- Nigeria’s Oil Production Declines, Active Rigs Rise
Nigeria, which again lost its Africa’s top oil producer status to Angola in January, has recorded further decline in its crude oil production, a new report from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries has indicated.
OPEC, in its Monthly Oil Market Report for March 2017, put crude oil production from Nigeria at 1.526 million barrels per day in February, down from 1.533 million bpd in the previous month, based on direct communication.
Production from its southern African counterpart, Angola, stood at 1.649 million bpd in February, up from the 1.615 million bpd recorded in January.
OPEC, which uses secondary sources to monitor its oil output, but also publishes a table of figures submitted by its member countries, said the group’s total production in February averaged 31.96 million bpd, showing a decrease of 14,000 bpd over the previous month.
It said, according to secondary sources, crude oil output increased the most in Nigeria in February, while production in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, United Arab Emirates and Angola showed the largest declines.
Secondary sources put Nigeria’s output at 1.608 million bpd, while Angola was said to have produced 1.641 million bpd.
The number of active oil rigs in Nigeria, which had continued to decline in recent months, however, rose to 26 in February, latest data from Baker Hughes Incorporated and OPEC showed.
The nation’s rig count stood at a low of 23 in December last year, down from 38 in January 2015.
The reduction in the rig count was mostly triggered by the slump in global crude oil prices since mid-June 2014 as oil companies were forced to slash their capital budgets and suspend some projects.
Rig count is largely a reflection of the level of exploration, development and production activities occurring in the oil and gas sector.
Nigeria saw the fourth-largest drop in rig count among its peers in OPEC last year. The number of rigs in the country averaged 25 in 2016, down from 30 in 2015 and 34 in 2014.
“Regulatory uncertainty has resulted in fewer investments in new oil and natural gas projects, and no licensing round has occurred since 2007. The amount of money that Nigeria loses every year from not passing the PIB is estimated to be as high as $15bn,” the United States Energy Information Administration said in its ‘Nigeria Brief’.
Nigeria has the second-largest amount of proven crude oil reserves in Africa, but exploration activity has slowed.
“Rising security problems, coupled with regulatory uncertainty, have contributed to decreased exploration,” the EIA said.
According to the agency, the PIB, which was initially proposed in 2008, is expected to change the organisational structure and fiscal terms governing the oil and natural gas industry if it becomes law.
It said, “International oil companies are concerned that proposed changes to fiscal terms may make some projects commercially unviable, particularly deepwater projects that involve greater capital spending.”
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, had recently said the agreement by OPEC and non-OPEC producers to cut production with a view to stabilising prices was already yielding results for Nigeria.
He said higher oil prices and a long-term plan for production were spearheading the country’s efforts to get its oil and gas sector back on track.
Kachikwu noted that tackling militancy in the Delta communities was a high priority for the government, which would produce far-reaching benefits.
“We can already see that our efforts to create a more enabling environment and increase stability are producing positive responses from investors,” he said.
Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday that global oil inventories rose for the first time in January as the market grappled with a swell in production last year.
According to the agency, if OPEC maintains its output cuts, demand should overtake supply in the first half of this year.
The IEA said crude stocks in the world’s richest nations rose in January for the first time since July by 48 million barrels to 3.03 billion barrels, more than 300 million barrels above the five-year average.
It said compliance by OPEC with its agreed output cut of 1.2 million bpd in the first half of this year was 91 per cent in February and, if the group maintained its supply limit to June, the market could show an implied deficit of 500,000 bpd.
“If current production levels were maintained to June when the output deal expires, there is an implied market deficit of 500,000 bpd for first half of 2017, assuming, of course, nothing changes elsewhere in supply and demand,” the IEA said.
India, Spain, the Netherlands, USA, Nigeria’s Major Export Markets -NBS
India, Spain and the Netherland top Nigeria’s export markets in the final quarter of 2020, according to the latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The Commodity Price Indices and Terms of Trade Q4 2020 report showed that the United States and China trailed the three.
However, the NBS revealed Nigeria exports mainly crude oil and natural gas during the period under review.
It, “The major export and import market of Nigeria in Q4 2020 were India, Spain, the Netherlands, United States and China.
“The major export to these countries were crude petroleum and natural gas. The major imports from the countries were motor spirits, used vehicles, motorcycles and antibiotics.”
The bureau stated that the all-commodity group import index increased by 0.13 per cent between October and December 2020.
“This was driven mainly by an increase in the prices of base metals and articles of base metals (one per cent), boilers, machinery and appliances; parts thereof (1.03 per cent), and products of the chemical and allied industries (0.75 per cent),” it stated.
The NBS, however, noted that the index was negatively affected by animal and vegetable fats and oils and other cleavage products.
Onyeama: Qatar To Invest $5bn In Nigeria’s Economy
The oil-rich state of Qatar is to invest a total of $5 billion in Nigeria’s economy, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Godfrey Onyeama, has disclosed.
Onyeama, who spoke Sunday at a send forth dinner in honour of Nigeria’s Ambassador-designate to the State of Qatar, who is also the outgoing Director of Protocol (DOP) at the State House, Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed, also stated that recent career ambassadorial appointments made by the gederal government was based on merit, experience and professionalism.
The minister further said there had been discussions with Qatar on partnership with Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), for significant investments in the region of $5 billion in the Nigerian economy.
According to him, ‘‘Qatar is a weighty and strategic country and very strategic in that part of the world and we are putting our best feet forward to advance the interest of our country economically and in other areas.”
He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had visited the State of Qatar in 2016 and the Emir of Qatar, Tamim Bin Hammad Al-Thani, reciprocated with a State visit in 2019.
Onyeama also explained that only trusted hands with a track record of diligence, experience and professionalism in the Foreign Service were recently appointed career ambassadors by the federal government.
The minister said the appointment of Ahmed and other career ambassadors were predicated on posting dedicated and keen Foreign Service practitioners to serve as image makers of the country.
He said: ‘‘Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed is a dedicated professional with a penchant for rigour and detail. He is very capable and one of the best in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is personable, affable, extremely friendly, dispassionate and objective.
‘‘He is going to head a very important mission, a very important country, reckoned to be one of the richest countries in the world, per capita, and there’s a lot we will be doing with the State of Qatar.”
Also speaking, the Deputy Chief of Staff, Adeola Rahman Ipaye, described the honoree as a ‘‘perfect gentleman, very even-natured and always well turned out’’.
Ipaye said he had no doubt that the newly appointed ambassador would serve the country well in Qatar, adding that: ‘‘We are further encouraged that when he completes this assignment, he would return to serve Nigeria in a higher capacity.’’
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar, while congratulating the outgoing DOP on his appointment, lauded Ahmed for excellent service to the State House and the nation.
‘‘He served this institution and the nation with the deepest sense of responsibility and it is very important that we establish a tradition where the system appreciates those who have served it well and those who will continue to serve it well,’’ he said.
Umar urged the new envoy to keep very fond memories of his time at the Presidential Villa, assuring him of the prayers and goodwill of all the staff.
Responding, Ahmed thanked President Buhari for the great honour and privilege of making him his principal representative in Doha, Qatar.
The Ambassador-designate pledged to deplore his energy and skill to the promotion of the existing cordial relationship between Nigeria and Qatar, particularly in the areas of economic, political, cultural and consular affairs as well as other key areas.
Ahmed, who joined Nigeria’s Foreign Service in 1993, said during his years in public service he had learnt that ‘‘patriotism, selfless service, diligence, determination and perseverance will always result in the achievement of the desired objective’’.
According to him, these virtues would be his ‘‘watchword’’ in the pursuit of Nigeria’s foreign policy objectives and the attainment of national interests.
The Ambassador-designate singled out for appreciation the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, and the state Chief of Protocol, Ambassador Lawal Kazaure, saying he had learnt a lot working under their mentorship.
He expressed gratitude to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Permanent Secretary, State House for giving him the opportunity of a memorable work experience in the State House.
France, Nigeria to Build New Partnership
France is currently aiming at building a new partnership with Nigeria, with the dispatching of its Minister in charge of Foreign Trade and Attractiveness, Franck Riester, to Nigeria.
Riester, who was expected at the time of filing this report on Monday, is scheduled to visit Nigeria from 12-14 April, 2021.
A statement from the French Embassy in Nigeria said: “Franck Riester is visiting Nigeria from 12 to 14 April, a visit that follows up on the priorities set by French President Emmanuel Macron during his official visit to Nigeria in July 2018 and his desire to build a new partnership between Africa and France.
“As the largest economy in Africa and the economic engine of West Africa, Nigeria is indeed a major partner for France, the first in sub-Saharan Africa with bilateral trade amounting to a total of 4.5 billion USD in 2019 (2.3 billion USD in 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic).”
It disclosed that the minister will have several official meetings in Abuja and Lagos, in order to underline the importance of the bilateral economic relationship and to prepare the summit on the financing of African economies in Paris on 18 May.
It revealed that the objective of the mission is also to further strengthen the links between the French and Nigerian private sectors, and “in this regard, the minister will have in-depth discussions with the main Nigerian economic actors to strengthen bilateral cooperation and investments, both in Nigeria and in France, particularly in the logistics sector”.
It said while in the country, the minister would meet with young Nigerian entrepreneurs in the cultural and creative industries sector, to discuss the major role of their country in African creativity and the development of the African entrepreneurial ecosystem, with the support of France.
It further said: “The minister will also open the ‘Choose Africa’ conference, a €3.5 billion initiative by President Emmanuel Macron dedicated to supporting the development of start-ups and SMEs in Africa to enable the continent to benefit fully from the opportunities of the digital revolution.”
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