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Oil prices drop to 21-year low as demand and storage crises persist

There appears to be no respite in sight for oil producers, as the volatility and continuous price slump in the global oil market continue.

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Crude oil prices, bonny light, 4 key reasons why Brent crude might slip back to $35 per barrel, Crude oil prices resume weekly gains as demand picks up 

There appears to be no respite in sight for oil producers, as the volatility and continuous price slump in the global oil market continue. Checks by Nairametrics confirmed that crude oil prices extended its slide, crashing to its lowest in over two decades due to a terrible combination of very low global demands and concerns that global storage facilities are rapidly running out.

The present circumstances in the global oil market indicate that the output cut deal between OPEC+ and other top oil-producing countries has proven insufficient to take care of declining oil demand.

It should be noted that the June delivery for WTI declined to $23.69 per barrel, while that for Brent crude declined to $27.83 per barrel. According to a report by Bloomberg, an analyst, David lennox, said, “The output cut that we’ve seen, or supposed to see coming, isn’t sufficient to cover the 25 million to 30 million barrels of daily demand that’s being destroyed by covid-19.”

(READ MORE: Oil prices rise after Trump’s plan to reopen US economy)

The oil price crash is still sending shockwaves throughout the industry, even as oil majors have begun reviewing all their existing contracts with their vendors and contractors downward. They had to slash their expenditure across the board.

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The negative impact of volatility of the market has seen Exxon Mobil, which was the most valuable company in US as of 2013, reduce in worth to just about 13% as much as Apple and Microsoft. A recent report shows that streaming giant, Netflix is now more valuable than the firm.

READ ALSO: FG discloses impact of OPEC+ oil cut, how to manage post subsidy era

In the meantime, there are indications that the International Energy Agency (IEA) is considering the option of paying producers to keep crude oil in the ground. This is expected to take care of the problem of scarce storage facilities.

Nigeria is not an exception to the global impact of the coronavirus outbreak, low oil demand and inventory of unsold cargoes as had been previously reported.

The oil industry regulator, Department of Petroleum Resources, had tightened offshore oil rules after some oil vessel workers tested positive to the coronavirus disease. They directed the oil and gas companies to reduce their offshore workforce and introduce a 28 day staff rotation as part of the measures to contain the spread of the disease.

As part of the pressure of trying to curb the spread of the pandemic, the Rivers State Government, arrested 22 Exxon Mobil staff for violating its lockdown directive by entering the state without approval from the state. They were later released following threat by workers union to down tools and shut down oil facilities nationwide.

The oil market crises is also affecting the performance of some publicly quoted oil exploration and production firms. Seplat Petroleum Development Company, has seen its shareprice on the Nigerian Stock Exchange plunge from about N605 per share in March to about N492 as at today.

Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 23rd of September 2020, 111 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 57,724 confirmed cases.

On the 23rd of September 2020, 111 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 3,177 samples across the country.

To date, 57,724 cases have been confirmed, 48,985 cases have been discharged and 1,102 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 484,051  tests have been carried out as of September 23rd, 2020 compared to 480,874 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 23rd September 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 57,724
  • Total Number Discharged – 48,985
  • Total Deaths – 1,102
  • Total Tests Carried out – 484,051

According to the NCDC, the 111 new cases were reported from 12 states- Lagos (31), Gombe (18), Kaduna (18), FCT (15), Rivers (14), Imo (3), Kwara (3), Oyo (3), Bayelsa (2), Ogun (2), Edo (1), Osun (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 19,086, followed by Abuja (5,598), Plateau (3,304), Oyo (3,236), Edo (2,616), Kaduna (2,377), Rivers (2,277), Delta (1,800), Ogun (1,774), Kano (1,734), Ondo (1,606), Enugu (1,285), Ebonyi (1,038), Kwara (1,028), Abia (881), Gombe (857). Katsina (848), Osun (818),  Borno (741), and Bauchi (692).

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Imo State has recorded 565 cases, Benue (473), Nasarawa (449), Bayelsa (397),  Jigawa (322), Ekiti (317), Akwa Ibom (288), Niger (259), Adamawa (234), Anambra (232), Sokoto (161), Taraba (95), Kebbi (93), Cross River (85), Zamfara (78), Yobe (75), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.

On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.

READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

 

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Economy & Politics

Buhari to finally send Petroleum Industry Bill to National Assembly next week

Sources in the Presidency have disclosed that the President may be presenting the bill to the National Assembly.

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Four dangerous circumstances forces FG to close Enugu Airport until further notice, aviation sector. FG’s conditional cash transfer progarmme gets more beneficiaries despite criticism

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to present the long-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to the Senate as early as next week.

According to Reuters, who were quoting 4 sources familiar with the development, the presentation of the bill to the National Assembly, follows its official approval by the president late last week. This is as the National Assembly has already formed teams of members that will work most closely on the individual portions of the bill.

Both chambers of the National Assembly must have to pass the bill after deliberating on it before it can then be passed on to the president for his final signature.

The PIB which is an oil reform bill has been in the works for about 20 years, is key to the repositioning of Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry under its post-COVID-19 agenda as the main laws governing oil and gas exploration have not been fully updated since the 1960s due to some contentious issues like taxes, payments to local communities, terms and revenue sharing within Nigeria.

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), had disclosed that the delay and non-passage of the bill has made international investors to start losing confidence in the country’s oil and gas industry.

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While revealing last month that the PIB will be presented to the National Assembly in the next few weeks, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, also said that the executive arm will be requesting the lawmakers to specially reconvene to receive and start deliberations on the bill.

These oil reforms and regulatory certainty became more pressing this year as low oil prices and a shift towards renewable energy made competition for investment from oil majors tougher.

The draft copy of the bill which was prepared by the Petroleum Ministry is a product of series of consultation between the federal government, oil and gas companies and other industry stakeholders.

Excerpts from the bill reported by Reuters include provisions that would streamline and reduce some oil and gas royalties, increase the amount of money companies pay to local communities and for environmental clean-ups alter the dispute resolution process between companies and the government.

It also included measures to push companies to develop gas discoveries and a framework for gas tariffs and delivery. Commercializing gas, particularly for use in local power generation, is a core government priority.

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Business

UK-based group to investment $245 million in 100 Nigerian businesses

A UK based organization is to partner local investment funds to disburse $245 million to 100 Nigerian businesses.

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UK based organization partner local investment funds to disburse $245 million to 100 Nigerian businesses

A UK-based development finance institution, CDC Group, has finalized plans to invest US$425 million as an aid to 100 businesses and 38,000 jobs in Nigeria.

This is sequel to its partnership with 40 investment funds such as Afreximbank, African Capital Alliance and Indoram, NAN reports

In a virtual visit to the country by the board of the organization led by Chief Executive, Nick O’Donohoe and Chairman, Graham Wrigley, the UK Government-funded organization stated that all earnings from its investments are ploughed back to improve the lives of millions of people in Africa and South Asia.

CDC Group noted that it paid a virtual visit to the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, to discuss and ascertain the impact of CDC’s aid to its investees through the COVID-19 crisis and understand how to stimulate recovery and growth.

The discussions also focused on CDC’s own response to the pandemic through its preserved, strengthen and rebuild programme, the statement said

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(READ MORE: WHO to secure initial COVID-19 vaccine for 20% of Africans)

Commenting on the rationale of the aid, the Chief Executive of the CDC Group, Nick O’Donohe said that, “Nigeria plays a key part in our strategy of partnership and investment for economic growth in West Africa. “Hosting our 2020 board trip– albeit virtually – in both markets is a testament to our commitment.

“Looking forward, we will continue to prioritise the post-COVID-19 recovery as part of the Build Back Better agenda.

“We are committed to supporting a deeper and more strategic bilateral partnership between the UK and Nigeria that is based on enhancing economic development, job creation, inclusion, trade and investment,” O’Donohoe further remarked.

In a glowing tribute and commendation to the group, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing CBE said CDC has been pivotal to creating jobs and supporting the growth of businesses by investing in the poorest countries across Africa, including Nigeria.

“CDC’s commitment to the country signals to other UK investors that investing in Nigeria is possible and should be prioritized in order to help Nigeria and indeed, Africa, mitigate the impact of COVID-19,” the envoy said.

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