Shell is set to increase its oil production in Argentina’s Vaca Muerta shale formation by 5,000 barrels per day (bpd), aiming to reach 50,000 bpd by the year’s end, as confirmed by its Chief Executive on Tuesday.
Ricardo Rodriguez, the CEO of Shell in Argentina, made this announcement during an oil and gas conference in Buenos Aires.
He acknowledged that the company faces challenges, including limitations on investment and macroeconomic pressures, which are deterring them from expanding their operations in Vaca Muerta.
Report this ad Currently, Shell holds the position of the second-largest crude oil producer in Vaca Muerta, trailing behind Argentina’s state-run oil company, YPF.
Rodriguez emphasized the exceptional quality of Vaca Muerta and expressed Shell’s desire to invest more than the current annual budget of $500 million.
However, he also noted that restrictions on accessing foreign currency and Argentine price regulations have prompted caution when deciding where to allocate additional investments.
Rodriguez stated, “To invest more, we have to have conditions that justify increased investment.”
In August, Argentina implemented measures to freeze the domestic crude oil price, fixing it at $56 per barrel until the end of October to combat triple-digit inflation. The country continues to maintain stringent exchange controls in an effort to address its limited foreign currency reserves.
“We do not have a free market price for Argentina, unlike my colleagues in Brazil or Mexico,” Rodriguez pointed out, highlighting the significant competitiveness gap this creates.
Vaca Muerta boasts the world’s second-largest shale gas reserves and the fourth-largest shale oil reserves. The formation plays a pivotal role in Argentina’s aspirations to become a prominent energy exporter, including its plans to ship liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Manufacturers Cut Spending on Alternative Energy Sources as Electricity Supply Improves
Nigerian manufacturers reduced their spending on alternative energy sources by 21.25% to N60.4 billion in the first half of 2023, according to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).
This decline is attributed to the increased availability of electricity from the national grid, which improved to 11.3 hours per day, up from 10.2 hours in the same period of 2022.
The report also indicated a slight increase in daily power outages to 4.7 times from 4.4 times in H1 2022.
These improvements in grid electricity availability have positively impacted the manufacturing sector’s energy expenditure, leading to a significant drop from N76.7 billion spent in the second half of 2022.
However, the initial high expenditure on alternative energy sources was driven by skyrocketing diesel prices.
The cost of diesel had surged due to foreign exchange challenges and the implementation of a 7.5% Value Added Tax on Automotive Gas Oil (diesel).
Diesel prices in many states had risen to between N900 and N950 per liter, which threatened the production capacity of numerous manufacturing entities.
The Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association expressed concerns about the potential closure of textile factories and job losses due to rising energy costs. Textile manufacturers, in particular, found it challenging to afford diesel at such prices.
The Chief Executive Officer of Coleman Technical Industries Limited also highlighted the increased production costs associated with higher diesel prices.
While the improvement in electricity supply is a positive development for manufacturers, the industry remains vigilant about energy costs and their impact on production.
Dangote Group Subsidiaries Contribute N474 Billion in Taxes to Federal Government Over Three Years
In a significant testament to its commitment to corporate citizenship and financial responsibility, three subsidiaries of the Dangote Group have revealed that they paid a substantial total of N474 billion in taxes to the Federal Government over the past three years.
The disclosure was made by Hashem Ahmed, an official representing the multibillion-dollar conglomerate, during the opening ceremony of the 18th Abuja International Trade Fair, which focused on the theme ‘Sustainable financing and taxation as drivers of the new economy.’
The Dangote Group, led by its President Aliko Dangote, stands as not only the largest private-sector employer but also the country’s leading taxpayer. The remarkable N474 billion contribution was primarily made by Dangote Sugar, Dangote Cement, and Dangote Salt.
Also, the group has a longstanding history of extensive financial support, empowerment initiatives, corporate social responsibility programs, sponsorships, and philanthropic endeavors, amounting to several billions of naira.
Hashem Ahmed also expressed the group’s satisfaction with the Federal Government’s commitment to tax reform policies aimed at broadening the tax base and providing essential funding for infrastructure development in the country.
The Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite, who spoke at the event, announced the government’s comprehensive plan to support small businesses and startups amid Nigeria’s economic challenges.
The plan includes a N75 billion investment by March 2024 to bolster the manufacturing sector, grants for microbusinesses in every local government, and a N75 billion fund to support up to 100,000 startups and MSMEs at favorable interest rates repayable over 36 months.
The government has also initiated partnerships with tech giants like Microsoft and the African Development Bank, signaling a bright future for Nigeria’s economic growth and innovation.
Dangote Industries Set to Revolutionize Agriculture Industry with Mega Merger, Creating Dangote Foods Plc
Dangote Industries Limited has unveiled plans for a merger that will give rise to a formidable entity known as Dangote Foods Plc.
This colossal conglomerate is poised to transform the agriculture industry and enhance food security across the nation.
The merger will combine three subsidiaries of Dangote Industries Limited, including Dangote Sugar Refinery, Dangote Salt, and Dangote Rice, resulting in a diversely profitable mega-company.
The fusion, scheduled for completion by the end of 2023 pending regulatory approvals, promises to yield significant benefits for all stakeholders, notably shareholders.
Dangote Sugar Refinery’s Group Managing Director and CEO, Mr. Ravindra Singhvi, highlighted the merger’s strategic importance, stating its potential to create substantial shareholder value.
The amalgamation will not only generate cost-saving synergies but also expand product offerings and revenue streams.
Dangote Foods Plc is set to become a powerhouse in the market, boasting a wide array of products, including sugar, salt, tomato, and rice, among others. This merger will facilitate broader distribution capabilities and increased operational efficiency through synergy.
The journey towards this monumental merger began when Dangote Sugar Refinery notified the Nigerian Exchange Limited of its intention to merge with NASCON Allied Industries Plc and Dangote Rice Limited, both subsidiaries of Dangote Industries Limited.
This move marks a pivotal moment in the corporate history of Nigeria, with Dangote Industries Limited reaffirming its commitment to driving growth, innovation, and food security for the nation.
As regulatory approvals progress, Dangote Foods Plc is poised to emerge as a prominent player in Nigeria’s agricultural landscape, ultimately paving the way for a brighter and more sustainable future for the country.
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