- AIB to Release Bristow Helicopter Crash Report, Five Others
The Accident Investigation Bureau on Tuesday said it would release the final reports on the crash of an aircraft belonging to Bristow Helicopters and five other air mishaps within the next six weeks.
A total of 11 persons escaped death after a Bristow 5B BJQ helicopter enroute to Lagos from an off-shore location in Port Harcourt crashed into the Lagos lagoon in February 2016.
The helicopter was carrying nine passengers and two crew members on board when the incident happened.
The AIB also announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the bureau and the Republic of Benin on accident investigation, adding that it had released 16 final reports on air mishaps in the last 18 months.
The Commissioner, AIB, Akin Olateru, disclosed these in Abuja while speaking on the sidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organisation regional workshop on improvement of a fundamental safety oversight system in the area of aircraft accident and incident investigation.
He said, “We are currently helping many nations and one of the highlights of this event is the signing of an MoU with the Republic of Benin to assist them in terms of accident investigation.
“In the last 18 months, we have released 16 final reports on accidents and within the next six weeks, we should be releasing another six to the world. We are collating them to be released soon. One of such report is the one of Bristow Helicopter.”
Olateru said the AIB had been assisting other nations in the last two years on air accident investigation.
He said, “For instance, the air accident that happened in Sao Tome, we helped the country to investigate and we concluded that investigation and that makes it the first time in the history of the AIB to conclude accident investigation within one year. That report has been sent to the Sao Tome government, the operator of the aircraft, and the Russian government and we are waiting for the feedback.”
The AIB commissioner stated that accident investigation should not be allowed to exceed 12 months, except in complex cases.
“I don’t think that accident investigation should take more than 12 months, but I don’t want to comment on whatever might have happened in the past. However, under my watch, we have made it mandatory, unless it is a very complex accident,” Olateru said.
On the number of accidents still being investigated by the bureau, he said, “We have about 27 accidents to conclude the investigations and produce their final reports. When I came in 2017, a lot of these were pending and we inherited about 47 of them.
“It is not something we can rush into because we are fine-tuning the processes of investigating accidents. On some of the accidents, because of the time, we have lost some information concerning them. We are talking about accidents that happened some nine years ago.”
Gold Hits Eight-Month Low as Global Optimism Grows Amid Rising Demand for Bitcoin
Gold Struggles Ahead of Economic Recovery as Bitcoin, New Gold, Surges
Global haven asset, gold, declined to the lowest in more than eight months on Tuesday as signs of global economic recovery became glaring with rising bond yields.
The price of the precious metal declined to $1,718 per ounce during London trading on Thursday, down from $2,072 it traded in August as more investors continue to cut down on their holdings of the metal.
The previous metal usually performs poorly with rising yields on other assets like bonds, especially given the fact that gold does not provide streams of interest payments. Investors have been jumping on US bonds ahead of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, expected to stoke stronger US price growth.
“We see the rising bond yields as a sign of economic optimism, which has also prompted gold investors to sell some of their positions,” said Carsten Menke of Julius Baer.
Another analyst from Commerzbank, Carsten Fritsch, said that “gold’s reputation appears to have been tarnished considerably by the heavy losses of recent weeks, as evidenced by the ongoing outflows from gold ETFs”.
Experts at Investors King believed the growing demand for Bitcoin, now called the new gold, and other cryptocurrencies in recent months by institutional investors is hurting gold attractiveness.
In a recent report, analysts at Citigroup have started projecting mainstream acceptance for the unregulated dominant cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.
The price of Bitcoin has rallied by 60 percent to $52,000 this year alone. While Ethereum has risen by over 660 percent in 2021.
Oil Prices Extend Gains to $64.32 Ahead of OPEC+ Meeting
Oil Prices Rise to $64.32 Amid Expected Output Extension
Oil prices extended gains during the early hours of Thursday trading session amid the possibility that OPEC+ producers might not increase output at a key meeting scheduled for later in the day and the drop in U.S refining.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria oil is priced, gained 0.4 percent or 27 cents to $64.32 per barrel as at 7:32 am Nigerian time on Thursday. While the U.S West Texas Intermediate gained 19 cents or 0.3 percent to $61.47 a barrel.
“Prices hinge on Russia’s and Saudi Arabia’s preference to add more crude oil production,” said Stephen Innes, global market strategist at Axi. “Perhaps more interesting is the lack of U.S. shale response to the higher crude oil prices, which is favourable for higher prices.”
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, together known as OPEC+, are looking to extend production cuts into April against expected output increase due to the fragile state of the global oil market.
Oil traders and businesses had been expecting the oil cartel to ease production by around 500,000 barrels per day since January 2021 but because of the coronavirus risk and rising global uncertainties, OPEC+ was forced to role-over production cuts until March. Experts now expect that this could be extended to April given the global situation.
“OPEC+ is currently meeting to discuss its current supply agreement. This raised the spectre of a rollover in supply cuts, which also buoyed the market,” ANZ said in a report.
Meanwhile, U.S crude oil inventories rose by more than a record 21 million barrels last week as refining plunged to a record-low amid Texas weather that knocked out power from homes.
Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend
Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend
Oil retreated from an earlier rally with investment banks and traders predicting the market can go significantly higher in the months to come.
Futures in New York pared much of an earlier increase to $63 a barrel as the dollar climbed and equities slipped. Bank of America said prices could reach $70 at some point this year, while Socar Trading SA sees global benchmark Brent hitting $80 a barrel before the end of the year as the glut of inventories built up during the Covid-19 pandemic is drained by the summer.
The loss of oil output after the big freeze in the U.S. should help the market firm as much of the world emerges from lockdowns, according to Trafigura Group. Inventory data due later Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute and more from the Energy Department on Wednesday will shed more light on how the Texas freeze disrupted U.S. oil supply last week.
Oil has surged this year after Saudi Arabia pledged to unilaterally cut 1 million barrels a day in February and March, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicting the rally will accelerate as demand outpaces global supply. Russia and Riyadh, however, will next week once again head into an OPEC+ meeting with differing opinions about adding more crude to the market.
“The freeze in the U.S. has proved supportive as production was cut,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro. “We still expect that Russia will push for a significant rise in production,” which could soon weigh on prices, he said.
- West Texas Intermediate for April fell 27 cents to $61.43 a barrel at 9:20 a.m. New York time
- Brent for April settlement fell 8 cents to $65.16
Brent’s prompt timespread firmed in a bullish backwardation structure to the widest in more than a year. The gap rose above $1 a barrel on Tuesday before easing to 87 cents. That compares with 25 cents at the start of the month.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. and oil trader Vitol Group shot down talk of a new oil supercycle, though they said a lack of supply response will keep prices for crude prices firm in the short term.
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