Shell Petroleum Development Company will stop Bonny Light crude oil exports after announcing a force majeure on the operation. The subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell in Nigeria had made the decision due to circumstances beyond its control.
According to a spokesman, Shell’s decision to declare a force majeure was prompted by Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company Limited’s decision to shut down the Nembe Creek Trunk Line.
The Nembe Creek Trunk Line is a major crude oil transportation channel used for the exportation/evacuation of crude to the Bonny Crude Oil Terminal. Shell said the force majeure on Bonny Light crude oil exports became effective from January 20, 2020.
What happened? Nairametrics had previously reported that a fire outbreak on the 100 kilometres long Nembe Creek Trunk Line, which has a capacity of 150,000 barrels per day, had compelled Aiteo to declare force majeure after the fire outbreak was contained and the damages were assessed.
Reacting to the fire outbreak, which occurred last year, Aiteo had stated that, “Our Operations Emergency Response team was immediately activated and following its urgent intervention and containment action, we are constrained to shut in injection as well as other related operations into the NCTL. In accordance with standard procedure, we requested the other injectors to do the same.”
What is force majeure: Force majeure is a standard contractual procedure, which is invoked in the occurrence of events such as natural disasters, wars, and other occurrences outside the power or control of the investing company that hampers the implementation of such contracts.
Other companies have declared force majeure in the past: Shell Petroleum Development Company had, on several occasions, been forced to declared force majeure on its facilities. In August 2015, SPDC temporarily stopped gas supplies to Nigeria’s LNG export terminal on Bonny Island in Rivers State due to a pipeline leak, Reuters reported.
Nairametrics also reported in March last year that Integrated Energy and Distribution Marketing Company had on several occasions issued a force majeure on its facilities while pleading with the Federal Government to buy back its 51% stake in Yola Electricity Distribution Plc following persistent attacks on the facilities.
Yola Electricity Distribution Plc, or Yola DisCo, is located in the North-Eastern part of the country which is a region prone to Boko-Haram attack.
Five oil majors reduce value of their assets by $50 billion in Q2
Energy demand at one point was down by more than 30% globally.
Five oil majors (including Exxon Mobil and British Petroleum) reduced the value of their assets by $50 billion in Q2, 2020. They also reduced their production rates as the COVID-19 pandemic caused a downward trend in energy demand.
What this means: The cut in asset valuations and reduction in crude oil production by these oil majors showed the depth of damage the COVID-19 pandemic caused on the global energy sector in Q2, 2020.
Energy demand at one point was down by more than 30% globally and still remains below pre-pandemic levels.
Some of these conpanies’ executives said they took these austerity measures because they expect demand to continue to be on the downward trend in the meantime. This is in view of the fact that people around the world are traveling less, even as many global industries are not in full capacity. The pandemic has already killed more than 700,000 people.
Of those five oil majors, only Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) did not book sizeable impairments, Reuters reported. However, an ongoing re-evaluation of Exxon Mobil plans could lead to a reasonable amount of its assets being impaired, and signal the removal of 20% or 4.4 billion barrels of its oil and gas reserves.
Oil major BP (BP.L) took a $17 billion hot. It said its plans in the coming years would be a focus on renewables and fewer fossils.
About two weeks ago, Nairametrics reported how Exxon Mobil and Chevron posted their worst losses in modern history, as the COVID-19 pandemic and a glut in crude oil reduced the demand for energy products in the second quarter of 2020.
US gives reasons it warned citizens against travelling to Nigeria, lists 12 high risk states
The US government has issued a level 3 Travel Health Notice for Nigeria due to COVID-19.
The United State Government has advised its citizens against travelling to Nigeria due to the Coronavirus pandemic, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, widespread inter-communal violence, and others.
This warning is contained in a travel advisory statement that was obtained from the United State Department of State website.
The statement also disclosed that the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had issued a level 3 Travel Health Notice for Nigeria due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Also, some parts of the country have increased risk.
“Reconsider travel to Nigeria due to Covid-19. Reconsider travel to Nigeria due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping and maritime crime. Some areas have increased risk.’
‘’Do not travel to; Borno and Yobe States and Northern Adamawa State due to terrorism; Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano and Yobe States due to kidnapping; Coastal areas of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta and Rivers States (with the exception of Port Harcourt) due to crime, civil unrest, kidnapping and maritime crime,’’ the statement said.
It stated that violent crimes such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, and rape, have become common throughout the country. As such, US citizens were advised to exercise extreme caution throughout the country due to the threat of indiscriminate violence.
“Terrorists continue plotting and carrying out attacks in Nigeria, especially in the Northeast. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting shopping centres, malls, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars, schools, government installations, transportation hubs, and other places where crowds gather.
“Sporadic violence occurs between communities of farmers and herders in rural areas.’’
The US government acknowledged the fact that it has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in many parts of Nigeria due to the security conditions.
Going further it stated, “Do not travel to Borno and Yobe States and Nothern Adamawa. Terrorist groups based in the Northeast target churches, schools, mosques, government installations, educational institutions and entertainment venues. Approximately two million Nigerians have been displaced as a result of the violence in Northeast Nigeria.
“Do not travel to Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano and Yobe States. The security situation in Northwest and Northeast Nigeria is fluid and unpredictable, particularly in the states listed above due to widespread inter-communal violence and kidnapping.
“Do not travel to the coastal areas of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta and Rivers States (with the exception of Port Harcourt). Crime is rampant throughout Southern Nigeria, and there is a heightened risk of kidnapping and maritime crime, along with violent civil unrest and attacks against expatriate oil workers and facilities.’’
World’s largest oil company to pay $75 billion annual dividend, despite plunge in profits
Saudi Aramco is the national energy company of Saudi Arabia.
The world’s largest oil company, Saudi Aramco reported a 73% drop in profit Q2,2020 profit and still kept its plans to pay $75 billion in annual dividends in a report credited to Bloomberg News
Saudi Aramco reported a plunge in profits for Q2,2020 of 24.6 billion riyals compared to 92.6 billion riyals recorded in the same corresponding year.
Aramco will pay a Q2,2020 dividend of $18.75 billion, most of it to the government of Saudi Arabia, the company’s major shareholder.
The plunge in profit was due mainly to “the impact of lower crude oil prices and declining refining and chemical margins,” Aramco said in the statement to the Saudi stock exchange.
“Strong headwinds from reduced demand and lower oil prices are reflected in our second-quarter results,” said Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser.
“We are seeing a partial recovery in the energy market as countries around the world take steps to ease restrictions and reboot their economies.”
Quick fact; Saudi Aramco is the national energy company of Saudi Arabia. It produces five grades of crude oil and natural gas liquids.
It also produces refined energy products that include liquefied petroleum gas, ethanol, naphtha, and other products.
It exports about 75% of its crude oil to foreign markets, most often with its oil tankers. Saudi Aramco has access to crude oil reserves of about 260 billion barrels, the largest in the world.
OPEC’s largest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia has been hit hard by global economic restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.
The Saudis make most of its revenue from crude oil, which has dropped 33% in value this year.