Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, a unit of ExxonMobil, will resume shipment of Qua Iboe crude, Nigeria’s largest grade of crude oil in October, three months after the company had declared force majeure on the exports of the grade.
This is coming as oil prices slumped three per cent Tuesday following another gloomy prediction by the International Energy Agency (IEA) on demand growth that suggested that oversupply in the oil market might persist for longer than anticipated.
ExxonMobil had declared the force majeure after it observed a leak caused by what it described as a “system anomaly” during a routine check of its loading facility on July 14, this year.
The cause of the leak was not clear, but the force majeure came just days after a militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), claimed to have bombed the company’s 48-inch Qua Iboe crude oil export pipeline on July 11.
But 24 hours after the claim by the militants, the company’s spokesperson, Todd Spitler, debunked the claim, saying “there was no attack on our facilities.”
However, citing industry sources, Reuters reported that the company is offering an October-loading cargo of Qua Iboe crude oil, the first offer since the company declared the force majeure.
It was not clear if the pipeline had been repaired, or if the company expected it to be back on stream in time to load crude in October.
But the cargo is offered for October 8-16 loading at a premium of $1.80 per barrel to dated Brent.
A spokesman for Exxon said the force majeure remained in effect but did not give a timeframe on the resumption of operations.
While ExxonMobil said at the time it declared force majeure that the export terminal was operating, traders said the company did not release a revised loading schedule for the crude exports.
The last ship to load crude at the Qua Iboe terminal was the Ottoman Nobility on July 9.
One of the three other ships scheduled to load the crude had been near the terminal since July 12.
A vessel loads one million barrel of the grade every three to four days, and exports of 250,000 barrels per day aboard eight vessels were scheduled for July.
Before it declared a ceasefire recently, the Avengers had warned that if the company moved forward with repairs “something big…will happen,” and threatened to attack the company’s workers, instead of blowing up its facilities.
Shell-operated Forcados crude oil exports were halted since the Avengers attacked its subsea pipeline in February.
In a related development, oil prices fell tuesday on concerns over increased drilling in the United States and as investors took profits after oil prices rose close to one per cent in the previous session.
While the Brent crude was down $1, or 2 per cent, at $47.32 a barrel, the US West Texas Intermediate crude fell $1.25, or 2.7 per cent, to $45.04.
The IEA, energy adviser to over 26 industrialised countries, said a sharp slowdown in global oil demand growth, coupled with ballooning inventories and rising supply, means the crude market would be oversupplied at least through the first six months of 2017.
IEA’s gloomy forecast came a day after OPEC also predicted oversupply in the oil market in 2017.
IEA’s prediction contrasts with the agency’s last forecast a month ago for supply and demand to be broadly in balance over the rest of this year and for inventories to fall swiftly.
The IEA’s latest comments follow a surprisingly OPEC’s bearish outlook published in the cartel’s monthly Oil Market Report (OMR) on Monday.
Oil traders were quoted as saying that the price falls were an indication that increasing oil drilling activity in the United States was still a concern.
Communities in Delta State Shut OML30 Operates by Heritage Energy Operational Services Ltd
The OML30 operated by Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited in Delta State has been shut down by the host communities for failing to meet its obligations to the 112 host communities.
The host communities, led by its Management Committee/President Generals, had accused the company of gross indifference and failure in its obligations to the host communities despite several meetings and calls to ensure a peaceful resolution.
The station with a production capacity of 80,000 barrels per day and eight flow stations operates within the Ughelli area of Delta State.
The host communities specifically accused HEOSL of failure to pay the GMOU fund for the last two years despite mediation by the Delta State Government on May 18, 2020.
Also, the host communities accused HEOSL of ‘total stoppage of scholarship award and payment to host communities since 2016’.
The Chairman, Dr Harrison Oboghor and Secretary, Mr Ibuje Joseph that led the OML30 host communities explained to journalists on Monday that the host communities had resolved not to backpedal until all their demands were met.
Crude Oil Recovers from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins
Oil Prices Recover from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins
Crude oil prices rose with other financial markets on Monday following a 4 percent decline on Friday.
This was after Joe Biden, the former Vice-President and now the President-elect won the race to the White House.
Global benchmark oil, Brent crude oil, gained $1.06 or 2.7 percent to $40.51 per barrel on Monday while the U.S West Texas Intermediate crude oil gained $1.07 or 2.9 percent to $38.21 per barrel.
On Friday, Brent crude oil declined by 4 percent as global uncertainty surged amid unclear US election and a series of negative comments from President Trump. However, on Saturday when it became clear that Joe Biden has won, global financial markets rebounded in anticipation of additional stimulus given Biden’s position on economic growth and recovery.
“Trading this morning has a risk-on flavor, reflecting increasing confidence that Joe Biden will occupy the White House, but the Republican Party will retain control of the Senate,” Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.
“The outcome is ideal from a market point of view. Neither party controls the Congress, so both trade wars and higher taxes are largely off the agenda.”
The president-elect and his team are now working on mitigating the risk of COVID-19, grow the world’s largest economy by protecting small businesses and the middle class that is the backbone of the American economy.
“There will be some repercussions further down the road,” said OCBC’s economist Howie Lee, raising the possibility of lockdowns in the United States under Biden.
“Either you’re crimping energy demand or consumption behavior.”
Nigeria, Other OPEC Members Oil Revenue to Hit 18 Year Low in 2020
Revenue of OPEC Members to Drop to 18 Year Low in 2020
The United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) has predicted that the oil revenue of members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will decline to 18-year low in 2020.
EIA said their combined oil export revenue will plunge to its lowest level since 2002. It proceeded to put a value to the projection by saying members of the oil cartel would earn around $323 billion in net oil export in 2020.
“If realised, this forecast revenue would be the lowest in 18 years. Lower crude oil prices and lower export volumes drive this expected decrease in export revenues,” it said.
The oil expert based its projection on weak global oil demand and low oil prices because of COVID-19.
It said this coupled with production cuts by OPEC members in recent months will impact net revenue of the cartel in 2020.
It said, “OPEC earned an estimated $595bn in net oil export revenues in 2019, less than half of the estimated record high of $1.2tn, which was earned in 2012.
“Continued declines in revenue in 2020 could be detrimental to member countries’ fiscal budgets, which rely heavily on revenues from oil sales to import goods, fund social programmes, and support public services.”
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