Worries about Iran’s return to an already oversupplied oil market drove down global benchmark, Brent crude on Monday to as low as $27.67 per barrel, its lowest since 2003, before recovering to trade at $28.50.
With the further slide, Brent, against which Nigeria’s oil is priced, was almost $10 lower than the oil benchmark price of $38 per barrel proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari for this year’s budget.
Buhari had in the 2016 to 2018 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper sent to the National Assembly for this year’s budget said oil-related revenues were expected to contribute N820bn.
The price of the Nigerian crude oil, Bonny Light, fell to $28.93 per barrel as of Monday, compared to $29.47 last week, according to latest data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Iran’s Deputy Oil Minister, Roknoddin Javadi, on Monday expressed confidence that his country could produce extra 500,000 barrels per day. Iran has the fourth largest proven oil reserves in the world, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
The United States over the weekend revoked sanctions that had cut Iran’s oil exports by about two million barrels per day since their pre-sanctions 2011 peak to a little more than one million bpd.
The potential return of Iranian oil exports to South Africa threatens to displace barrels from Saudi Arabia and Nigeria that plugged the supply gap when sanctions were imposed on OPEC’s fifth-biggest producer, according to Bloomberg.
“The re-emergence of Iranian crude oil provide options for those willing to buy from Iran,” the Executive Director, South African Petroleum Industry Association, Avhapfani Tshifularo, said in an e-mailed response to questions.
“Iranian imports are likely to displace the Nigerian and Saudi Arabian crudes, since they seem to have filled the gap when South Africa stopped importing Iranian crude oil.”
The Head of Energy Research, Ecobank Capital, Mr. Dolapo Oni, said in a telephone interview with our correspondent, “Nigeria’s crude will continue to face challenges to sell because other grades are now cheaper and also attractive to buyers. The same revenue implication: lower revenue for the government.”
On the return of Iran to the market, he said, “Iran remains a major threat to Nigeria in India, and that could affect trade this year. Before now, traders have had issues selling our cargoes.”
The Managing Director, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, had last week said, “In 2014, the price of oil was $116 per barrel and the cost of production was $25 per barrel. The yield on every barrel was $91. Cost of production per barrel is still $25, the price is $30. So, the yield has gone from $91 to $5 per barrel. That is the magnitude of the problem.
“In 2008, we suffered for nine months only and oil price bounced back. But the average price of oil in 2009 was $61.9 per barrel; in 2016, the average price is projected at $45. External reserves in 2009 were $53bn; gross external reserves today are $28bn. The exchange rate in 2009 was N150 to the dollar at the BDC and official, 154. Today, the BDC is N300, while the official rate is N199. The Excess Crude Account was $22bn in 2009; it is $2bn today. The total external debt in 2009 was $10.4bn; while it is $17.1bn today.”
Oil Holds Near Highest Since 2018 With Global Markets Tightening
Oil held steady near the highest close since 2018, with the global energy crunch set to increase demand for crude as stockpiles fall from the U.S. to China.
Futures in London headed for a third weekly gain. Global onshore crude stocks sank by almost 21 million barrels last week, led by China, according to data analytics firm Kayrros, while U.S. inventories are near a three-year low. The surge in natural gas prices is expected to force some consumers to switch to oil, tightening the market further ahead of the northern hemisphere winter.
China on Friday sold oil to Hengli Petrochemical Co. and a unit of PetroChina Co. in the first auction of crude from its strategic reserves said traders with the knowledge of the matter. Grades sold included Oman, Upper Zakum and Forties.
Oil has rallied recently after a period of Covid-induced demand uncertainty, with some of the world’s largest traders and banks predicting prices may climb further amid the energy crisis. Global crude consumption could rise by an additional 370,000 barrels a day if natural gas costs stay high, according to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
“Underpinning the latest bout of price strength is a tightening supply backdrop,” said Stephen Brennock, an analyst at PVM Oil Associates Ltd.
Various underlying oil market gauges are also pointing to a strengthening market. The key spread between Brent futures for December and a year later is near $7, the strongest since 2019. That’s a sign traders are positive about the market outlook.
At the same time, the premium options traders are paying for bearish put options is the smallest since January 2020, another indication that traders are less concerned about a pullback in prices.
Unlocking Investments into Africa’s Renewable Energy Market
The African Energy Guarantee Facility (AEGF) is launching a virtual roadshow of free webinars allowing a deeper understanding of risk issues for renewable energy projects on the continent, and conversations around risk mitigation solutions. The first webinar will take place on Thursday, 23 September from 14:30-16:00 hrs. EAT.
The session will be oriented on how to get more energy projects from the drawing board to the grid. While the energy demand in African economies is expected to nearly double by 2040, and although the potential for renewable energy is 1,000 times larger than the demand, only 2GW out of almost 180GW of this new renewable power were added on the African continent.
Clearly not good enough! To improve the situation within the next two decades, new solutions need to be implemented urgently. De-risking and promoting private sector investments will play a crucial part of it.
In this 90-min interactive session, AEGF partners: the European Investment Bank (EIB), KfW Development Bank, Munich Re and the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) will share their experience and provide valuable insights on how they were able to come together and design practical solutions for investors and financiers of green energy projects in Africa aligned with SDG7 objectives.
Across Africa, the complexity of renewable energy projects and their long tenors hold back crucial energy investment. Tailored to the specific needs and risk profiles of sustainable energy projects, AEGF will tackle the investment challenge by providing underwriting expertise and capacity tailored to market needs.
The AEGF will significantly boost private investment in sustainable energy projects, both expanding access to clean energy and contribute to achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals. The scheme supports new private sector investment in eligible renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy access projects in sub-Saharan Africa.
Shell Signs Agreement To Sell Permian Interest For $9.5B to ConocoPhillips
Shell Enterprises LLC, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc, has reached an agreement for the sale of its Permian business to ConocoPhillips, a leading shales developer in the basin, for $9.5 billion in cash. The transaction will transfer all of Shell’s interest in the Permian to ConocoPhillips, subject to regulatory approvals.
“After reviewing multiple strategies and portfolio options for our Permian assets, this transaction with ConocoPhillips emerged as a very compelling value proposition,” said Wael Sawan, Upstream Director. “This decision once again reflects our focus on value over volumes as well as disciplined stewardship of capital. This transaction, made possible by the Permian team’s outstanding operational performance, provides excellent value to our shareholders through accelerating cash delivery and additional distributions.”
Shell’s Upstream business plays a critical role in the Powering Progress strategy through a more focused, competitive and resilient portfolio that provides the energy the world needs today whilst funding shareholder distributions as well as the energy transition.
The cash proceeds from this transaction will be used to fund $7 billion in additional shareholder distributions after closing, with the remainder used for further strengthening of the balance sheet. These distributions will be in addition to our shareholder distributions in the range of 20-30 percent of cash flow from operations. The effective date of the transaction is July 1, 2021 with closing expected in Q4 2021.
Shell has been providing energy to U.S. customers for more than 100 years and plans to remain an energy leader in the country for decades to come.
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