these levels continues to be challenged by increasing pipeline vandalism and crude theft, which intermittently results in production falling below the programmed 2.46 mmbopd and rebounding following government intervention to stem this menace. But happily, the government is tackling this problem through enforcement and the Crude Oil Fingerprinting Initiative.

The local content challenge
The Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010 (the “Local Content Act” or “NCA”) received presidential assent on Thursday, April 22, 2010. Now in operation, the Act seeks to increase indigenous participation in the Nigerian oil and gas industry (the “Industry”) by prescribing, inter alia, minimum thresholds in relation to the utilization of local services and goods.
The Local Content Act which derives from the Nigerian Content Policy focuses on the promotion of value addition to the Nigeria economy through the utilization of local raw materials, products, and services in order to stimulate growth of indigenous capacity.

The NCA accords certain privileges and preferential treatment to companies that qualify as “Nigerian Companies” pursuant to the Act, including preferential treatment in the award of contracts for projects in the Industry. To qualify as a Nigerian Company under the NCA, a minimum of fifty one per cent (51%) of the issued shares must be held by Nigerian shareholder(s); whilst the remaining forty nine per cent (49%) of its issued shares can be held by foreigners.

Nigeria’s product supply and distribution system consists of about 5,000km of pipeline network interconnected to the four refineries with a total capacity of 445kbd at three locations namely Warri, Port-Harcourt and Kaduna. The reliability of this network holds the key to sustainable supply of petroleum products across the country.

Nigeria’s petroleum product consumption for white products is estimated at about 38 Million Liters PMS , 12 Million Liters AGO and eight million litres DPK, whose production is inadequate for meeting domestic consumption even if they operate at design level. This scenario has led to importation of products from proceeds of crude exports to supplement supply from domestic refineries.
The plan going forward is to rehabilitate the refineries so as to obtain maximum production from them. This will meet about 70 percent of the country’s needs. The deficit will be met by on-going plans to construct Greenfield Refineries. The ministry is also cooperating with private initiatives for construction of new refineries and have progressed with plans for rehabilitation of the refineries commencing with the Port Harcourt refinery.

Clearly, these challenges will continue to drive innovation and change in the petroleum ministry’s approach to delivering an oil and gas industry that is internationally competitive and is governed by open and transparent processes to ensure security of investment for both domestic and international investors.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Who Steals Nigerian Crude Oil?

“Insanity has been described as doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result.”

Nigerians have been treated to a theatre of the absurd in which those close to the oil scene and those who should be the prime suspects for the incessant theft of crude are the same people complaining about it and passing the buck among themselves. Jonathan’s government is obviously powerless to stop the grand larceny or is unwilling to do so. Meanwhile, we face real fiscal catastrophe this year and next year if the theft is not checked. Who are the culprits? Take your choice from the list below.

“Oil workers………
“Security agents……
“NNPC officials…..
“Top govt officials….

Three-Pronged, Energy-Based Approach Needed to Generate Resurgence of American Manufacturing

Staying focused on a clean energy agenda and working collaboratively across the business, academic, and government sectors is the key to sparking a resurgence in United States manufacturing and to mitigating climate impacts, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson said today.

President Shirley Ann Jackson
President Jackson was addressing a forum on American Energy and Manufacturing Competitiveness, jointly sponsored by General Electric, the Council on Competitiveness, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (DOE-EERE), and hosted by the GE Global Research Center, in Niskayuna, New York.

Energy Security Market Worth $67.90 Billion by 2018

Dallas, TX -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/16/2013 -- The report "Energy Security Market by Power Plants (Nuclear, Thermal And Hydro, Oil And Gas And Renewable Energy), By Technologies (Physical, Network Security), Professional Services - Global Advancements, Forecasts & Analysis (2013 – 2018) " segments the global energy security market into various sub-segments with in-depth analysis and forecasting of revenues. It also identifies drivers and restraints for this market with insights into trends, opportunities, and challenges.

MarketsandMarkets has segmented the global energy security by type of power plants: nuclear energy security, oil and gas energy, thermal and hydro power, renewable energy; by type of solutions: physical security solutions, network security solutions; by regions: North America (NA), Asia Pacific (APAC), Europe (EU), Middle East and Africa (MEA) and Latin America (LA).


All Eyes on Iran’s Next Oil Chief

Bottom Line: Newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rohani has chosen his new oil minister, but the Supreme Leader is sending signals that the choice is not acceptable to hardliners.

Analysis: Rohani has chosen Bijan Namdar Zanganeh for the country’s new oil minister. Zanganeh has served as oil minister before, under president Mohammad Khatami. He left the post in 2005. Hardliners see him as too soft and there feathers were particularly ruffled by Zanganeh’s record of selling gas below market prices to foreign countries. That the Iranian Supreme Leader is against Zanganeh’s appointment was made clear in a scathing criticism of him that appeared in an Iranian newspaper controlled by the Supreme Leader’s camp.

Crude Trades Above $107 as Supplies Dip - Analyst Blog

The U.S. Energy Department's weekly inventory release showed that crude stockpiles logged a larger-than-expected decline. The report further revealed that within the 'refined products' category, gasoline stocks fell, while distillate supplies were up from the week-ago level. Meanwhile, refiners scaled down their utilization rates by 1.5%.

The supportive crude data from the U.S. government, together with the ongoing unrest in Egypt that could destabilize the resource-rich Middle East and further tighten the global supply picture, has nudged the commodity above $107 a barrel.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) Petroleum Status Report, containing data of the previous week ending Friday, outlines information regarding the weekly change in petroleum inventories held and produced by the U.S., both locally and abroad.

The report provides an overview of the level of reserves and their movements, thereby helping investors understand the demand/supply dynamics of petroleum products. It is an indicator of current oil prices and volatility that affect the businesses of the companies engaged in the oil and refining industry.
Analysis of the Data
Crude Oil: The federal government's EIA report revealed that crude inventories fell by 2.81 million barrels for the week ending Aug 09, 2013, following a decrease of 1.32 million barrels in the previous week.
The analysts surveyed by Platts - the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Financial Inc. ( MHFI ) - had expected crude stocks to go down some 1.5 million barrels. A steep drop in Gulf Coast supplies led to the stockpile drawdown with the world's biggest oil consumer even as domestic production continued to spike, now at their highest level since 1989.

In particular, crude inventories at the Cushing terminal in Oklahoma - the key delivery hub for U.S. crude futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange - were down 1.36 million barrels from the previous week's level to 38.52 million barrels. Stocks are currently at their lowest since Mar last year and 25.7% under the all-time high of 51.86 million barrels reached in Jan.

As a result of the sixth weekly inventory decline in 7 weeks, at 360.49 million barrels, current crude supplies are now 1.6% below the year-earlier level, though it is still close to the upper limit of the average for this time of the year. The crude supply cover remained at 22.7 days - same as in the previous week. In the year-ago period, the supply cover was 23.4 days.

Gasoline: Supplies of gasoline were down for the first time in 3 weeks despite a decline in domestic consumption. The fall in gasoline inventories could be attributed to lower imports and domestic production.
The 1.17 million barrels withdrawal - below analysts' projections for a 2 million-barrels decrease in supply level - took gasoline stockpiles down to 222.43 million barrels. Notwithstanding this drawdown, the existing inventory level of the most widely used petroleum product is 9.2% higher than the year-earlier level and is near the top half of the average range.

Distillate: Distillate fuel supplies (including diesel and heating oil) were up 2.03 million barrels last week, surpassing analysts' expectations for a 1 million barrels rise in inventory level. The increase in distillate fuel stocks - the second in as many weeks - could be attributed to weaker demand and higher imports, somewhat negated by the effects of lower production.

At 128.48 million barrels, distillate supplies are 3.5% above the year-ago level but is close to the lower limit of the average range for this time of the year.
Refinery Rates: Refinery utilization edged down 1.5% from the prior week to 89.4%. The analysts were expecting the refinery run rate to decrease 0.3% to 90.6%.
Stocks to Consider

With spot crude price staying strong - at around $107 a barrel - brokerage analysts are likely to upgrade their forecasts on oil-weighted companies and related support plays, leading to positive estimate revisions. While all crude-focused stocks - including behemoths like Exxon Mobil Corp. ( XOM ) and Chevron Corp. ( CVX ) - stand to benefit from rising commodity prices, companies in the exploration and production (E&P) sector are the best placed, as they will be able to extract more value for their products.

In particular, one can look at Matador Resources Co. ( MTDR ) - a small-cap, undervalued E&P player - as a good buying opportunity. Dallas TX-based Matador Resources, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), with current focus on the high-return Eagle Ford shale formation in South Texas, is expected to witness earnings growth of 232% in 2013 and 32% in 2014. Moreover, a price-to-book (P/B) ratio of just 2.3 suggests that the stock is still undervalued. In fact, shares of Matador Resources have risen from $12.78 to $15.96 since we recommended it on Crude Prices Surge: 3 Stocks to Buy Now on Jul 22.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Our Role In The $1.9B Malabu Oil Deal Fraud - Shell

Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited (SNUD) is in the centre of the Malabu Oil deal scandal, for which it is being investigated by the British police. The Nation has obtained documents filed at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in which Shell explains how it was caught in the web.
The controversy over the $1.092, 040,000 Malabu Oil deal continues with one of the parties, Shell Nigeria opening up on how it acquired 40 per percent equity in Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 245 in 2000.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Nigeria: Fresh Initiative to Curb Oil Theft Launched

A fresh initiative to curb the widespread oil theft in Nigeria known as 'Publish What You Pump' was Wednesday inauguration by a coalition of civil society groups in the country The advocacy campaign is aimed at filling the gap in the present initiative and the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) processes.

At the event in Port Harcourt the Rivers State capital, which was graced by representatives of civil society groups, community-based organisations and the media, the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) said although the NEITI processes had been ongoing for nearly 12 years, it had largely failed to sanitise the nation's petroleum sector or reduce the level of corruption as the country loses nearly 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day, costing the nation about $8 billion a year.

Agric to displace crude oil in revenue generation - Minister

Nigeria’s economy within the next 10 years would be braced mainly by revenue from agriculture rather than oil, going by the government’s sustained efforts towards reposition the sector, Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has assured. The minister said by 2015, the ongoing revolution in the agricultural sector would have become visible with the eagerness by farmers to ensure food security with production of large quantities of cassava, rice, beans, canned fruit juices and others for both domestic consumption and exports.
He made this known in Abuja as he explained that part of the transformation agenda by President Goodluck Jonathan was to develop the agricultural sector to generate revenue as an alternative to crude oil.
He disclosed that the target of the agricultural transformation agenda was to provide not less than 3.3 million jobs by 2013, while also targeting the production of 20 million metric tonnes of food by 2015.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Oil slips after China orders industrial capacity cuts

World oil prices slipped on Friday after China ordered industrial production capacity cuts in the face of slowing economic growth.
The government action added to market concerns about weakening demand in China, the world's second-largest economy.
New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for September, finished the trading session at $104.70 a barrel, down 79 cents from Thursday's close.
The European benchmark contract, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in September, fell 48 cents to $107.17 a barrel in London trade.
"The news out of China that they are forcing a cut in excess industrial capacity is a very bearish factor for crude oil," said John Kilduff of Again Capital.

UK police probing Shell, ENI Nigerian oil block deal

British police are investigating a money-laundering allegation related to a big oil field bought by Shell and ENI from Nigeria for $1.3 billion (€984 million), after most of the cash they paid ended up in a company linked to a former Nigerian oil minister.
The probe concerns offshore block OPL 245, which industry sources say contains up to 9.23 billion barrels of crude – more than enough to keep China running for 2½ years – the ownership of which had been in dispute for more than a decade.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Crude oil edges lower after IMF cuts global growth forecast - Crude oil futures declined on Tuesday, after the International Monetary Fund cut its estimate for global economic growth in 2013.

Investors now looked ahead to the release of key U.S. weekly supply data to gauge the strength of oil demand from the world’s largest consumer.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude futures for delivery in August traded at USD102.77 a barrel during U.S. morning trade, down 0.35% on the day.

New York-traded oil prices held in a range between USD102.31 a barrel, the daily low and a session high of USD103.39.

Not Your Mothers Crude Oil

I am a big fan of trains. I have always been. It’s just that now, there are few trains which move people. In Detroit Lakes you can get a passenger train going east or west at 3 AM . Not exactly convenient. One reason is that trains no longer move people: they move oil, gas and coal- over a thousand cars a day through Detroit Lakes. Our town is about the same size as Lac-Megantic, Quebec which suffered from a train derailment disaster on a train carrying fracked Bakken oil.

China's crude oil output slightly up

BEIJING - China's crude oil output rose slightly year on year in the first half of 2013, according to data released Friday by the country's top economic planner.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement that crude oil production stood at 103.31 million tonnes in the first six months, up 3.2 percent from the same period last year.

The country refined 217.46 million tonnes of crude oil during the first half, up 6.6 percent year on year, while refined oil products rose by 6 percent to 133.77 million tonnes, the NDRC said.

Apparent consumption of refined oil products rose 4 percent from a year earlier to 126.54 million tonnes.

In the same period, natural gas output rose 9 percent to 58.8 billion cubic meters, while imports climbed 24.6 percent to 24.7 billion cubic meters.

Apparent consumption of natural gas climbed 13.1 percent year on year to 81.5 billion cubic meters, according to the statement.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Global oil prices hit 15-month high point

LONDON Global oil prices hit a 15-month high point on Thursday, boosted by signs of strengthening demand in top consumer the United States and ongoing supply fears linked to violence in Egypt, dealers said.

New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in August, spiked to $107.45 a barrel -- a level last seen in late March 2012. It later stood at $106.02, down 50 cents from Wednesday’s closing level.

Brent North Sea crude for August rallied to $108.93 a barrel -- reaching a high last seen in early April 2013 -- before pulling back to $108.20, down 31 cents from Wednesday.

Crude futures had already scored multi-month highs on Wednesday after the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) weekly crude stockpiles data indicated a major pickup in energy demand.

The EIA said crude-oil stockpiles tumbled by 9.9 million barrels in the week ended July 5. That was more than triple the 2.9-million-barrel drop expected by analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires, and followed the prior week’s drop of nearly 10 million barrels.

Added to the picture, traders remain deeply concerned over potential disruption in Middle East supply following the overthrow last week of Egypt’s president Mohamed Mursi.

“The spike in oil is driven by three things; optimism over improving economic conditions in the United States, fears of escalation in Egytian unrest, and lower US inventory levels,” said analyst Ishaq Siddiqi at trading firm ETX Capital.

Crude Oil Stays Above $108

Crude oil prices held above $108 per barrel Friday morning in New York. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude added 30 cents to $108.11 per barrel. A long rally in equity markets supported higher prices, which were bumped up recently by political tension in Egypt.
On Friday morning, reformulated blendstock gasoline added 5.22 cents to $3.162 per gallon. Home heating oil added 2.06 cents to reach $3.1213 per gallon. Natural gas lost 2 cents to $3.792 per million British thermal units. At the pump, the national average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline was $3.672, up from Thursday's $3.669, the AAA Fuel Gauge report said.

Source: Copyright UPI 2013

What’s wrong with the global oil market?

Recent developments in domestic energy production have shifted the political debate about energy independence. Yet as the discussion focuses on finding a desirable mix of American energy sources, policy decisions must account for a global oil market distorted by the interventions of foreign governments.

Some may think this doesn’t matter because the domestic oil boom offers the United States a chance to reclaim the title of the world’s largest oil producer. Estimates suggest that there are more than seven billion barrels of oil in shale formations in the Dakotas and Montana alone. If more federal lands were opened to exploration, there is no doubt Americans could soon lose the need to import oil.


How sugar could help satisfy the world's energy needs

Hydrogen makes an extraordinarily efficient and clean fuel. Three times as energy-efficient as petrol, Nasa used it to power its space shuttles. It can be used to generate electricity and only produces water as a byproduct.

And yet, scientists are struggling to scale up hydrogen production. Ironically, given hydrogen's green potential, the cheapest and most viable sources are hydrocarbon-based compounds such as natural gas. But liberating hydrogen from fossil fuels creates carbon emissions that outweigh any environmental advantages.

Percival Zhang, professor of bioengineering at Virginia Tech Institute, says that the problem is not just technical but that, sometimes, "scientists have poor imaginations". And so he wants to try something different: why not take advantage of an abundant natural resource, sugar? "Our idea is that simple," he says. "We call the project Sweet Hydrogen."

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

India pips US as Nigeria’s biggest crude oil buyer

India has overtaken the US as the top buyer of Nigerian crude oil.

Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria Mahesh Sachdev said recent statistics showed that India had been buying more of Nigeria’s crude than the US over the last three months.

“India will continue to cooperate with Nigeria to improve its economy and it will also assist the country in capacity building of workers in both the public and private sectors,” Sachdev said, during a courtesy visit to the Governor of Niger state in northern Nigeria last Wednesday.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Chevron Issues Interim Update for Second Quarter 2013

SAN RAMON, Calif. -- 
Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) today reported its interim update, which contains industry and company operating data for the first two months of the second quarter. Readers are advised that the commentary below compares results for the first two months of the second quarter 2013 to full first quarter 2013 results, unless indicated otherwise.
U.S. net oil-equivalent production was comparable with first quarter 2013 results. International net oil-equivalent production decreased 71,000 barrels per day, primarily due to planned turnaround activity in Kazakhstan and Australia, maintenance in Nigeria, and lower demand in Thailand.

U.S. refinery crude-input volumes increased by 183,000 barrels per day, largely due to the completion of planned maintenance activity at the Pascagoula, Mississippi refinery and the late-April restart of the Richmond, California refinery crude unit which resumed normal operations by quarter-end. International refinery crude-input volumes increased 40,000 barrels per day, reflecting completion of maintenance activities at the Burnaby, Canada and Cape Town, South Africa refineries. Chemicals earnings are expected to be lower due to planned and unplanned outages affecting ethylene production.
              2012           2013
              2Q     3Q     4Q           1Q    
2Q thru
Volumes: MBD
      U.S. Refinery Input 928     779     702 576     759
Int’l Refinery Input (1) 870 909 918 818 858
U.S. Branded Mogas Sales 521 519 507 500 523
Refining Market Indicators: $/Bbl
U.S. West Coast – Blended 5-3-2 21.23 24.43 19.54 21.37 22.23
U.S. Gulf Coast – Maya/Mars 5-3-2 22.97 25.92 19.93 19.73 20.54
Singapore – Dubai 3-1-1-1 9.30 10.77 7.17 9.40 7.49
Marketing Market Indicators: $/Bbl
U.S. West – Weighted DTW to Spot 10.14 5.74 8.85 5.51 6.15
U.S. East – Houston Mogas Rack to Spot 5.10 3.99 5.21 4.78 5.30
      Asia-Pacific               11.73     9.58     10.26           11.07     11.59
(1) As of June 2012, Star Petroleum Refining Company crude-input volumes are reported on a consolidated basis. Prior to June 2012, crude-input volumes are reported on a net interest basis.

The table that follows includes the estimated values of select additional items in the full quarter.
$MM       2Q 2013       Comments
Foreign Exchange       $250 - $300       Primarily balance sheet translation effects
“All Other” Segment
$(400) - $(500)
Asset Impairment
Power-related equity affiliate

Chevron’s discussion of second quarter 2013 earnings with security analysts will take place on Friday, August 2, 2013, at 8:00 a.m. PST. A webcast of the meeting will be available in a listen-only mode to individual investors, media, and other interested parties on Chevron’s website at under the “Investors” section. Additional financial and operating information will be contained in the Earnings Supplement that will be available under “Events & Presentations” in the “Investors” section on the website.

This interim update of Chevron Corporation contains forward-looking statements relating to Chevron’s operations that are based on management’s current expectations, estimates and projections about the petroleum, chemicals and other energy-related industries. Words such as “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “targets,” “forecasts,” “projects,” “believes,” “seeks,” “schedules,” “estimates,” “budgets,” “outlook” and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond the company’s control and are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed or forecasted in such forward-looking statements. 

The reader should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this interim update. Unless legally required, Chevron undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are: changing crude oil and natural gas prices; changing refining, marketing and chemical margins; actions of competitors or regulators; timing of exploration expenses; timing of crude oil liftings; the competitiveness of alternate-energy sources or product substitutes; technological developments; the results of operations and financial condition of equity affiliates; the inability or failure of the company’s joint-venture partners to fund their share of operations and development activities; the potential failure to achieve expected net production from existing and future crude oil and natural gas development projects; potential delays in the development, construction or start-up of planned projects; the potential disruption or interruption of the company’s production or manufacturing facilities or delivery/transportation networks due to war, accidents, political events, civil unrest, severe weather or crude oil production quotas that might be imposed by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries; the potential liability for remedial actions or assessments required by existing or future environmental regulations and litigation; significant investment or product changes required by existing or future environmental statutes, regulations and litigation; the potential liability resulting from other pending or future litigation; the company’s future acquisition or disposition of assets and gains and losses from asset dispositions or impairments; government-mandated sales, divestitures, recapitalizations, industry-specific taxes, changes in fiscal terms or restrictions on scope of company operations; foreign currency movements compared with the U.S. dollar; the effects of changed accounting rules under generally accepted accounting principles promulgated by rule-setting bodies; and the factors set forth under the heading “Risk Factors” on pages 28 through 30 of the company’s 2012 Annual Report on Form 10-K. In addition, such results could be affected by general domestic and international economic and political conditions. Other unpredictable or unknown factors not discussed in this interim update could also have material adverse effects on forward-looking statements.

'OPEC’s production declined by 310,000bpd in June'

•Nigeria’s output down by 70,000 bpd
AGGREGATE production from members of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) fell by about 310,000 barrels a day, as violent protests slashed about 200,000 barrels a day from Libyan production while oil theft cut 70,000 barrels a day of Nigerian output.
  This was contained in the organisation’s monthly report released yesterday.
  Total OPEC crude oil production averaged 30.38 million barrels per day (mbpd) in June, representing a decline of 0.31 mbpd, when compared with the previous month.  OPEC crude oil production, excluding Iraq, average 27.32 mbpd, a drop of 0.28 mbpd over the same period.

  Nigeria, Angola and Iraq, led the crude oil output decrease, while crude oil production from Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates experienced the increase in June.
  But Nigeria’s crude oil production has declined further from the 1.930 mbpd recorded in the Month of May to 1.861mbpd in June, representing 69.7 per cent decrease from the previous month’s production.
  OPEC’s natural gas liquids and non-conventional oils are expected to grow by 0.21 mbpd in 2013 to average 5.87 mbpd.  “In 2014, OPEC natural gas liquids and non-conventional oils are projected to increase by 0.15 mbpd to average 6.01 mbpd.   

  The expected growth in 2014 is expected to come mainly from Algeria, Angola, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates”, the report added.
   According to the monthly report, the total developing countries’ oil supply is expected to average 12.55mbpd in 2014, representing growth of 0.32mbpd over this year.
  This increase, it noted, is expected to come mainly from Latin America, supported by growth in Brazil and Colombia, followed by Africa and other Asia, while the Middle East’s supply is seen to decline in 2014.
  It stated: “Africa’s oil production is expected to average 2.40mbpd in 2013, an increase of 80tbpd over the previous year and an upward revision of 15tbpd from the previous month. The upward revision came from the South Sudan and Sudan supply forecasts, as the two nations as the two nations reportedly agreed to continue the flow of oil.
   “Africa’s oil production in 2014 is also forecast to average 2.49 mbpd, an increase of 90tbpd over 2013. Oil supplies from Chad, Congo, Egypt and South Africa are expected to remain steady in 2014, with minor declines of up to 20tbpd. This comes on the back of supplies from Ghana, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea are forecast to increase slightly in 2014, supported by such developments as the Jubilee and Anguille, and Alen projects”.

  OPEC projected that world oil demand will surge by 1.04 million barrels a day next year, an increase of around 300,000 barrels compared with the growth predicted for the current year.
  OPEC, whose members produce more than one in three barrels consumed in the world each day, says it won't benefit from rising oil demand. It sees demand for its crude next year declining by about 300,000 barrels a day to average 29.6 million barrels a day.
 But the organization warned its supply forecasts from rival producers were subject to a "high level of risk"--largely due to political unrest. It emphasized turmoil in African countries such as South Sudan and in Middle-Eastern nations like Syria and Yemen.
  "Political instability is continuing to be the prime source of uncertainty on the (African) continent during 2013 and 2014," the group said.

Demand for OPEC’s crude will slip by 300,000 barrels a day next year to 29.6 million a day next year, or about 2.6 percent less than the 12-member group is pumping now, the organization said in its first set of forecasts for 2014.

The need for OPEC’s crude will diminish even as global oil demand growth recovers to one million barrels a day in 2014, from 800,000 a day this year, amid rising output in the US and Canada.
  Supplies from outside OPEC will increase by 1.1 million barrels a day next year to 55.1 million, compared with an increase of 1 million estimated for this year, according to the report. The expansion will be led by the U.S. and Canada, and assisted by nations including Brazil, Kazakhstan and South Sudan.


Monday, July 8, 2013

Nominations, Banking And Shipment Procedure For BLCO At Temmark Marine - Business To Business


1. Seller(s) sends a
Draft Contract which shall be opened for signing by the
end buyer and immediate return of the contract within 48 hours to seller
with any amendment(s). Seller/ Buyer Sign Seal the Contract and Exchange
the Signed Copy by Electronic Mail. The Electronic Signed Copy By Both
Parties Is Considered Legally Binding And Enforceable.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Nigeria halves fuel debt to traders with $1.4 billion repayment

* Debts were from fuel imports from three years ago

* Outstanding debt is still $1.7 billion

By Dmitry Zhdannikov

LONDON, July 5 (Reuters) - Nigeria has repaid $1.4 billion in mostly overdue debts to fuel traders after raising the money via an oil prepayment loan from international lenders, successfully concluding some of the most painful and lengthy debt talks in its history.

The $1.4 billion repayment, which follows a smaller payment to creditors of $400 million earlier this year, will allow the country to halve its fuel debts to $1.7 billion, sources at three trading companies told Reuters.

It will ease the threat of large write-downs for big trading houses, oil firms and Nigerian banks, as well as lowering the risk of insurance claims and legal action from traders, bankers and insurers against the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

India Now Nigeria’s Biggest Crude Oil Buyer

INDIA High Commissioner in Nigeria, Mr Mahesh Sachdev, on Wednesday, said that the Indian government now leads the United States in the purchase of crude oil from Nigeria.

He disclosed this during a courtesy call on Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu, at the government house in Minna. He said recent statistics showed that India had been buying more of Nigeria’s crude than the United States government over the last three months.
Sachdev also said that bilateral trade between Nigeria and India had hit $10bn mark while India’s investment in the country was valued at $16.6bn.
The envoy said India would continue to cooperate with Nigeria to improve her economy, adding that India would assist Nigeria in capacity building of workers in both the public and private sectors as one of the ways to revamp Nigeria’s economy.

“To reduce unemployment in Nigeria, the Indian government is now partnering with the Kano State Government for the establishment of a film city. We will also collaborate with the Niger State Government to create health care facilities and improve agriculture as well as embark on vocational training of youths towards self employment,” Sachdev said .
Responding, Governor Aliyu commended India for being one of the few countries in the world that had kept faith in the policy of strengthening the civil service, saying that the retention of the policy had helped the country to develop in all ramifications.
He therefore urged Nigeria to take a cue from India for the rapid economic development of the country, adding that if peace prevailed in all parts of the country the economy would be revived.

Nigerian government holds crisis talks with oil unions over strike threats

Lagos (Platts)--5Jul2013/552 am EDT/952 GMT

The Nigerian government, led by oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke held talks Thursday with the country's two oil worker unions, in a bid to stave off a strike that could potentially disrupt oil production and exports.

Nigerian blue-collar oil workers union Nupeng on Tuesday called off a planned three-day strike to protest against planned job cuts by foreign companies. It has, however, threatened to go on indefinite strike if the government fails to halt plans to sack its members as well as regularize the employment status of several hundred others.

The other workers union Pengassan has also issued an ultimatum to the government, demanding that it address widespread oil theft in the country. The deadline expires July 5.

A statement issued by the office of the oil minister said that at the end of Thursday's meeting held in Abuja, a 12-point resolution aimed at addressing the grievances of the unions was adopted.

"In the 12-point communique jointly endorsed by representatives of all stakeholders, far reaching decisions [were] adopted on all the items put forward by the unions as areas of concern," the statement said.

The government agreed to include the unions in a special committee set up to look into the rise of oil thefts and pipeline sabotage, which has disrupted production and, in some cases, exports.

"It was resolved that the unions should submit the list of all unfair labor practices to the 13-man committee headed by permanent secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources," the statement said.

The unions' grouse on the irregular status of junior oil workers is to be addressed by the labor ministry.

A general strike by oil workers will severely hurt Nigeria, whose economy is already under serious threat through widespread oil theft, illegal bunkering and pipeline sabotage.

The finance ministry said in late June that oil theft and pipeline vandalism were responsible for a 5% fall in Nigeria's revenue in the month to Naira 590.77 billion ($3.7 billion) compared with Naira 621.07 billion in the preceding month.

Nigeria's biggest producer, Shell, which put in place force majeure on exports of Bonny Light crude grade following disruptions to production because of attacks on its pipelines, has estimated that up to 150,000 b/d of crude oil is stolen in Nigeria, out of a total production of a little over 2 million b/d.