- Expert to Train Youths in Coal Extraction in Enugu
A petroleum industry expert, Dr Livinus Nosike, has called for more involvement of youths in the sector.
Dr Nosike was spoke at the 6th Enugu Youth Summit tagged Innovative Technology & Youth Entrepreneurship Summit organised by the office of the S.A. to the Governor of Enugu, Dr Emeka Asogwa, and the State Ministry of Youths and Sports.
While addressing hundreds of young entrepreneurs in the State, the 41-year-old Doctor of Petroleum Geology from Ezeagu Local Government Area of the State hinted that his company, Integrated Elvee Services (IES) Ltd, will be willing to train over 180 youths across Enugu State on petroleum and coal exploration as a way of creating hundreds of jobs within the State.
He said the training was in view of the State government’s ongoing discussions with South African investors to revamp the coal sector in Enugu State.
He said, “IES Oil and Gas Training will be empowering these youths with a token covering only registration fees which is a far cry from the N5,000 000 Naira equivalent or more with which students have to travel abroad to get trained. Coal is a huge goldmine; tons of unconventional hydrocarbon lies underneath our feet in Enugu State.
“It is the next mineral resource that can pay us more than petroleum in the State, unfortunately our Nigerian Universities are not practical about the trainings hence we as our own way of giving back to society want to empower youths of the coal-rich Enugu”.
The University of Nice – Sophia Antipolis, France graduate complained that graduates of petroleum courses in Nigeria have little knowledge about the industry. He emphasised that petrol does not only come from crude oil.
He said, “There is hydrocarbon from shale, from coal and from even plants – biofuel. Technology such as coal liquefaction produce hydrocarbon while polluting gas capture and sequestration help to abate the environmental impact.
“Even when it comes to conventional sources of hydrocarbon, it’s disheartening that many geology students don’t know what a simple rig is. This is because the workings in the oil and gas industry seem mystified. Petroleum geo-science is like agriculture, it is not as complex as people think. It’s simple to get trained in any of the chains in the industry.”
The Lagos-based entrepreneur who told journalists that the coal industry in Enugu will provide over 1,000 jobs noted that it will be sad for Enugu State to fall into the challenge of inexperienced locals working with the coal foreign investors.
“We should not make the mistake of the past,” he said. “When oil and gas exploration started in the Niger Delta, the local thought they will benefit from it because it is in their land. But in a capitalistic economy, he who brings the capital takes the proceeds. They only way to get the proceeds is to get involved early enough. That is the only way to ensure there is no schism between the various parties.”
Egbin Decries N388B NBET Debt, Idle Capacity
Egbin Power Plc, the biggest power station in Nigeria, has said it is owed N388bn by the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc for electricity generated and fed into the national grid.
The company disclosed this on Tuesday during an oversight visit by the Senate Committee on Privatisation, led by its Chairman, Senator Theodore Orji, to the power station, located in Ikorodu, Lagos.
The government-owned NBET buys electricity in bulk from generation companies through Power Purchase Agreements and sells it to the distribution companies, which then supply it to the consumers.
The Group Managing Director, Sahara Power Group, Mr. Kola Adesina, told the lawmakers that the total amount owed to Egbin by NBET included money for actual energy wheeled out, interest for late payments and available capacity payments.
Egbin is one of the operating entities of Sahara Power Group, which is an affiliate of Sahara Group. The plant has an installed capacity of 1,320MW consisting of six turbines of 220 megawatts each.
The company said from 2020 till date, the plant had been unable to utilize 175MW of its available capacity due to gas and transmission constraints.
Adesina said, “At the time when we took over this asset, we were generating averagely 400MW of electricity; today, we are averaging about 800MW. At a point in time, we went as high as 1,100MW. Invariably, this is an asset of strategic importance to Nigeria.
“The plant needs to be nurtured and maintained. If you don’t give this plant gas, there won’t be electricity. Gas is not within our control.
“Our availability is limited to the regularity of gas that we receive. The more irregular the gas supply, the less likely there will be electricity.”
He noted that if the power generated at the station was not evacuated by the Transmission Company of Nigeria, it would be useless.
Adesina said, “Unfortunately, as of today, technology has not allowed the power of this size to be stored; so, we can’t keep it anywhere.
“So, invariably, we will have to switch off the plant, and when we switch off the plant, we have to pay our workers irrespective of whether there is gas or transmission.
“Sadly, the plant is aging. So, this plant requires more nurturing and maintenance for it to remain readily available for Nigerians.
“Now, where you have exchange rate move from N157/$1 during acquisition in 2013 to N502-N505/$1 in 2021, and the revenue profile is not in any way commensurate to that significant change, then we have a very serious problem.”
He said at the meeting of the Association of Power Generation Companies on Monday, members raised concern about the debts owed to them.
He added, “All the owners were there, and the concern that was expressed was that this money that is being owed, when are we going to get paid?
“The longer it takes us to be paid, the more detrimental to the health and wellbeing our machines and more importantly, to our staff.”
Adesina lamented that the country’s power generation had been hovering around 4,000MW in recent years.
Oil Rises on U.S. Fuel Drawdowns Despite Surging Coronavirus Cases
Oil prices climbed on Wednesday after industry data showed U.S. crude and product inventories fell more sharply than expected last week, reinforcing expectations that demand will outstrip supply growth even amid a surge in Covid-19 cases.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 48 cents, or 0.7%, to $72.13 a barrel, reversing Tuesday’s 0.4% decline.
Brent crude futures rose 34 cents, or 0.5%, to $74.82 a barrel, after shedding 2 cents on Tuesday in the first decline in six days.
Data from the American Petroleum Institute industry group showed U.S. crude stocks fell by 4.7 million barrels for the week ended July 23, gasoline inventories dropped by 6.2 million barrels and distillate stocks were down 1.9 million barrels, according to two market sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
That compared with analysts’ expectations for a 2.9 million fall in crude stocks, following a surprise rise in crude inventories the previous week in what was the first increase since May.
Traders are awaiting data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday to confirm the drop in stocks.
“Most energy traders were unfazed by last week’s build, so expectations should be high for the EIA crude oil inventory data to confirm inventories resumed their declining trend,” OANDA analyst Edward Moya said in a research note.
On gasoline stocks, analysts had expected a 900,000 barrel decline drop in the week to July 23.
“The U.S. is still in peak driving season and everyone is trying to make the most of this summer,” Moya said.
Fuel demand expectations are undented by soaring cases of the highly infectious delta variant of the coronavirus in the United States, where the seven-day average for new cases has risen to 57,126. That is about a quarter of the pandemic peak.
Oil Price Rises To $74.70 Despite Delta Variant
Oil price inched higher on Tuesday despite the fast spreading COVID-19 Delta variant. Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced gained, $0.20 or 0.27 percent to $74.70 per barrel on Tuesday at 12:05 am Nigerian time.
Delta variant is spreading in China, the world’s largest importer of crude oil, forcing crude oil investors to start cutting down on their oil demand projections.
“The Delta variant is still spreading and China has started to clamp down on teapots, so their import growth would not be that much,” said Avtar Sandu, a senior commodities manager at Singapore’s Phillips Futures, referring to independent refiners.
Strong U.S. demand and expectations of tight supplies have helped crude oil to recover from a 7 percent slump recorded last Monday to mark their first gains in two to three weeks last week.
Global oil markets are expected to remain in deficit despite a decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, collectively known as OPEC+, to raise production through the rest of the year.
“There is seemingly a battle within the energy complex between the prevailing supply deficit engineered by OPEC+ and the threat of the COVID-19 Delta variant in regions with low vaccination rates,” said StoneX analyst Kevin Solomon.
“The slow take-up of vaccinations will continue to limit some upside in oil demand in those regions, and there will be intermittent spells in the recovery in the coming months.”
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