Oil futures fell sharply Friday, posting their biggest daily loss in two months on skepticism that the world’s largest exporters can cooperate and ease a supply glut that has dragged down prices for two years.
Crude dropped just before noon after Bloomberg News reported Saudi Arabia doesn’t expect the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to reach an agreement when it meets Wednesday in Algeria’s capital. The comments echo those made last weekend by the group’s secretary-general to Algeria’s state news agency APS that the meeting is informal and not for decision-making.
Traders “are reacting with disappointment and disgust,” said Donald Morton, senior vice president at Herbert J. Sims Co., who runs an energy-trading desk.
Light, sweet crude for November delivery settled down $1.84, or 4%, to $44.48 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the largest daily loss since July 13 and erased most of the gains from a four-session winning streak. Nymex crude ended the week up 86 cents, or 2%.
Brent, the global benchmark, lost $1.76, or 3.7%, to $45.89 a barrel. It ended the week up 12 cents, or 0.3%.
Saudi Arabian and Iranian oil officials have clashed this week over production limits while meeting at the OPEC headquarters in Vienna, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday. Saudi Arabia and Iran couldn’t agree on what statistics should be used to determine oil output levels for a potential “freeze”—the term used to describe a joint effort by big producers to limit their petroleum output at the current pace or lower.
Short bursts of optimism have often been broken by news of internal disputes and by widespread skepticism from analysts and traders about OPEC’s ability to strike a deal. Heavyweights including Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq have longstanding political rivalries and have been in a fierce competition to undercut each other and sell more oil.
Analysts at Macquarie Group issued a note Friday advising traders to sell on almost any outcome from OPEC’s talks. A concrete deal with detailed parameters on output limits from all parties is the least likely outcome, and even if they do reach a deal, it is likely to be littered with exceptions and waivers, and at best lead to a short-lived rally, the bank’s analysts said.
“Even an agreement to freeze would not be bullish either, given how high current production levels are. The only bullish case would be a credible and significant supply cut, which as it stands right now is extremely unlikely,” said Tamas Varga, an analyst at PVM Oil Associates.
At 11 million barrels a day, Russian production levels are at their highest since the collapse of the Soviet Union, according to Commerzbank commodities researchers. “The supply of crude oil remains ample, in other words,” the bank’s analysts added in a note Thursday.
Prices have often been bolstered by rhetoric from major OPEC producers since late August when they broached the idea of informal talks and better cooperation. Saudi Arabia and Russia this month signed an oil-cooperation agreement. OPEC oil chief Mohammed Barkindo last weekend said that if agreed by all parties, an emergency meeting could be called later this year to solidify a policy. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro also has said OPEC and non-OPEC members were close to a deal.
“There’s a chance of success,” said Robert Minter, investment strategist at Aberdeen Asset Management, which had $402.8 billion in assets under management at the end of June. “It would at least show that they can once again act together and achieve a consensus.”
A senior OPEC official was quoted by the Journal as saying that OPEC has to keep the chatter going, “to make sure prices don’t fall to a certain level or rise to a certain level they don’t like, and recently we have seen a lot of that.”
Gasoline futures settled down 2.49 cents, or 1.8%, at $1.3769 a gallon. They lost 5.8% for the week, the worst performance since the week ended Sept. 2.
Diesel futures lost 4.69 cents, or 3.2%, to $1.4073 a gallon. That canceled out nearly all the gains from the week, which diesel finished up just 0.2%.
Aliko Dangote Remains Africa’s Richest Man With $12.1 Billion Net Worth -Forbes
Nigerian industrialist, Aliko Dangote, is Africa’s richest person for the tenth year in a row.
In the Forbes Africa latest billionaires list, Dangote’s total net worth stood at $12.1 billion, a $2 billion increment when compared to last year. Thanks to the 30 percent increase in the price of Dangote Cement share.
Nassef Sawiris of Egypt followed Dangote with $8.5 billion net worth with the majority of his investments coming from construction and other investments.
In third place was Nicky Oppenheimer of South Africa with an $8 billion total net worth.
Portland Paints, Chemical and Allied Products Plc Agreed to Merge
Portland Paints and Products Nigeria Plc and Chemical and Allied Products Plc have agreed to merge, according to the latest statement from both companies.
In a statement released through the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the Board of Directors of CAP said we are “pleased to inform you that following discussions and negotiations, the Boards of CAP and Portland Paints have reached an agreement to undertake a merger between both entities (the “Merger” or the “Proposed Merger”).
Accordingly, we “hereby present to you the terms and benefits of the Proposed Merger for your consideration and seek your support and approval to effect the Proposed Merger.
“The Proposed Merger presents a compelling opportunity to create significant value for shareholders of CAP and achieve the company’s strategic growth objectives as a larger company with a broader product portfolio, more corporate owned brands and diversified revenues.
“The resultant entity is also expected to benefit from enhanced distribution capabilities in addition to economies of scale and operational efficiencies.”
Tony Elumelu Acquires Shell, Total, ENI Stakes in OML 17
Tony Elumelu owned Heir Holdings Limited and its related company Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc on Friday announced it has completed the purchase of 45 percent stake in Oil Mining Lease (OML 17) through TNOG Oil and Gas Limited.
The acquisition includes all assets of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (30 Percent), Total E&P Nigeria Ltd (10 percent) and ENI (five percent) — in the lease.
It was further stated that TNOG Oil and Gas Limited will also have the sole right to operate OML 17.
The field presently has a production capacity of 27,000 barrels per day. Also, there are estimated 2P reserves (proven and probable) of 1.2 billion barrels and an additional one billion barrels in possible reserves — all of oil equivalent.
A consortium of global and regional banks and investors provided a financing component of $1.1 billion for the largest oil and gas financing in Africa in over a decade.
In a statement released on Friday, Shell said the completion was after all the necessary approvals have were received from authorities.
“A total of $453m was paid at completion with the balance to be paid over an agreed period. SPDC will retain its interest in the Port Harcourt Industrial and Residential Areas, which fall within the lease area,” the SPDC said.
Speaking after the completion of the deal, Elumelu said “We have a very clear vision: creating Africa’s first integrated energy multinational, a global quality business, uniquely focused on Africa and Africa’s energy needs. The acquisition of such a high-quality asset, with significant potential for further growth, is a strong statement of our confidence in Nigeria, the Nigerian oil and gas sector and a tribute to the extremely high-quality management team that we have assembled.
“As a Nigerian, and more particularly an indigene of the Niger Delta region, I understand well our responsibilities that come with stewardship of the asset, our engagement with communities and the strategic importance of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria. We see significant benefits from integrating our production, with our ability to power Nigeria, through Transcorp, and deliver value across the energy value chain.
“I would like to thank Shell, Total and ENI, for the professionalism of the process, the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, and the NNPC for the confidence they have placed in us.”
Tony Elumelu is the Chairman of Heirs Holdings Limited, Transcorp and United Bank for Africa Plc.
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