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Nigerian Crude Exports Set for Four-month High

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  • Nigerian Crude Exports Set for Four-month High

The nation’s oil exports are expected to rise to their highest in four months in October, on the back of supply of several larger grades coming back online following a series of pipeline outages in the last couple of months.

Loading of Nigerian crude will rise to 1.73 million barrels per day from September’s 1.41 million bpd. October’s will be the largest programme since June this year, but it is smaller than the 1.768 million bpd exported in October last year, according to Reuters.

The export plan comprised 57 cargoes, compared with 48 cargoes in September’s loading schedule, the report added.

Both the Qua Iboe and the Forcados streams will load fewer cargoes, while Bonny Light contains the same number of cargoes and Escravos will load one extra.

Exports of these three major streams will drop by 14 per cent in October to around 540,000 bpd from September’s 630,000 bpd rate.

The export plans showed several smaller streams would add at least one cargo in October, including Pennington, Okwori and Antan.

Nigerian oil export plans are prone to revisions and delays, with cargoes frequently pushed from one month to the next.

According to traders, the overhang of Nigerian oil cargoes continues to clear after a series of spot sales this week cut the existing surplus by more than half.

The number of unsold cargoes from the August and September programmes was said to have dropped to less than a dozen, from close to 30 at the start of the week.

Meanwhile, shipments of West African crude to Asia are expected to reach a record high in August, driven by a surge in demand from Indian refiners, who will take more oil from the region than at any time since mid-2015.

According to a Reuters’ survey of shipping fixtures and traders, some 890,000 bpd of West African crude will sail to India, compared with 600,000 bpd in July and almost double last August’s 460,000 bpd.

Total loading for Asia will rise to 2.586 million bpd this month from 2.44 million bpd in July and 2.176 million bpd last August.

Indian Oil Corporation Limited took nearly half the total for India, while the privately held Reliance Industries took three cargoes, and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited took one each.

Of the 15 cargoes that will go to India, at least nine will hold Nigerian grades, including Qua Iboe, Agbami and Usan.

China’s daily intake dropped to its lowest since May this year at 1.419 million bpd from 1.571 million bpd in July, reflecting a modest slowdown in refinery intake and less favourable shipping economics.

Some 60 per cent of crude that will head to China is Angolan.

The premium of Brent crude futures to benchmark Dubai futures has widened this month to almost $2.00 from less than $1.00 in late July, while the premium to the US crude futures has also crept out towards $6.00 from near $2.50 a month ago.

The relatively strong performance of Brent futures to other regional benchmarks means it has been cheaper for Asian buyers to take in the likes of the US shale or other Middle East grades at the expense of typical West African grades.

However, the drop in the value of the currencies against the US dollar of a number of key commodity importers, such as China and India, over the course of August might prompt a decline in flows in September and October, as buyers feel the pinch of an unfavourable foreign exchange rate.

“Despite the general weakness in emerging-market currencies, oil market players are relaxed about the potential adverse impact on global oil demand, especially now that the dollar is getting slightly weaker again,” a PVM Oil analyst, TamasVarga, said, adding, “This upbeat mood will probably change if the dollar strengthens again and this strength proves to be prolonged.”

India has seen the value of a barrel of oil rise by nearly 56 per cent in the last year and China, a rise of 47 per cent in local terms, compared with the 41 per cent rise in the dollar value of Brent to around $74 a barrel.

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

Economy

Electricity Consumers Get 611,231 Meters Under MAP Scheme

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Electricity Consumers Get 611,231 Meters Under MAP Scheme

A total of 611,231 meters have been deployed as at January 31, 2021 under the Meter Asset Provider initiative since its full operation despite the COVID-19 pandemic and other extraneous factors, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has said.

NERC disclosed this in a consultation paper on the review of the MAP Regulations.

The proposed review of the MAP scheme is coming nearly four months after the Federal Government launched a new initiative called National Mass Metering Programme aimed at distributing six million meters to consumers free of charge.

“The existence of a huge metering gap and the need to ensure successful implementation of the MYTO 2020 Service-Based Tariff resulted in the approval of the NMMP, a policy of the Federal Government anchored on the provision of long-term low interest financing to the Discos,” NERC said.

The commission had in March 2018 approved the MAP Regulations with the aim of fast-tracking the closure of the metering gap in the sector through the engagement of third-party investors (called meter asset providers) for the financing, procurement, supply, installation and maintenance of meters.

It set a target of providing meters to all customers within three years, and directed the Discos and the approved MAPs to commence the rollout of meters not later than May 1, 2019.

But in February 2020, NERC said several constraints, including changes in fiscal policy and the limited availability of long-term funding, had led to limited success in meter rollout.

NERC, in the consultation paper, highlighted three proposed options for metering implementation going forward.

The first option is to allow the implementation of both the NMMP and MAP metering frameworks to run concurrently; the second is to continue with the current MAP framework with meters procured under the NMMP supplied only through MAPs (by being off-takers from the local manufacturers/assemblers).

The third option is to wind down the MAP framework and allow the Discos to procure meters directly from local manufacturers/assemblers (or as procured by the World Bank), and enter into new contracts for the installation and maintenance of such meters.

“Customers who choose not to wait to receive meters based on the deployment schedule of the NMMP shall continue to have the option of making upfront payments for meters which will be installed within a maximum period of 10 working days,” NERC said.

The regulator said such customers would be refunded by the Discos through energy credits, adding that there would be no option for meter acquisition through the payment of a monthly meter service charge.

“Where meters have already been deployed under the meter service charge option, Discos shall make one-off repayment to affected customers and associated MAPs. Such meters shall be recognised in the rate base of the Discos,” it added.

NERC urged stakeholders to provide comments, objections, and representations on the proposed amendments within 21 days of the publication of the consultation paper.

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Nigeria’s Economy Moving in Right Direction but Slow – Amina Mohammed

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Nigeria’s Economy Moving in Right Direction but Slow – Amina Mohammed

Nigeria is moving in the right direction economically but its movement is not fast, the United Nations stated on Thursday.

Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed, said this during a meeting at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in Abuja.

She said the challenges in Nigeria were huge, its population large but described the country’s economy as great with lots of opportunities.

The UN scribe stated that after traveling by train and through various roads in the Northern parts of Nigeria, she discovered that the roads were motorable, although there were ongoing repairs on some of them.

Mohammed said, “This is a country that is diverse in nature, ethnicity, religious backgrounds and opportunities. But these are its strengths, not weaknesses.

“And I think the narrative for Nigeria has to change to one that is very much the reality.”

Speaking on her trips across parts of Nigeria, she said, “What I saw along the way is really a country that is growing, that is moving in the right direction economically. Is it fast enough? No. Is it in the right direction? Yes it is.

“And the challenges still remain with security, our social cohesion and social contract between government and the people. But I know that people are working on these issues.”

She said the UN recognised the reforms in Nigeria and other nations, adding that the common global agenda was the Sustainable Development Goals.

Mohammad commended Nigeria’s quick response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as she expressed hope that the arrival of vaccines would be the beginning of the end of COVID-19.

On his part, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, told his guest that the Federal Government was working hard to make Nigeria the entrepreneurial hub of Africa.

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N10.7tn Spent on Fuel Subsidy in 10 Years – MOMAN

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N10.7tn Spent on Fuel Subsidy in 10 Years – MOMAN

Nigeria spent a total of N10.7tn on fuel subsidy in the last 10 years, the Chairman, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr Adetunji Oyebanji, has said.

Oyebanji, who was the guest speaker at the 18th Aret Adams Lecture on Thursday, said N750bn was spent on subsidy in 2019.

He highlighted the need for a transition to a market-driven environment through policy-backed legislative and commercial frameworks, enabling the sustainability of the downstream petroleum sector.

“Total deregulation is more than just the removal of price subsidies; it is aimed at improving business operations, increasing the investments in the oil and gas sector value chain, resulting in the growth in the nation’s downstream petroleum sector as a whole,” he said.

The managing director of 11 Plc (formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc) said steps had been taken, “but larger and faster leaps are now required.”

According to him, deregulation requires the creation of a competitive market environment, and will guarantee the supply of products at commercial and market prices.

“It requires unrestricted and profitable investments in infrastructure, earning reasonable returns to investors. It requires a strong regulator to enable transparency and fair competition among players, and not to regulate prices,” Oyebanji said.

He noted that MOMAN had recently called for a national debate by stakeholders to share pragmatic and realistic initiatives to ease the impact of the subsidy removal on society – especially on the most vulnerable.

He said, “A shift from crude oil production to crude oil full value realisation through deliberate investment in domestic refining and refined products distribution, creates the opportunity to transform the dynamics of the downstream sector from one of ‘net importer’ to one of ‘net exporter’, spurring the growth of the Nigerian economy.

“Effective reforms and regulations are key drivers for the growth within the refining sector. Non-functional refineries cost Nigeria over $13bn in 2019. If the NNPC refineries were operating at optimal capacity, Nigeria would have imported only 40 per cent of what it consumed in 2019.”

Full deregulation of the downstream sector remains the most glaring boost to potential investors in this space, according to Oyebanji.

He said, “As crude oil prices will fluctuate depending on the prevailing exchange rates, it will be astute to trade in naira to avoid inevitable price swings.

“There needs to be a balance between ensuring the sustainable growth of the crude oil value chain (upstream through downstream) and providing value for the Nigerian consumer and the Nigerian economy.”

He said the philosophy should be for the government to put the legislative and commercial framework in place and let the market develop by itself.

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