- Renewed Oil Search Pushes NNPC’s Deficits to N19bn
The renewed search for crude oil in the frontier inland basins has started impacting the monthly trading financials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), its monthly financial and operations report for November 2016 has disclosed.
Specifically, as a result of the fresh oil search activities, the NNPC, in November, incurred additional cost of N1.87 billion over the October figures, pushing the deficits in the review month to N18.72 billion.
The monthly report, released last week in Abuja, stated that Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL), NNPC’s subsidiary, which is in charge of hydrocarbon exploration services and provision of seismic data acquisition, has witnessed an increase in its operating costs, following oil search activities in the frontier basins.
The report stated that despite an improved revenue generation profile, upholding its oil finds in the frontier basins contributed to the deficits recorded by the NNPC in the month.
According to the report, “The corporation has been operating in challenging situations which limits its aspiration to profitability. This 16th publication of NNPC monthly financial and operations report indicates a trading deficit of N18.72 billion. This represents an increase of N1.87 billion in trading deficit as against October, 2016.”
It explained that, “The marginal increase in the trading deficit was due to an upsurge in IDSL operating costs attributed to the on-going mobilisation activities in both Benue Trough seismic data project located in Bauchi and Party 05 in Elele, Rivers state, despite an improved revenue generation.”
Apart from the oil finds, NNPC, however, added that there were other activities that contributed to its deficit business closure in November.
“The strike action by Bristow Helicopters workers delayed the planned lay-time of Okono Blend resulting to nil NPDC offshore export sales for the month. Other factors that pulled down NNPC’s performance include force majeure declared by SPDC (Shell Petroleum Development Company) as a result of the vandalised 48inch Forcados export line after the restoration on 17th October, 2016 amongst others,” it stated.
While the Federal Government in 2016 renewed its desire to grow Nigeria’s oil reserves with exploration in the Chad Basin, and Benue Trough, the IDSL, which undertakes seismic data procession and interpretation, as well as reservoir management services in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, was awarded the job to acquire over 500 square kilometers of 3D seismic data acquisition in the first instance from the basins.
NNPC also stated that it was collaborating with the Republic of Niger to share geological data that could boost its ongoing exploratory activities in the Chad Basin and Benue Trough.
It disclosed that it was in discussion with the Chinese company that is operating the Agadem, Niger Republic oil field for the construction of an over 1, 000 kilometres alternative crude oil supply pipeline to its Kaduna Refinery.
Past reports on Nigeria’s oil exploration in the frontier basins indicated that between 1977 and 1996, the NNPC commenced exploration activities in the Chad Basin during which 23 wells were drilled and only two wells – Wadi-1 and Kinasar-1, recorded non-commercial gas discoveries before exploration was suspended in the Chad Basin in 2000 for lack of commercial finds.
Similarly on the Gongola Basin, the government had between 1993 and 2000 awarded blocks in the basin to Chevron, Total and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), and they reportedly acquired 3,153km of 2D seismic data, drilled one well each and made a non-commercial gas discovery in one of the wells – Kolmani River-1, before they suspended operations and abandoned the blocks.
Meanwhile, the corporation also gave an update on the operations of some of the country’s crude oil lifting terminals that have been impacted by acts of vandalism in the Niger Delta region. It said both Brass and Forcados were still shut.
“Forcados terminal; a force majeure declared since 15th February, 2016 was still in place in October 2016 due to the damage on the 48” sub-sea export which triggered a disruption in cargo lifting. The force majeure is still in place pending repairs of the line and stable/uninterrupted crude oil production
“Brass terminal; the force majeure declared on 22nd May, 2016 was still in place in October 2016 as a result of the sabotage on the Clough Creek-Tebidaba pipeline. Some wells were shut down from 1st to 31stOctober, 2016 for maintenance of critical equipment. A total of about 95,000bopd was shut in throughout the month of October 2016,” it explained in the monthly report.
In another development, NNPC has said 50 companies submitted bids to provide sea-worthy tug boats on charter basis for its maritime operational requirements in Lagos, Warri and Port Harcourt.
A statement from its Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Ndu Ughamadu, in Abuja explained that the public bid opening was held at the corporation’s headquarters, and had in attendance representatives of the bidding companies with officials of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), and some members of the civil society organisations as observers.
Though the statement did not disclose the corporate identities of the 50 firms or the number of them that would be selected for the term contract, it however said the successful companies would be engaged on a two-year term contract in the first instance, with an option of renewal for a further one year.
Winners, it noted, were expected to provide services, which include aiding the berth and un-berth of all ships operating at the NNPC jetties/buoy, logistics support for safe ship-to-ship operations, which covers movement of fenders, horses, documents, rigging and unrigging of fenders, among others.
The statement also quoted the corporation’s Group General Manager, Supply Chain Management, Mr. Shehu Liman, to have said at the bid opening that the NNPC under Dr. Maikanti Baru was determined to instill and sustain the values of transparency, accountability and integrity in all its procurement process.
Gold Gained Ahead of Joe Biden Inauguration 2021
Gold price rose from one and a half month low on Tuesday ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
The precious metal, largely regarded as a haven asset by investors, edged up by 0.2 percent to $1,844.52 per ounce on Tuesday, up from $1,802.61 on Monday.
He said, “The key factor appears to be the (U.S.) currency.”
As expected, a change in administration comes with the change in economic policies, especially taking into consideration the peculiarities of the present situation. In fact, even though Biden, Janet Yellen and the rest of the new cabinet are expected to go all out on additional stimulus with the support of Democrats controlled Houses, economic uncertainties with rising COVID-19 cases and slow vaccine distribution remained a huge concern.
Also, the effectiveness of the vaccines can not be ascertained until wider rollout.
Still, which policy would be halted or sustained by the incoming administration remained a concern that has forced many investors to once again flee other assets for Gold ahead of tomorrow’s inauguration.
Crude Oil Holds Steady Above $55 Per Barrel on Tuesday
Brent Crude oil, against which Nigerian crude oil is priced, rose from $54.46 per barrel on Monday to $55.27 per barrel as of 9:03 am Nigerian time on Tuesday.
Last week, Brent crude oil rose to 11 months high of $57.38 per barrel before pulling back on rising COVID-19 cases and lockdowns in key global economies like the United Kingdom, Euro-Area, China, etc.
While OPEC has left 2021 oil demand unchanged and President-elect Joe Biden has announced a $1.9 trillion stimulus package, experts are saying the rising number of new cases of COVID-19 amid poor vaccine distribution could drag on growth and demand for oil in 2021.
On Friday, Dan Yergin, vice-chairman at IHS Markit, said in addition to the stimulus package “There are two other things that are going with it … one is of course, vaccinations — in the sense that eventually this crisis is going to end, and maybe by the spring, lockdowns will be over.”
“The other thing is what Saudi Arabia did. This is the third time Saudi Arabia has made a sudden change in policy in less than a year, and this one was to announce (the) 1 million barrel a day cut — partly because they are worried about the impact of the surge in virus that’s occurring,” he said.
Also, the stimulus being injected into the United States economy could spur huge Shale production and disrupt OPEC and allies’ efforts at balancing the global oil market in 2021.
Crude Oil Pulled Back Despite Joe Biden Stimulus
Crude oil pulled back on Friday despite the $1.9 trillion stimulus package announced by U.S President-elect, Joe Biden.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria’s oil is priced, pulled back from $57.38 per barrel on Wednesday to $55.52 per barrel on Friday in spite of the huge stimulus package announced on Thursday.
On Thursday, OPEC, in its latest outlook for the year, said uncertainties remain high in 2021 with the number of COVID-19 new cases on the rise.
OPEC said, “Uncertainties remain high going forward with the main downside risks being issues related to COVID-19 containment measures and the impact of the pandemic on consumer behavior.”
“These will also include how many countries are adapting lockdown measures, and for how long. At the same time, quicker vaccination plans and a recovery in consumer confidence provide some upside optimism.”
Governments across Europe have announced tighter and longer coronavirus lockdowns, with vaccinations not expected to have a significant impact for the next few months.
“The complex remains in pause mode, a development that should not be surprising given the magnitude of the oil price gains that have been developing for some 2-1/2 months,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said.
Still, OPEC left its crude oil projections unchanged for the year. The oil cartel expected global oil demand to increase by 5.9 million barrels per day year on year to an average of 95.9 million per day in 2020.
But also OPEC expects a recent rally and stimulus to boost U.S. Shale crude oil production in the year, a projection Investors King experts expect to hurt OPEC strategy in 2021.
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