- NIMET, NASRDA, ASN Collaborate on Power Grid Improvement
Three research agencies of the Federal Government have expressed determination to collaborate in managing the effect of weather and climate on power grid systems in a bid to boosting the delivery of electricity across the country.
This is coming as the country’s power generation hovered around 4,000 megawatts in October and November, according to statistics obtained from the Nigeria Electricity System Operator and the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry.
The Chief Executive Officers of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, Mr. Anthony Anuforom; the National Space Research Development Agency, Prof. Seidu Mohammed; and the President of the Astronomical Society of Nigeria, Prof. Chidi Akujor, expressed their willingness to work together on power systems management, space science and technology development in Nigeria.
Speaking to journalists at the 6th National Conference and Award of Fellows of the ASN, Anuforom stated that the synergy among the agencies would not only accelerate the nation’s space programme, but would benefit the power sector.
The NIMET boss, who received an award at the event, explained that many weather and climate activities in space affect human existence, satellite systems for weather observation, as well as power installations.
Anuforom said, “This is an emerging area of research where we believe that NIMET can collaborate with NASRDA and ASN in space science and technology, which can assist in power systems management. We need to key in as a country and as an agency, and working together as organisations, I believe we should be able to make contributions to national development in this regard.
“This is because some phenomena in the outer space do affect satellite telecommunications and the power grid systems. So, there is a need for research in these areas to better manage our nation’s infrastructure like telecommunications and power.”
In his remarks, Mohammed urged scientists from different agencies of the Federal Government to work as partners in order to find solutions to national challenges in the telecommunication, science and technology and power sectors.
On the country’s power generation, figures from the NESO showed that for most days in October, electricity generating plants were able to supply over 4,000MW of power.
Some of the highest generation figures during this period included 4,229MW, 4,289.6MW, 4,255MW and 4,310.7MW, which were generated on October 1, 13, 15, and 17, respectively.
Further analysis of statistics by the power agencies showed that electricity generation figures in November had been around 3,800MW, while the average daily losses in the sector had remained below N1.8bn during the months under review, in contrast to the N2.3bn that was lost on a daily basis by the industry about three months ago.
Gold Hits Eight-Month Low as Global Optimism Grows Amid Rising Demand for Bitcoin
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.
Oil Prices Extend Gains to $64.32 Ahead of OPEC+ Meeting
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.
Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend
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.
- 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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