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NNPC Increases Crude Exploration in Gongola, Others

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NNPC
  • NNPC Increases Crude Exploration in Gongola

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has embarked on a more rigorous exploration of the Gongola and other frontier inland basins as part of efforts to shore up the oil and gas reserve base across the country.

The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, made this disclosure when he paid separate visits to the Governors of Bauchi, Mr. Mohammad Abubakar; and Gombe State, Mr. Ibrahim Dankwambo, as well as the Emir of Bauchi, Alhaji Rilwanu Adamu, and the Emir of Gombe, Alhaji Abubakar Shehu Abubakar III.

A statement from the corporation on Friday quoted Baru to have said, “In strict compliance with President Muhammadu Buhari’s mandate, the NNPC has, therefore, commenced activities in the Gongola Basin by awarding the contract for seismic data acquisition of over 500 square kilometres of 3D seismic data in the first instance.

“The NNPC is deploying state of the art technology in the present data acquisition and we are confident that these efforts will lead to clearer definition of the prospective of the basin.”

He added that the contractors awarded the contract for the seismic data acquisition in the Gongola Basin, Integrated Data Service Limited, a subsidiary of the NNPC, and the Bureau for Geophysical Prospecting, were mobilising to commence the project.

The GMD stated that the seismic data acquisition activities and exploration well drillings would bring about employment opportunities for youths, adding that when successful, the multiplier effects would contribute to the economic empowerment of the surrounding communities and the nation at large.

Baru said as part of its corporate social responsibility, the corporation was in the process of awarding the environmental baseline studies and Environmental Impact Assessment to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, as well as to Bauchi and Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola.

Both governors applauded the President for the move to commence exploratory activities in the Gongola Basin and other frontier inland basins, stressing that the move would further grow the nation’s oil and gas reserves.

“I want to assure you of the unflinching support of Bauchi State and its good people towards this project.  We are ready to provide offices and accommodation for all NNPC staff that will work on this project,” Abubakar said.

Dankwambo stated, “Already, we have assigned two ministries that will work with your team on this laudable project. I will work with my colleague governors in the North-East to galvanise support from our people for this project.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Gold

Gold Hits Eight-Month Low as Global Optimism Grows Amid Rising Demand for Bitcoin

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Gold Struggles Ahead of Economic Recovery as Bitcoin, New Gold, Surges

Global haven asset, gold, declined to the lowest in more than eight months on Tuesday as signs of global economic recovery became glaring with rising bond yields.

The price of the precious metal declined to $1,718 per ounce during London trading on Thursday, down from $2,072 it traded in August as more investors continue to cut down on their holdings of the metal.

The previous metal usually performs poorly with rising yields on other assets like bonds, especially given the fact that gold does not provide streams of interest payments. Investors have been jumping on US bonds ahead of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, expected to stoke stronger US price growth.

We see the rising bond yields as a sign of economic optimism, which has also prompted gold investors to sell some of their positions,” said Carsten Menke of Julius Baer.

Another analyst from Commerzbank, Carsten Fritsch, said that “gold’s reputation appears to have been tarnished considerably by the heavy losses of recent weeks, as evidenced by the ongoing outflows from gold ETFs”.

Experts at Investors King believed the growing demand for Bitcoin, now called the new gold, and other cryptocurrencies in recent months by institutional investors is hurting gold attractiveness.

In a recent report, analysts at Citigroup have started projecting mainstream acceptance for the unregulated dominant cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.

The price of Bitcoin has rallied by 60 percent to $52,000 this year alone. While Ethereum has risen by over 660 percent in 2021.

 

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Extend Gains to $64.32 Ahead of OPEC+ Meeting

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Oil Prices Rise to $64.32 Amid Expected Output Extension

Oil prices extended gains during the early hours of Thursday trading session amid the possibility that OPEC+ producers might not increase output at a key meeting scheduled for later in the day and the drop in U.S refining.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria oil is priced, gained 0.4 percent or 27 cents to $64.32 per barrel as at 7:32 am Nigerian time on Thursday. While the U.S West Texas Intermediate gained 19 cents or 0.3 percent to $61.47 a barrel.

“Prices hinge on Russia’s and Saudi Arabia’s preference to add more crude oil production,” said Stephen Innes, global market strategist at Axi. “Perhaps more interesting is the lack of U.S. shale response to the higher crude oil prices, which is favourable for higher prices.”

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, together known as OPEC+, are looking to extend production cuts into April against expected output increase due to the fragile state of the global oil market.

Oil traders and businesses had been expecting the oil cartel to ease production by around 500,000 barrels per day since January 2021 but because of the coronavirus risk and rising global uncertainties, OPEC+ was forced to role-over production cuts until March. Experts now expect that this could be extended to April given the global situation.

“OPEC+ is currently meeting to discuss its current supply agreement. This raised the spectre of a rollover in supply cuts, which also buoyed the market,” ANZ said in a report.

Meanwhile, U.S crude oil inventories rose by more than a record 21 million barrels last week as refining plunged to a record-low amid Texas weather that knocked out power from homes.

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Crude Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

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Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

Oil retreated from an earlier rally with investment banks and traders predicting the market can go significantly higher in the months to come.

Futures in New York pared much of an earlier increase to $63 a barrel as the dollar climbed and equities slipped. Bank of America said prices could reach $70 at some point this year, while Socar Trading SA sees global benchmark Brent hitting $80 a barrel before the end of the year as the glut of inventories built up during the Covid-19 pandemic is drained by the summer.

The loss of oil output after the big freeze in the U.S. should help the market firm as much of the world emerges from lockdowns, according to Trafigura Group. Inventory data due later Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute and more from the Energy Department on Wednesday will shed more light on how the Texas freeze disrupted U.S. oil supply last week.

Oil has surged this year after Saudi Arabia pledged to unilaterally cut 1 million barrels a day in February and March, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicting the rally will accelerate as demand outpaces global supply. Russia and Riyadh, however, will next week once again head into an OPEC+ meeting with differing opinions about adding more crude to the market.

“The freeze in the U.S. has proved supportive as production was cut,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro. “We still expect that Russia will push for a significant rise in production,” which could soon weigh on prices, he said.

PRICES

  • West Texas Intermediate for April fell 27 cents to $61.43 a barrel at 9:20 a.m. New York time
  • Brent for April settlement fell 8 cents to $65.16

Brent’s prompt timespread firmed in a bullish backwardation structure to the widest in more than a year. The gap rose above $1 a barrel on Tuesday before easing to 87 cents. That compares with 25 cents at the start of the month.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and oil trader Vitol Group shot down talk of a new oil supercycle, though they said a lack of supply response will keep prices for crude prices firm in the short term.

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