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Nigeria’s Oil Fields Face Shutdown Amid Price Slump




With crude oil trading around $30 per barrel in the international market from a peak of $114 in June 2014, production from Nigeria now faces a decline as some fields face an imminent shutdown if the low oil price persists.

Industry players say operating some of the fields in the country is becoming uneconomic, with the selling price of oil being driven down close to the production cost level.

The price of the Nigerian crude oil, Bonny Light, has fallen to $29.47 per barrel, according to the latest data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“When oil price drops, we are all in serious trouble, because if the oil price and your unit operating cost are almost the same, it means that when you sell the oil, there is little profit or you are at a loss. Many companies are not far from there,” the Project Director for the Uquo gas field development, a joint venture project by Frontier Oil Limited and Seven Energy, Alhaji Abdullahi Bukar, told our correspondent.

“The unit technical cost of many of our producers is not far from $30 per barrel. So many companies are in trouble,” he added.

According to Bukar, the average production cost for many of the fields in the country is $24 to $25 per barrel.

“For some fields, the production cost is well above $25, maybe $28. For some fields, it is well below $20 and $25. Many of the older fields, which are mostly with the International Oil Companies, have got high production costs,” he said.

Global financial services firm, Morgan Stanley, on Monday joined banks such as Goldman Sachs, City Group and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, in warning that prices could slide to $20 per barrel.

Bukar said, “The production in Nigeria is going to suffer. In the last five years, we have not invested as much as we should to develop additional reserves. Once, we keep going like that, whether there is price change or not, the amount of oil Nigeria is going to be producing will go down.

“When the price drops as low as $20-$30 range, people who have got those old fields or fields where oil production cost is above the selling price will shut them down. There is no point in producing oil to sell at a loss.”

Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer, relies on crude oil for most of its export earnings and government revenue. Oil production in the country has continued to hover between 1.9 million barrels per day and 2.3 million bpd in recent years.

President Muhammadu Buhari had projected crude oil production of 2.2 million bpd for this year’s budget, down from 2.2782 million bpd in the 2015 budget, with oil-related revenues expected to contribute N820bn.

Industry experts also say the continued decline in global oil prices would stall a number of deep-water projects in the country.

The Chief Executive Officer, Petrosystem Nigeria Limited, Mr. Adeola Elliott, said, “Obviously, the plunging price will affect investment in new fields. I had a discussion with a top official in one of the IOCs operating in the country. What they have done now is to just keep maintaining the facility they have now and producing what they producing now. There is no more new investment.”

Prior to the drop in prices, several IOCs had in recent times shifted more of their focus to the offshore areas of the Nigerian oil industry as a result of onshore risks, with a number of planned deep-water projects expected to come on stream in the coming years.

Deep-water oil projects that have yet to achieve Final Investment Decision include Bonga Southwest and Aparo (Shell); Zabazaba-Etan (Eni); Bosi, Satellite Field Development Phase 2 and Uge (ExxonMobil); and Nsiko (Chevron).

An energy expert and Technical Director, Drilling Services, Template Design Limited, Mr. Bala Zakka, said with oil at $30 per barrel, the profits and projects, including Corporate Social Responsibility activities of many oil firms would be negatively affected.

“Major deep-water projects will be affected because they are very expensive. If oil continues to fall, a lot of exploration and drilling campaigns will reduce. A lot of marginal field operators will not be able to drill new wells. There is every possibility that companies will retrench to be able to stay afloat,” he said.

The Head, Energy Research, Ecobank Capital, Mr. Dolapo Oni, said, “Our production is really having issues, and I think it might be worse in 2016. Our production is likely to reduce this year.

“There are not as many fields likely to come on stream this year. Most companies just want to focus on their existing production. So, it is possible we won’t see as much new production come on stream to reverse the trend of decline in major fields we have. That might make production go down.”

Oil prices could reach as low as $10, Standard Chartered warned, stating, “Given that no fundamental relationship is currently driving the oil market towards any equilibrium, prices are being moved almost entirely by financial flows caused by fluctuations in other asset prices, including the dollar and equity markets.”

Wood Mackenzie, the energy consultancy firm, said in a report last week that since the oil price collapse in 2014, 68 major upstream projects containing 27 billion barrels of oil equivalent had been deferred.

This, it said, amounted to $380bn of capital expenditure deferred by total project spend in real terms.

It stated, “As oil prices continue to fall and capital allocation tightens, we expect the list will grow further. The level of production impacted by these deferrals is material in a global context.

“The FIDs on many of these projects have been pushed back to 2017 or beyond. Deep-water is hit the hardest. Over the next five years, $170bn of potential investment currently hangs in the balance across these 68 projects.”

Wood Mackenzie says, in all, some 27 billion barrels of oil equivalent in reserves, or 2.9 million barrels per day of liquids production, will not come on stream until early in the next decade, later than envisaged.

High cost deep-water fields, particularly those in Angola, Nigeria and the Gulf of Mexico, requiring heavy upfront investment, account for more than half of that deferred production.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq,, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Crude Oil

Investor Confidence Boosted by UBS-Credit Suisse Deal, Oil Prices Show Resilience

The deal eased investors confidence ahead of Federal Reserve meeting scheduled for tomorrow and boosted oil prices.



Crude Oil - Investors King

Global oil prices rebounded slightly in the early hours of Tuesday as concerns over banking section issues subside following UBS-Credit Suisse successful deal.

The deal eased investors confidence ahead of Federal Reserve meeting scheduled for tomorrow and boosted oil prices.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, traded rose to $73.84 per barrel while the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil gained 9 cents to $67.73 a barrel. A rebound from $3 decline recorded in the previous session.

The announcement of the UBS-Credit Suisse deal was followed by major central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve and European Central Bank, indicating that they would enhance market liquidity and support other banks.

Furthermore, officials with the G7 stated that they were unlikely to revise a $60-per-barrel price cap on Russian oil as planned. The officials said EU countries’ ambassadors were told by the European Commission over the weekend there was no pressing desire among the group for an immediate review.

Looking ahead, OPEC+, which includes the world’s top oil exporting countries and allies including Russia, is set for a meeting on April 3. The group agreed in October to cut oil production targets by 2 million barrels per day until the end of 2023.

Overall, the UBS-Credit Suisse deal and central bank support has helped ease investor concerns and stabilize oil prices. However, the upcoming OPEC+ meeting will be closely watched for any potential changes to oil production targets.

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Crude Oil

Oil Dips to 15 Months Low on Monday as Concerns Over Troubled Global Banking Sector Intensifies



Crude Oil - Investors King

Rising global uncertainty concerning the rout in the banking system following the collapse of three major global banks has plunged oil prices to 15 months low on Monday as energy traders are worried that the U.S. central bank might raise interest rates even higher this week. 

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, declined by 3.2% to $70.65 a barrel to settle at its lowest level since December 2021 in the early hours of Monday. While the U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil stood at $64.59 per barrel, down by 3.2%.

The decline in global energy market on Monday was despite UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank announcing it was acquiring troubled Credit Suisse, the country’s second-largest lender for $3 billion to prevent a banking crisis from spreading into other key sectors.

“The market focus is on current banking sector volatility and the potential for further rate hikes by the Fed,” said Baden Moore, National Australia Bank’s head of commodity research.

While the US Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points on March 22, some executives are calling on the central bank to pause its monetary policy tightening for now but be ready to resume raising rates later.

The upcoming OPEC meeting is also another potential catalyst for the market outlook. “Further downside risk to prices increases the probability OPEC reduces production further to support prices,” Moore added, referring to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs has cut its forecasts for Brent crude oil after prices plunged on banking and recession fears. The leading investment bank now expects brent oil to average $94 in the next 12 months and $97 in 2024, this is about $4 to $6 from $100 previously predicted.

Despite the uncertainty in the market, some analysts predict that prices will trend higher over the course of the year.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Rebound After Saudi Arabia and Russia Calm Markets and Support Measures Stabilize Banking Crisis



Crude oil - Investors King

After a week of steep declines, oil prices rebounded on Friday thanks to a meeting between Saudi Arabia and Russia that calmed markets and support measures that stabilized a banking crisis.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian measures, rose by 1.46% to $75.79 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate oil rose 1.76% to $69.55. Both benchmarks had hit more than one-year lows earlier in the week and were on track for their biggest weekly falls since December 2021.

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank and trouble at Credit Suisse and First Republic Bank had put pressure on oil and other global assets this week.

However, the commodity recovered some ground on Friday after the European Central Bank and U.S. lenders announced various measures to curtail the situation.

A meeting between oil producers Saudi Arabia and Russia on Thursday also helped to calm fears. Furthermore, WTI’s fall this week to less than $70 a barrel for the first time since December 2021 could spur the U.S. government to start refilling its Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which would boost demand.

Similarly, the rebound in Chinese demand for the commodity also supported the increase in price as reports shows the U.S. crude exports to China in March rose to its highest level in nearly two and a half years.

Analysts believe there is sufficient support for the oil price, with OPEC+ having to convene an extraordinary meeting.

An OPEC+ monitoring panel is due to meet on Apr. 3. Despite the rebound, conditions for volatile trading remain intact, and the oil price roller-coaster is pausing for breath but is by no means over, according to oil broker PVM’s Stephen Brennock.

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