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GE to Invest $2bn in Skills Training, Facility Development in Africa

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  • GE to Invest $2bn in Skills Training, Facility Development in Africa

The President and Chief Executive Officer of General ElecGE Nigeria, Dr. Lazarus Angbazo, has stated that the multinational conglomerate has committed to invest a total of $2 billion in facility development, skills training, and sustainability initiatives across Africa by 2018.

Speaking on a recent collaboration between his company and Dangote Cement Plc on an in-country repair of one of Dangote’s GE LM6000 aero-derivative gas engines, Angbazo also revealed that the feat is the first time such a complex and delicate repair project was executed in Nigeria and only the second instance in sub-Saharan Africa.

GE said in a statement that when Dangote Cement reported that the turbine which contributes about 47MW had developed a fault “GE proposed to repair the LM6000 engine in Nigeria, leveraging its worldwide network in order to assemble the people, parts and tools needed to undertake this skilled and delicate work.”

According to the statement, GE assembled a crack team of engineers made up of a Nigerian team led by Nwabueze Adiuku from GE Service shop in Port Harcourt, alongside Granite Field Engineers led by Sadiq Ayomide and supported by a Dutch specialist, Wiebe Van der Wer, who flew into the country to complete the team.

The statement added that this in-country initiative brought Dangote plc savings worth at least $2.5 million.

Commenting on the feat, the Expert Field Service Engineer, Wiebe Van der Wer, noted that “…Doing this in the country has reduced the unit idle time and brought large cost savings to the customer.”

“Excluding logistics, transportation & custom clearing, normaldepot scope would cost the customer a minimum $3.5million million. But doing this in-country cost less than $1 million,” he added.

Speaking on the significant of the project to the Nigerian team, Nwabueze Adiuku stated that “it gives us an idea of what we can achieve with the upcoming Project Emerald facility in Calabar when it gets commissioned in 2017.”

On his part, Ayomide said the feat “is a major breakthrough for me as a FS Field Service Engineer and it shows that GE Power Solutions can be localized. For the customer (Dangote) it shows that we are always with them and are ready to provide cost-effective solutions whenever the need arises.”

For the repair work, the turbine made a round trip by road from Obajana to Port Harcourt and back to Obajana – a total distance of 880 km over a one-week period.

This was only possible as the GE workshop in Port Harcourt is equipped with the tools and standard facilities to carry out this large scope of work.

The Strategic Account Executive, Dangote for GE, Uzo Ezimora, said: “It’s achievements like this that make you very proud to work for GE. We have opened up a new chapter in terms of delivering world-class service with local teams and structures. No-one should underestimate the complexity of such maintenance…or its significance for our esteemed customers.”

Angbazo corroborated this by describing the project as a very important one for the organisation.

“By undertaking a service project of this scale and complexity in Nigeria, we help to expand our skills and capacity in this region. Not only has the decision to do the work locally significantly reduced costs for our customer, it has enabled us undertake the project with minimal disruption to production at the Dangote plant,” Angbazo explained.

He further noted that the successful completion of the project will further give confidence to the Dangote Group and propel more advanced maintenance works to be completed for sub-Saharan customers in a cost-effective and timely manner within the region by local teams.

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.

Crude Oil

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

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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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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

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Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

Oil prices rose on Monday as the slow return of U.S. crude output cut by frigid conditions served as a reminder of the tight supply situation, just as demand recovers from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brent crude was up $1.38, or 2.2%, at $64.29 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate gained $1.38, or 2.33%, to trade at $60.62 per barrel.

Abnormally cold weather in Texas and the Plains states forced the shutdown of up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production along with 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas output, analysts estimated.

Shale oil producers in the region could take at least two weeks to restart the more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output affected, sources said, as frozen pipes and power supply interruptions slow their recovery.

“With three-quarters of fracking crews standing down, the likelihood of a fast resumption is low,” ANZ Research said in a note.

For the first time since November, U.S. drilling companies cut the number of oil rigs operating due to the cold and snow enveloping Texas, New Mexico and other energy-producing centres.

OPEC+ oil producers are set to meet on March 4, with sources saying the group is likely to ease curbs on supply after April given a recovery in prices, although any increase in output will likely be modest given lingering uncertainty over the pandemic.

“Saudi Arabia is eager to pursue yet higher prices in order to cover its social break-even expenses at around $80 a barrel while Russia is strongly focused on unwinding current cuts and getting back to normal production,” said SEB chief commodity analyst Bjarne Schieldrop.

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

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Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

Oil prices rose to $65.47 per barrel on Thursday as crude oil production dropped in the US due to frigid Texas weather.

The unusual weather has left millions in the dark and forced oil producers to shut down production. According to reports, at least the winter blast has claimed 24 lives.

Brent crude oil gained $2 to $65.47 on Thursday morning before pulling back to $64.62 per barrel around 11:00 am Nigerian time.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 2.3 percent to settle at $61.74 per barrel.

“This has just sent us to the next level,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. “Crude oil WTI will probably max out somewhere pretty close to $65.65, refinery utilization rate will probably slide to somewhere around 76%,” Yawger said.

However, the report that Saudi Arabia plans to increase production in the coming months weighed on crude oil as it can be seen in the chart below.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister, warned that it was too early to declare victory against the COVID-19 virus and that oil producers must remain “extremely cautious”.

“We are in a much better place than we were a year ago, but I must warn, once again, against complacency. The uncertainty is very high, and we have to be extremely cautious,” he told an energy industry event.

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