- Kachikwu Plans Roadshow in Houston to Woo Bidders for Marginal Oil Fields
The Minister of States for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has disclosed that he would in the coming weeks attend the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas, United States to woo potential bidders for Nigeria’s upcoming marginal oil field bid rounds.
Kachikwu stated this at a networking dinner held last Wednesday night at the the maiden Nigeria Oil and Gas Opportunity Fair (NOGOF) which was initiated and organised in Uyo, capital of Akwa Ibom State by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to showcase opportunities for advancing local content application in the country’s oil industry.
The minister explained that he would attend the OTC this year in Houston to market Nigeria’s marginal oil fields bid rounds to potential investors. He also noted that the rounds could be completed between 2018 and 2019.
The OTC is an annual oil industry showpiece where energy professionals usually meet in the first week of May to exchange ideas and opinions that could advance scientific and technical knowledge for offshore oil resources and environmental matters.
It is often regarded as the largest event in the world for the oil and gas industry featuring more than 2,300 exhibitors, and attendees representing 100 countries. The conference was founded in 1969.
While Kachikwu did not disclose the number and locations of the marginal oil fields that would be up for bid in the process which is expected to start with his planned Houston roadshow, it is however thought that the fields could be located within the onshore basins and continental shelf.
The government had initially stated that it would conduct a licensing round in 2017 for the allocation of marginal fields, to raise revenue for the country and also grow oil production to meet its production target of four million barrels per day and 40 billion oil reserves.
Also, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has stated that it would not be in a hurry to grant operational licences that would formalise the operations of illegal oil refineries in the Niger Delta until standard Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) studies have been conducted on the illegal refineries and their locations.
Speaking yesterday at a technical session on opportunities and challenges in the Nigerian oil and gas industry at the NOGOF, the Assistant Director, Planning and Budget at the DPR, Mr. Wole Akinyosoye, said there were differences between modular refineries and illegal refineries, and that both must not be confused to mean the same thing.
Akinyosoye who represented the Director of DPR, Mordecai Ladan, at the conference, explained that the Department would require a comprehensive EIA from operators of the illegal refineries, after which it would undertake deep studies of them before deciding on operational licenses for them.
He noted that DPR had in the past issued multiple number of licences for modular refineries construction and had also requested for detailed EIA study of the locations of the refineries as provided for in the National Environmental Guidelines and Standards for the Petroleum Industries in Nigeria (EGASPIN).
Akinyesoye added that beyond the EIA report, there were other requirements needed to be fulfilled before licenses for such refinery construction would be granted.
The government had recently stated its intention to formalise the operations of all viable illegal refineries in the Niger Delta as part of its plan to end the menace of militancy and criminality in the region. This plan was subsequently backed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which stated that it would be an antidote to criminality and vandalism of oil facilities in the region.
SEC To Ban Unregistered CMOs From Operating By Month End
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says it will stop operations of Capital Market Operators (CMOs) that are yet to renew their registration on May 31, 2021.
This was contained in a circular signed by the management of SEC in Abuja on Monday.
On March 23, SEC had informed the general public and CMOs on the reintroduction of the periodic renewal of registration by operators.
The commission noted that the reintroduction of the registration renewal was due to the need to have a reliable data bank of all the CMOs registered and active in the country’s capital market.
“To provide updated information on operators in the Nigerian Capital Market for reference and other official purposes by local and foreign investors, other regulatory agencies and the general public, to increasingly reduce incidences of unethical practices by CMOs such as may affect investors’ confidence and impact negatively on the Nigerian Capital Market and to strengthen supervision and monitoring of CMOs by the Commission,” SEC explained.
According to the circular, the commission said CMOs yet to renew their registration at the expiration of late filing on May 31, would not be eligible to operate in the capital market.
It explained that CMOs were required to have completed the renewal process on or before April 30, however, the commission said late filing for renewal of registration would only be entertained from May 1 to May 31.
SEC also said that asides from barring the CMOs who failed to comply accordingly, their names would be published on its website and national dailies.
It added that names of eligible CMOs would be communicated to the relevant securities exchanges and trade associations.
A Threat to Revenue As Nigeria’s Largest Importer of Crude, India slash Imports By $39.5B
Nigeria’s revenue earning capacity has come under threat following the reduction of importation of crude oil by India.
India, Nigeria’s largest crude oil importer, reduced crude oil imports by $39.5bn in April, compared to the same time the previous year, data from India’s Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell showed.
According to the Indian High Commission in Nigeria, India’s crude oil imports from Nigeria in 2020 amounted to $10.03bn.
This represented 17 percent of Nigeria’s total crude exports for the year according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, as quoted by OilPrice.com.
As Nigeria’s largest importer of crude oil, lockdowns in India’s major cities from the COVID-19 surge in April had ripple effects on Nigeria’s oil sales.
The NNPC was prompted to drop the official standard price of its main export streams, Bonny Light, Brass River, Erha, and Qua Iboe, by 61-62 cents per barrel below its April 2021 prices. They traded at $0.9, $0.8, $0.65, $0.97 per barrel respectively, below dated Brent, the international benchmark, as Oilprice.com showed.
India had been buying the not-too-light and not-too-heavy Nigerian crudes that suited its refiners.
Reuters reported that the Indian Oil Corporation’s owned refineries were operating at 95 percent capacity in April, down from 100 percent at the same time the previous month.
An official at the IOC was quoted as saying, “If cases continue to rise and curbs are intensified, we may see cuts in refinery runs and lower demand after a month.” Hundreds of seafarers risked being stuck at sea beyond the expiry of their contracts, a large independent crude ship owner reportedly told Bloomberg.
India reportedly bought more American and Canadian oil at the expense of Africa and the Middle East, reducing purchases from members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to around 2.86 million barrels per day.
This squeezed the group’s share of imports to 72 percent from around 80 percent previously, as India’s refiners were diversifying purchases to boost margins, according to Reuters.
India also plans to increase local crude oil production and reduce import expenses as its population swells, according to Bloomberg.
A deregulation plan by the Narendra Modi-led government to boost national production to 40 million tonnes of crude oil by 2023/2024, an increase of almost eight million tonnes, had already been initiated.
According to Business Today, an Indian paper, the country currently imports 82 percent of its oil needs, which amounted to $87bn in 2019.
Invest Africa and DLA Piper Partner to Support ESG Best Practice in African Renewable Energy Projects
The global law firm, DLA Piper, has partnered with Invest Africa, the leading trade and investment platform for African markets, to support the development of ESG best practice in African renewable energy projects.
Clear Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) targets and measurements have become an increasingly important part of fundraising as investors seek to align their portfolios with sustainable growth. For a continent boasting ample natural resources, this presents a significant opportunity for Africa’s green energy sector. However, renewable does not always equal sustainable and developing and articulating ESG metrics can pose a significant challenge to projects as they prepare investment rounds.
The project will assemble experts from the worlds of impact investment, development finance and law. Across a series of online meetings, participants will discuss strategies to improve ESG practices in African renewable projects from both a fundraising and operational perspective.
Amongst those speaking in the inaugural session on Thursday 13th May are Cathy Oxby, Chief Commercial Officer, Africa Greenco, Dr. Valeria Biurrun-Zaumm, Senior Investment Manager, DEG, Orli Arav, Managing Director – Facility For Energy Inclusion (FEI) – Lion’s Head Global Partners, Beatrice Nyabira, Partner, DLA Piper Africa, Kenya (IKM Advocates) and Natasha Luther-Jones, Partner, Global Co-Chair of Energy and Natural Resources, International Co-Head, Sustainability and ESG, DLA Piper.
Veronica Bolton-Smith, COO of Invest Africa said, “Africa is particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change despite contributing very little to global emissions. As the price of renewables fall, they will form an ever more important part of Africa’s electrification. In this context, it is essential that projects be given the tools to apply best practice in ESG not only from an environmental perspective but also in terms of good governance, fair working conditions and contribution to social inclusion. I look forward to working closely with DLA Piper on this important topic.”
Natasha Luther-Jones, Global Co-Chair Energy and Natural Resources and International Co-Head Sustainability and ESG at DLA Piper also commented, “Climate change is one of the biggest challenges companies, and people, face today and when we look at its reduction – whether that be in how we power our devices, what we eat or how we dress, where we live or how we work – all roads come back to the need to increase the amount of accessible, and affordable, clean energy. However, renewable energy companies are not automatically sustainable as sustainability is a focus on all ESG factors, not just environmental. We know the need for renewable energy is only going to continue to rise, and therefore so will the number and size of renewable energy companies. The additional challenge is to make sure they are truly sustainable organisations and that’s what we’re excited about discussing during the webinar.”
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