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Energy

Senate to review 2013 power privatisation, questions FG’s funding

Government should not be given free money. N1.8 trillion has been given to DISCOs maybe in their books.

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Senate president warns about dangers of youth unemployment, National Assembly to ensure youth empowerment schemes are realized - Lawan

The Senate has asked its Committee on Power to review the agreement signed in 2013 on the privatisation of the power sector.

This was disclosed by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on Monday, while declaring open an Investigative public hearing by the Senate Committee on Power.

Lawan explained, via his Twitter handle, that the public hearing was on Power Sector Recovery Plan and the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. He further explained that the overall expectation of the Nigerian government and the citizens was that the power sector, after privatisation, would be far better, but it is disappointing that the expectation was yet far from being fulfilled.

He said: “When you have privatization, you have Share Purchase Agreement. This investigation should look at what has happened.

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“What are the responsibilities and the obligations of the Federal government in the Share Purchase Agreement. What is BPE(Bureau of Public Enterprises) supposed to do. And equally and very important, what are the successful investors who are given 11 DISCOs and Six GENCOs supposed to do and within which time framework.”

According to him, Government should not be given free money. N1.8 trillion has been given to DISCOs maybe in their books. The actual money might have been given to the GENCOs.

“N1.8 trillion is a huge amount of money. Is it part of the Share Purchase Agreement that we should be given this kind of money or what are we supposed to do as a government. What is our obligation?

“Government cannot afford to just spend money that you hardly understand why it is given and I will advise the Executive here, next time, if there will be any next time, to give such money, bring it to the National Assembly for approval.

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“We want to be very critical on how funds are given to privatized enterprises. We expect that by now, our level of generation, transmission and distribution would have been far better,” he said.

Lawan, however, said he would rather call for a review of the privatisation deal and not for an outright cancellation of the deal.

He added, “Why I will not call for an outright reversal of the privatization that was done in 2013, I believe the time has come for us to review it.

“If those who are in charge now don’t have the financial muzzle, please let’s admit that we should look for partners who will come in with more funds.

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“If government cannot fulfill its obligations because it holds 40 percent, let it divest so that we don’t hold this sector unnecessarily stagnant.”

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The Senate President said Nigeria could not have made any serious, meaningful and sustainable progress without power.

Background: The Power holding Company of Nigeria was in 2013 unbundled to pave way for the emergence of six Generating Companies(GENCOs), 11 Distribution Companies(DISCOs) and one Transmission Companies of Nigeria. Both the GENCOS and DISCOs are fully privatised outfits.

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Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper.The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference.The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

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Energy

Nigeria’s Qua Iboe crude exports resume as ExxonMobil lifts force majeure

ExxonMobil has lifted a force majeure on Nigeria’s Qua Iboe crude oil exports as production resumes.

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Nigeria's Qua Iboe crude exports resume as ExxonMobil lifts force majeure

ExxonMobil has lifted a force majeure on Nigeria’s Qua Iboe crude oil export terminal, as crude exports resume for the first time in almost six weeks after a fire at the terminal halted operations.

This is according to a company spokesman yesterday, who confirmed the company had lifted force majeure on Qua Iboe crude loadings.

Qua Iboe production started to ramp up to normal levels of 200,000 b/d in the past week, according to sources, with the release of both the February and March loading programs.

READ: Shell declares force majeure, to stop Bonny Light crude oil export 

The VLCC Dalia was also in the process of loading a 1-million-barrel stem at the Qua terminal since January 21, 2021, according to data intelligence firm Kpler. This will be the first export of Qua Iboe since December 15, 2020, after a fire hit the facility and injured two workers.

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The company has been under pressure since the closure and prices have taken a hit as a result of the disruption. S&P Global Platts last assessed the grade at a discount to Dated Brent of 50 cents/b, down from a premium against the benchmark in December.

Bonny Light, a mainstay Nigerian crude which typically trades at roughly the same level as Qua Iboe, was last assessed 30 cents/b higher.

READ: Nigeria’s crude oil export suffers due to force majeure declared by Shell, others

What they are saying

One trader said: “If you get a cargo of Qua now it could be 50 cents to a dollar below Bonny even – a January cargo is completely out of cycle and the reliability issues mean people won’t touch it.”

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Another trader stated that: “[The return of Qua Iboe] is not what West African crude assessments (WAF) differentials needed.”

READ: Nigeria faces breaking point as India’s global crude oil demand drops by 70%

What you should know

  • Qua Iboe is one of Nigeria’s largest export grades, and is very popular among global refiners, with India, the US, Canada, Italy, Spain, Indonesia, and the Netherlands being key buyers.
  • Qua Iboe is light sweet crude, which has a gravity of 36 API and sulfur content of 0.13%. The crude, produced from fields 20-40 miles off the coast of southeast Nigeria, is brought to shore at the Qua Iboe terminal via a seabed pipeline system.
  • Indian demand has steadied following a buying spree late last year, and European demand has been hit by renewed coronavirus lockdowns in the region.
  • Prices for Nigerian crude have suffered in recent weeks, even with lower supply due to the outage.
  • February and March loading programs have been issued for Qua Iboe averaging 169,643 b/d and 153,226 b/d respectively.
  • Production of this key grade ranged between 180,000-220,000 b/d in 2020, according to S&P Global Platts estimates.

READ: GenCos to halt supply if NBET insists on new service charge 

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Business

Malabu Oil Scandal: Prosecutors demand JPMorgan documents

U.S bank, JPMorgan has been ordered by a court to present documents of a transaction regarding the $1.3 billion Malabu oil field sale.

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Oil, DPR, FG announces commencement of bids for marginal oilfields despite court injunction

Prosecutors at the Milan Court holding a trial for the $1.3 billion Malabu oil field sale have demanded that U.S bank JPMorgan present documents of a transaction as part of the corruption case regarding the sale of the oilfield.

This was revealed in a report by Reuters, as the court case over the sale of the oil field continues. Prosecutors claim that nearly $1.1 billion was stolen by Nigerian politicians and middlemen, with former oil minister, Dan Etete, keeping half.

Prosecutors demanded that the Milan court accept emails sent by UK authorities, coming from a separate case launched by the Nigerian government against the bank for its role in the controversial deal.

READ: FG’s plan for N350 billion revenue from oil field licensing suffers setback

The emails include a transaction between Nigerian Attorney General Mohammed Adoke Bello and JPMorgan using the address of a company owned by another Nigerian named Aliyu Abubakar. Prosecutors allege that he paid $500 million in cash as part of a bribe.

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Both men have also been charged for corruption relating to the deal, with both pleading not guilty.

READ: FG seizes Dan Etete’s luxury private jet linked to Malabu oil deal

The second email includes two JPMorgan executives expressing views on whether to transfer $1.1 billion to accounts related to Nigerian banks. The Milan prosecutors said the emails were valid, stating that a Swiss and Lebanese bank had also expressed doubts over the transaction.

The Milan court said it would make a decision over the emails on the 3rd of February. The verdict of the court case is expected to be announced in March 2020.

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READ: Shell faces Dutch prosecution over Nigeria license

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported that Dan Etete, former Nigerian Minister of Petroleum, said that the $1.3 billion sales of Malabu oil field to Shell and Eni in 2021 was legally perfect, with zero traces of corruption in the deal.
  • Royal Dutch Shell announced that it would write down its investment in the controversial Malabu OPL 245 offshore field in Nigeria.
  • Malcolm Brinded, an ex-Upstream Chief of Shell Petroleum, told international prosecutors that the sum of $1.3 billion paid by Shell and Eni in 2011 to acquire OPL 245 offshore field was lawful, and he had no reason to think it was illegal.
  • A lawsuit filed by the Nigerian government against US bank JPMorgan Chase, claiming over $1.7 billion for its role in a disputed 2011 Malabu oil deal, will proceed to trial. The six-week trial in London is expected to commence on the first available date after November 1 2021, meaning that proceedings may not begin until 2022.

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Energy

First cargo of Nigeria’s newest crude grade, Ayala, to arrive Europe

The first export cargo of Nigeria’s newest crude grade, Anyala, is reported to be on its way to Northwest Europe.

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Oil tanker volumes dropped by 18.6% Year-Over-Year in July - Lloyd’s List Intelligence, First cargo of Nigeria’s newest crude grade, Ayala, to arrive Europe

The first export cargo of Nigeria’s newest crude grade, Anyala, is reported to be on its way to Northwest Europe.

According to a report from S&P Global Platts, while quoting trading and shipping sources, the cargo is likely to travel from Fos-sur-Mer to the Cressier refinery in Switzerland through the SPSE pipeline.

It reported that Data Intelligence firm, Kpler, said the Aframax Minerva Clara loaded a 700,000 barrel stem of Anyala crude from the Abigail-Joseph floating production, storage, and offloading vessel on January 10 with the tanker on its way to the Fos-sur-Mer terminal, located at France’s Mediterranean port of Marseille.

The report also said that trading house Vitol had chartered this tanker, as it has a stake in indigenous producer FIRST E&P, which is the operator of the Anyala West oil fields, located in the shallow waters of the Niger Delta.

This is as a market source said the cargo is likely to travel from Fos-sur-Mer to the 68,000 b/d Cressier refinery in Switzerland, which is operated by Varo Energy, through the SPSE pipeline.

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Varo Energy is a joint venture between Vitol, private equity fund, the Carlyle Group, and private investment fund Reggeborgh.

What you should know

  • The new crude is from Nigeria’s shallow-water Anyala West oil fields in the Niger Delta, which struck first oil in November. Anyala is the country’s newest oil development since the start-up of the giant Egina field in late-2018.
  • Anyala has been labeled a medium sweet crude grade, similar in quality to Nigeria’s flagship crude Bonny Light and when refined, Anyala will produce a high yield of middle distillates, making it attractive to both simple and complex refineries.
  • It is also reported that a second cargo will load in March, with some Asian refiners already showing buying interest.

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