- Delta Worried About Relocation of 26 Oil Firms
The Delta State government has raised serious concern over the exit of 26 major oil companies following unabated hostilities and attack on their facilities by militants.
While the government also flayed the frequent communal crises in the state, especially in Ogbe-Ijoh/Aladja communities, Deputy Governor Kingsley Burutu Otuaro, who addressed political leaders on Tuesday in Asaba, stressed that the Asaba-based authorities were worried about the constant relocation of oil firms from Delta to other states.
Underlining the need for strong government policies and advocacy that will ensure the hostilities and increasing security challenges are addressed, he pledged that the Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration was working out modalities on how the oil companies would return to a peaceful and salubrious environment devoid of attacks and hostilities.
His words: “One of the cardinal points in Dr. Okowa’s SMART agenda is to create wealth and bring prosperity for all Deltans through those programmes. Our youths will be engaged and become relevant for peace to continue in the state and oil companies who moved out will return.”
Otuaro, who noted the increasing challenges, called on Deltans to join hands with the state government to subdue them.
Speaking with journalists yesterday, the Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Mr. Mofe Pirah, noted that government and appointed political office holders should see the need to discourage forms of development levy often described as “deve” by the youths in various communities to disturb investors/companies. He pointed out that it does not bring development to the state but scares investors.
Meanwhile, the speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr. Monday Igbuya, yesterday said Governor Okowa had given assent to 13 out of the 17 bills so far passed by it.
Speaking in Asaba at the resumption of plenary, Igbuya said they include Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission Law, 2015, Delta State Contributory Health Commission Bill, 2015, Appropriation Law 2016, Delta State Economic Planning Council (Amendment) Law, 2015, Delta State Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy Law, 2016, Delta State Security Trust Fund (Amendment) Law 2016 and Delta State Anti-Kidnapping Hostage Taking Law, 2016.
Others are Delta State Anti-Terrorism and Anti-Cultism Law, 2016, Delta State Scholarship Board Law, 2016, Delta State Structure for Signage and Advertisement Agency Law, 2015, Delta State Public Procurement Commission Agency Law, 2015, Delta State Traditional Rulers and Chiefs (Amendment) Law, 2016 and Delta State Schools of Nursing and Midwifery Law, 2016.
Oil Posts 2% Gain for the Week Despite India Virus Surge
Oil prices steadied on Friday and were set for a weekly gain against the backdrop of optimism over a global economic recovery, though the COVID-19 crisis in India capped prices.
Brent crude futures settled 0.28% higher at $68.28 per barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude advanced 0.29% to $64.90 per barrel.
Both Brent and WTI are on track for second consecutive weekly gains as easing restrictions on movement in the United States and Europe, recovering factory operations and coronavirus vaccinations pave the way for a revival in fuel demand.
In China, data showed export growth accelerated unexpectedly in April while a private survey pointed to strong expansion in service sector activity.
However, crude imports by the world’s biggest buyer fell 0.2% in April from a year earlier to 40.36 million tonnes, or 9.82 million barrels per day (bpd), the lowest since December.
In the United States, the world’s largest oil consumer, jobless claims have dropped, signalling the labour market recovery has entered a new phase as the economy recovers.
The recovery in oil demand, however, has been uneven as surging COVID-19 cases in India reduce fuel consumption in the world’s third-largest oil importer and consumer.
“Brent came within a whisker of breaking past $70 a barrel this week but failed at the final hurdle as demand uncertainty dragged on prices,” said Stephen Brennock at oil brokerage PVM.
The resurgence of COVID-19 in countries such as India, Japan and Thailand is hindering gasoline demand recovery, energy consultancy FGE said in a client note, though some of the lost demand has been offset by countries such as China, where recent Labour Day holiday travel surpassed 2019 levels.
“Gasoline demand in the U.S. and parts of Europe is faring relatively well,” FGE said.
“Further out, we could see demand pick up as lockdowns are eased and pent-up demand is released during the summer driving season.”
Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange to Commence Gold Trading
With the admission of Dukia Gold’s diversified financial instruments backed by gold as the underlying asset, Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange is set to commence gold trading.
According to Dukia Gold, the instruments will be in form of exchange-traded notes, commercial papers and other gold-backed securities, adding that it will enable the company to deepen the commodities market in Nigeria, increase capacity, generate foreign exchange for the Nigerian government to better diversify foreign reserves and create jobs across the metal production value chain.
Tunde Fagbemi, the Chairman, Dukia Gold, disclosed this while addressing journalists at Pre-Listing Media Interactive Session in Lagos on Thursday.
He said, “We are proud to be the first gold company whose products would be listed on the Lagos Futures and Commodities Exchange. The listing shall enable us facilitate our infrastructure development, expand capacity and create fungible products.
“This has potential to shore up Nigeria’s foreign reserve and create an alternative window for preservation of pension funds. A gold-backed security is a hedge against inflation and convenient preservation of capital.”
“As a global player, we comply with the practices and procedures of London Bullion Market Association and many other international bodies. Our refinery will also have multiplier effects on the development of rural areas anywhere it is located,” he added.
Mr Olusegun Akanji, the Divisional Head, Strategy and Business Solutions, Heritage Bank, said the lender had created a buying centre for verification of quality and quantity of gold and reference price to ensure price discovery in line with the global standard.
Oil Nears $70 as Easing Western Lockdowns Boost Summer Demand Outlook
Oil prices rose for a third day on Wednesday as easing of lockdowns in the United States and parts of Europe heralded a boost in fuel demand in summer season and offset concerns about the rise of COVID-19 infections in India and Japan.
Brent crude rose 93 cents, or 1.4%, to $69.81 a barrel at 1008 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 85 cents, or 1.3%, to $66.54 a barrel.
Both contracts hit the highest level since mid-March in intra-day trade.
“A return to $70 oil is edging closer to becoming reality,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.
“The jump in oil prices came amid expectations of strong demand as western economies reopen. Indeed, anticipation of a pick-up in fuel and energy usage in the United States and Europe over the summer months is running high,” he said.
Crude prices were also supported by a large fall in U.S. inventories.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) industry group reported crude stockpiles fell by 7.7 million barrels in the week ended April 30, according to two market sources. That was more than triple the drawdown expected by analysts polled by Reuters. Gasoline stockpiles fell by 5.3 million barrels.
Traders are awaiting data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration due at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) on Wednesday to see if official data shows such a large fall.
“If confirmed by the EIA, that would mark the largest weekly fall in the official data since late January,” Commonwealth Bank analyst Vivek Dhar said in a note.
The rise in oil prices to nearly two-month highs has been supported by COVID-19 vaccine rollouts in the United States and Europe.
Euro zone business activity accelerated last month as the bloc’s dominant services industry shrugged off renewed lockdowns and returned to growth.
“The partial lifting of mobility restrictions, the expectation that tourism will return in the near future, and the lure of the psychologically important $70 mark are all likely to have contributed to the price rise,” Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg said.
This has offset a drop in fuel demand in India, the world’s third-largest oil consumer, which is battling a surge in COVID-19 infections.
“However, if we were to eventually see a national lockdown imposed, this would likely hit sentiment,” ING Economics analysts said of the situation in India.
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