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Lagos Joins Oil-Producing States as Aje Field Begins Production

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Twenty years after it was discovered, the Aje field located in Oil Mining Lease 113 has achieved its first oil, putting Lagos on the list of oil-producing states in the country.

The milestone is coming after several missed targets for the achievement of first oil, the latest being March this year.

Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Company Limited, a wholly-owned indigenous firm and operator of the OML 113 offshore Lagos, on Tuesday announced the commencement of production of crude oil from the field. Other partners are New Age Exploration Nigeria Limited, EER (Colobus) Nigeria Limited, Pan Petroleum (Panoro Energy) Aje Limited and PR Oil & Gas Nigeria Limited.

Panoro had in an update posted on its website on April 20 said the final hook-up procedures were in progress with a view to bringing the wells into production shortly.

The YFP said after over 25 years of exploratory, appraisal and developmental activities, it had successfully pioneered the opening of the Frontier Benin Embayment, describing the Aje field as the first to record production from this part of Nigeria and the first production outside of the Niger Delta.

It said the inauguration of the Front Puffin Floating Production, Storage and Offloading vessel was successfully completed after its arrival in Nigeria on March 16, 2016.

Oil produced from the Aje field will be stored on the Front Puffin, which has production capacity of 40,000 barrels of oil per day and storage capacity of 750,000 barrels, according to the YFP.

The Chairman, YFP, Mr. Tunde Folawiyo, was quoted in a statement to have said, “The attainment of this milestone is indeed a laudable achievement not just for the YFP, but for the Nigerian oil and gas industry as a whole and indeed Lagos State, which can now be addressed as an oil-producing state.”

He said recording the achievement in the present global oil climate, together with the peculiar challenges of the field, was clearly a no mean feat.

“We are very proud of and appreciate the efforts, determination and commitment of the entire Aje project team, past and present; the constant support from our regulators, the DPR and Ministry of Petroleum; and our financiers. We believe this crucial support will spur us on to even greater achievements,” Folawiyo added.

Aje is an offshore field located in OML 113 in the western part of Nigeria in the Dahomey Basin. The field is situated in water depths ranging from 100 to 1,000 metres and is about 24 kilometres from the coast. It contains hydrocarbon resources in sandstone reservoirs in three main levels – a Turonian gas condensate reservoir, a Cenomanian oil reservoir and an Albian gas condensate reservoir.

The joint venture partners had in October 2014 taken the final investment decision to develop the first phase of the field.

They submitted the Field Development Plan to the Department of Petroleum Resources in January 2014 and it was approved in March, with first oil expected late in 2015.

Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum was granted the Oil Prospecting License 309 in June 1991 as a sole risk contract under the Federal Government’s Indigenous Allocation Programme, which was put in place to encourage the development of a locally-owned and operated Nigerian upstream oil industry.

The company said following the acquisition of 2D seismic data in 1994/95, and the drilling of the Aje-1 well in 1996, the field was discovered, adding that a second well, Aje-2, was drilled in 1997.

After the successful drilling and testing of both wells, OPL 309 was converted to OML 113 in 1998, with an initial term of 20 years, it said on its website.

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

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Economy

No Plan to Increase Fuel Price; Says FG

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The Federal Government has stated that it has no plan to increase fuel price during the yuletide period.

This assurance is coming amid the nationwide fuel scarcity which has pushed the price of petrol above N250 in many retail stations.

Investors King learnt that fuel is being held for N250 per litre in Abuja and several other cities across the country while black marketers are charging between N400 and N450 per litre.

The scarcity and the high price of fuel are however becoming unbearable for many Nigerians, especially those who have reasons to embark on business travel for the December festivals.

According to the National Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Chief Ukadike Chinedu, most of the association members, who owned the bulk of the filling stations across the country, were now subjected to purchasing PMS at about N220/litre, which was why many outlets currently dispensed at about N250/litre and above.

He noted that the cost of the commodity has been on the rise due to its unavailability and other concerns in the sector. 

He added that the price of fuel could be sold from N350/litre to N400/litre before the end of the year. 

Meanwhile, a number of senior officials at the NNPC had stated that the subsidy was becoming too burdensome on the national oil company, as this was another reason for the scarcity of PMS.

According to a source who is familiar with the development as reported by Punch News, “How can we continue to import 60 million litres of petrol daily and keep subsidising it, while millions of litres are either diverted or cannot be accounted for? The burden is too much, as you rightly captured in that story”. 

Investors King understands that NNPC is the sole importer of petroleum into the country and it pays billions of naira every month to subsidise the product to N147 per litre. 

Reuters News reported that in August 2022, NNPC paid more than $1 billion as fuel subsidy while the federal government earmarked N3.6 trillion as fuel subsidy in the 2023 budget proposal. 

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Fuel Scarcity: NNPC Declares 2billion Liters in Stock, Blames Scarcity on Road Construction

NNPC Claimed it as 2 billion litres of fuel despite scarcity

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) has blamed the recent fuel scarcity on road construction around Apapa, noting that the corporation has about 2 billion litres of fuel in stock. 

According to a statement issued by NNPC Executive Vice President, Downstream, Mr Adeyemi Adetunji, the Nigeria National Petroleum Company has about 2 billion litres of fuel which can last the country conveniently for more than 30 days. 

The Executive Vice President further blamed the queues on the road construction around Apapa axis which has slowed down the movement of oil trucks to several parts of the country. 

“The recent queues in Lagos are largely due to ongoing road infrastructure projects around Apapa and access road challenges in Lagos” he said. 

He however noted that more filling stations should have Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol with the ease in gridlock along the apapa axis. 

“The gridlock is easing out and NNPC Ltd has programmed vessels and trucks to unconstrained depots and massive load outs from depots to states are closely monitored,” he said.

Investors King gathered that several states including Abuja have been impacted by the supply chain difficulty caused by the construction around Apapa. 

The scarcity of fuel has therefore led to the hike in price. In most places across the country, fuel is sold as high as N250 per litre. Several fuel stations are already taking advantage of the situation coupled with the increase in the movement of people and goods owing to the December festivals.

Speaking further, Adeyemi noted that the situation will soon be back to normalcy as NNPC is taking measures to address the situation. 

“We want to reassure Nigerians that NNPC has sufficient products and we significantly increased product loading in selected depots and extended hours at strategic stations to ensure sufficiency nationwide.

“We are also working with industry stakeholders to ensure normalcy is returned as soon as possible,” he concluded. 

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Economy

Global Growth to Drop Below 2% in 2023, Says Citi

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GDP Growth- Investors King

Citigroup on Wednesday forecast global growth to slow to below 2% next year, echoing similar projections by major financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs, Barclays, and J.P. Morgan.

Strategists at the brokerage cited continued challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war — which skyrocketed inflation to decades-high levels and triggered aggressive policy tightening — as reasons behind the outlook.

“We see global performance as likely (being) plagued by ‘rolling’ country-level recessions through the year ahead,” said Citi strategists, led by Nathan Sheets.

While the Wall-Street investment bank expects the U.S. economy to grow 1.9% this year, it is seen more than halving to 0.7% in 2023.

It expects year-on-year U.S. inflation at 4.8% next year, with the U.S. Federal Reserve’s terminal rate seen between 5.25% and 5.5%.

Among other geographies, Citi sees the UK and euro area falling into recession by the end of this year, as both economies face the heat of energy constraints on supply and demand front, along with tighter monetary and fiscal policies.

For 2023, Citi projects UK and euro area to contract 1.5% and 0.4%, respectively.

In China, the brokerage expects the government to soften its zero-COVID policy, which is seen driving a 5.6% growth in gross domestic product next year.

Emerging markets, meanwhile, are seen growing 3.7%, with India’s 5.7% growth — slower than this year’s 6.7% prediction — seen leading among major economies.

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