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Airport Closure: Helicopter Shuttle Halted Over Poor Patronage



  • Helicopter Shuttle Halted Over Poor Patronage

Operators of helicopter shuttle services between the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and the Kaduna International Airport only operated for about two days since the closure of the NAIA on March 8 this year due to “very low patronage”.

The helicopter operators had announced their readiness to provide interested passengers with shuttle operations between the two airports following the closure of the NAIA to scheduled and chartered jet flight services.

But they stated that this did not last more than two days after the Abuja airport was closed, adding that helicopter shuttle services for passengers of scheduled flights were halted despite the lifting of the ban on the services by the Federal Government.

On March 13, The punch reported the ban on helicopter shuttle services by the National Security Adviser, Babagana Munguno, on the grounds that the airspace in Abuja was controlled.

But on March 15, the Federal Government lifted the ban, as the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, declared that helicopters were free to fly between Abuja and Kaduna.

However, despite the clearance given to the helicopter shuttle service providers, it was learnt that the operators did not resume as expected due to very low patronage.

An official of Bristow Helicopters, one of the key operators in the helicopter value chain, told our correspondent that the company had to “drastically scale down shuttle services between Abuja and Kaduna due to very low traction on the route.”

On whether it was only Bristow Helicopters that halted operations on the route, the source, who spoke to our correspondent in confidence, replied, “I’m speaking on a general term for both Bristow and other helicopter services. There is no helicopter shuttle between Abuja and Kaduna as we speak.

“We initially had arrangements to provide shuttle between Kaduna and Abuja but we did not get any traction at all. In fact, there was an arrangement with about four helicopter charter companies who wanted to provide shuttle between Kaduna and Abuja. Now, all they are providing is just full charter service.”

It was also learnt that passengers who insisted on travelling by air out of Abuja only had the option of going through Minna using Bristow Helicopters.

This, however, was mainly for travellers heading to Lagos as they were meant to join the company’s jet from Minna.

Another official of Omni-Blu Helicopters told our correspondent that the operators of helicopter shuttle services had earlier placed adverts, thinking that the closure of the NAIA would result in a boom for shuttle business operations between Abuja and Kaduna.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.


Communities in Delta State Shut OML30 Operates by Heritage Energy Operational Services Ltd




The OML30 operated by Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited in Delta State has been shut down by the host communities for failing to meet its obligations to the 112 host communities.

The host communities, led by its Management Committee/President Generals, had accused the company of gross indifference and failure in its obligations to the host communities despite several meetings and calls to ensure a peaceful resolution.

The station with a production capacity of 80,000 barrels per day and eight flow stations operates within the Ughelli area of Delta State.

The host communities specifically accused HEOSL of failure to pay the GMOU fund for the last two years despite mediation by the Delta State Government on May 18, 2020.

Also, the host communities accused HEOSL of ‘total stoppage of scholarship award and payment to host communities since 2016’.

The Chairman, Dr Harrison Oboghor and Secretary, Mr Ibuje Joseph that led the OML30 host communities explained to journalists on Monday that the host communities had resolved not to backpedal until all their demands were met.

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Crude Oil Recovers from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins



Oil Prices Recover from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins

Crude oil prices rose with other financial markets on Monday following a 4 percent decline on Friday.

This was after Joe Biden, the former Vice-President and now the President-elect won the race to the White House.

Global benchmark oil, Brent crude oil, gained $1.06 or 2.7 percent to $40.51 per barrel on Monday while the U.S West Texas Intermediate crude oil gained $1.07 or 2.9 percent to $38.21 per barrel.

On Friday, Brent crude oil declined by 4 percent as global uncertainty surged amid unclear US election and a series of negative comments from President Trump. However, on Saturday when it became clear that Joe Biden has won, global financial markets rebounded in anticipation of additional stimulus given Biden’s position on economic growth and recovery.

Trading this morning has a risk-on flavor, reflecting increasing confidence that Joe Biden will occupy the White House, but the Republican Party will retain control of the Senate,” Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.

“The outcome is ideal from a market point of view. Neither party controls the Congress, so both trade wars and higher taxes are largely off the agenda.”

The president-elect and his team are now working on mitigating the risk of COVID-19, grow the world’s largest economy by protecting small businesses and the middle class that is the backbone of the American economy.

There will be some repercussions further down the road,” said OCBC’s economist Howie Lee, raising the possibility of lockdowns in the United States under Biden.

“Either you’re crimping energy demand or consumption behavior.”

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Nigeria, Other OPEC Members Oil Revenue to Hit 18 Year Low in 2020




Revenue of OPEC Members to Drop to 18 Year Low in 2020

The United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) has predicted that the oil revenue of members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will decline to 18-year low in 2020.

EIA said their combined oil export revenue will plunge to its lowest level since 2002. It proceeded to put a value to the projection by saying members of the oil cartel would earn around $323 billion in net oil export in 2020.

If realised, this forecast revenue would be the lowest in 18 years. Lower crude oil prices and lower export volumes drive this expected decrease in export revenues,” it said.

The oil expert based its projection on weak global oil demand and low oil prices because of COVID-19.

It said this coupled with production cuts by OPEC members in recent months will impact net revenue of the cartel in 2020.

It said, “OPEC earned an estimated $595bn in net oil export revenues in 2019, less than half of the estimated record high of $1.2tn, which was earned in 2012.

“Continued declines in revenue in 2020 could be detrimental to member countries’ fiscal budgets, which rely heavily on revenues from oil sales to import goods, fund social programmes, and support public services.”

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