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NNPC Limited Discovered 395 Illegal Refineries

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has discovered 395 illegal oil refineries among other illegal assets.

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Oil Declines Below 60USD A Barrel

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has discovered 395 illegal oil refineries among other illegal assets.

At the Senate briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, the Chairman of NNPCL discloses that the company has discovered and shut down 395 illegal oil refineries. He also noted that 273 wood boats were taken down while 374 illegal oil reservoirs were destroyed. 

Mele Kyari noted that serious actions are being undertaken to curtail oil theft in the Niger Delta region.

“We have deactivated 395 illegal refineries; we have taken down 273 wooden boats, we have destroyed 374 illegal reservoirs, we destroyed 1,561 metal tanks.” Mele Kyari said.

He added, “We have seized over 49 trucks and burnt them down; we have discovered illegal oil pits of 898 so far, and, 219 cooking sites have been taken down.”

Addressing the senate committee, Mele Kyari noted a criminal enterprise of such magnitude can cripple the oil revenue. 

The NNPC chairman also disclosed that they had caught wind of an illegal connection of four kilometres route into the sea running from its major Forcados line, which he estimates has been around for 9 years.

Investors King had earlier reported in September that for the first time in five years, Nigeria lost its crown as Africa’s largest oil producer to Angola.

According to the Managing Director and Country Chair for Shell, Mr Osagie Okunbor, oil theft was one of the reasons why Nigeria could not meet its OPEC quota of 1.8 million barrels a day.

Similarly, the head of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Gbenga Komolafe said in a statement that about 141 million barrels of oil were produced in the first quarter of 2022, but only about 132 million barrels of oil were received at export terminals. 

Meanwhile, Kyari has proposed capital punishment for oil thieves and pipeline vandals. He noted that oil thieves are the country’s enemy and they should be treated as such. 

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Crude Oil

Crude Oil Dips Slightly on Friday Amid Demand Concerns

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On Friday, global crude oil prices experienced a slight dip, primarily attributed to mounting concerns surrounding demand despite signs of a tightening market.

Brent crude prices edged lower, nearing $83 per barrel, following a recent uptick of 1.6% over two consecutive sessions.

Similarly, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude hovered around $78 per barrel. Despite the dip, market indicators suggest a relatively robust market, with US crude inventories expanding less than anticipated in the previous week.

The oil market finds itself amidst a complex dynamic, balancing optimistic signals such as reduced OPEC+ output and heightened tensions in the Middle East against persistent worries about Chinese demand, particularly as the nation grapples with economic challenges.

This delicate equilibrium has led oil futures to mirror the oscillations of broader stock markets, underscoring the interconnectedness of global economic factors.

Analysts, including Michael Tran from RBC Capital Markets LLC, highlight the recurring theme of robust oil demand juxtaposed with concerning Chinese macroeconomic data, contributing to market volatility.

Also, recent attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea by Houthi militants have added a risk premium to oil futures, reflecting geopolitical uncertainties beyond immediate demand-supply dynamics.

While US crude inventories saw a slight rise, they remain below seasonal averages, indicating some resilience in the market despite prevailing uncertainties.

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Nigeria’s Oil Rig Count Soars From 11 to 30, Says NUPRC CEO

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The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Gbenga Komolafe, has announced a surge in the country’s oil rig count.

Komolafe disclosed that Nigeria’s oil rigs have escalated from 11 to 30, a substantial increase since 2011.

Attributing this surge to concerted efforts by NUPRC and other governmental stakeholders, Komolafe highlighted the importance of instilling confidence, certainty, and predictability in the oil and gas industry.

He explained the pivotal role of the recently implemented Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), which has spurred significant capital expenditure amounting to billions of dollars over the past two and a half years.

Speaking in Lagos after receiving The Sun Award, Komolafe underscored the effective discharge of NUPRC’s statutory mandate, which has contributed to the success stories witnessed in the sector.

The surge in Nigeria’s oil rig count signifies a tangible measure of vibrant activities within the upstream oil and gas sector, reflecting increased drilling activity and heightened industry dynamism.

Also, Komolafe noted that NUPRC has issued over 17 regulations aimed at enhancing certainty and predictability in industry operations, aligning with the objectives outlined in the PIA.

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Oil Prices Rebound in Asian Markets Amid Red Sea Shipping Concerns

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Amid escalating attacks on shipping in the Red Sea and growing uncertainty regarding U.S. interest rate cuts, oil prices rebounded in Asian markets today.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, climbed by 24 cents to $82.58 a barrel while the U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil (WTI) rose by 21 cents to $77.25.

The rebound comes after both Brent and WTI contracts experienced a 1.5% and 1.4% decline, respectively, from their near three-week highs on Tuesday.

This decline occurred as the premium for prompt U.S. crude futures to the second-month contract widened to $1.71 a barrel, its widest level in approximately four months.

However, on Wednesday, the premiums slid to 4 cents a barrel.

Analysts suggest that oil futures have entered a relatively range-bound phase, with current prices reflecting a risk premium of $6-7 per barrel.

The situation could persist until the next significant development in the Gaza crisis, whether it involves a de-escalation through a ceasefire or a further intensification of the conflict.

Recent attacks on vessels in the Red Sea and Bab al-Mandab strait by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis have heightened concerns over freight flows through these critical waterways.

Moreover, Washington’s veto of a draft UN Security Council resolution on the Israel-Hamas war has added to geopolitical tensions impacting oil markets.

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