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Oil Marketers Want Preferential FX Rate



  • Oil Marketers Want Preferential FX Rate

Despite the preferential foreign exchange rate given to oil marketing firms by the international oil companies (IOCs), aimed at sustaining the importation of petrol into the country, the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) has decried the non-allocation of the same preferential FX rate for the importation of aviation fuel.

MOMAN has equally condemned the multiple levies, taxes, fees and charges on imported products by agencies of the same or different tiers of government, and urged the federal government to summon the courage to halt the annual fuel crisis during the yuletide season by empowering marketers and importers with the required FX to stockpile products ahead of the Christmas and New Year festivities.

In a communiqué issued yesterday by the committee of chief executives of Forte Oil Plc, Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc, Total Nigeria Plc, Oando Plc, Conoil Plc and MRS, the marketers stated that the cost of petrol at the international market had soared to $548 per tonne and called on the federal government to ensure that the dollar/naira parity should stay at a level that would sustain the sale of petrol at the open market price band of N135-N145 per litre.

Owing to the scarcity of FX, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, a few months ago, negotiated a deal with the IOCs that prioritised oil marketers and allows the oil multinationals to sell FX directly to their downstream counterparts at a preferential rate in order to maintain the peg on the price of petrol at N145 per litre.

In the communiqué, the major oil marketing companies yesterday acknowledged what they described as the serenity in the supply of petrol in the country and extended their appreciation to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the NNPC and all other stakeholders.

“We note that there are some few glitches here and there and we call on the regulatory agencies to face these challenges with a view to nipping all nefarious activities associated with supply and distribution in the bud.

“Unknown to the general public, the private sector has depended on foreign exchange supplied into the system by the IOCs (international oil companies) through the intervention of the Hon. Minister of State Petroleum Resources.

“In order for the private sector to continue to play its role in the importation of PMS (petrol), the dollar/naira parity should stay at a level that will ensure that the open market price band of N135-N145 is maintained. This is especially so because the CIF price of petrol is rising in the international market. Today it is approximately $548 per tonne,” the CEOs explained.

They applauded the effort of the petroleum minister, but drew the attention of government to the product situation during the winter months, which coincide with reduced output of petrol in refineries abroad and increased activities of motorists in Nigeria as a result of the dry season and festive period.

In this regard, the oil marketers urged the government to summon the required courage to halt the annual ritual of product outages during the yuletide season.

According to MOMAN, the federal government should empower marketers and importers with the required FX to stock pile products in the country well ahead of the Christmas and New Year festivities.

The association also blamed the intermittent tightness in the supply of aviation fuel to the airlines, to the non-allocation of FX for the importation of jet fuel.

This situation has defeated the government’s intention of making Nigeria the aviation hub of the sub-region, they said.

On the issue of multiple taxes, the marketers noted that the government has the right to apply legitimate taxes, levies, fees and charges on goods and services.

The companies, however, condemned a situation where two agencies of the same state government apply the same law to charge different taxes or the states and federal governments are charging the same taxes on the same goods and services, and described the multiple taxes and levies as a disincentive to business.

The communiqué, which was signed by the Executive Secretary of MOMAN, Mr. Obafemi Olawore, also urged all tiers of government to review their tax policies and apply a single tax regime for the same service provided.

The committee of CEOs also lamented the deplorable condition of roads and charged the government to quickly fix the roads which have become traps leading to the loss of lives and property.

“We wish to draw the attention of stakeholders and regulators to safety regulations especially in the gross tonnage of tankers and the ability of the road to absorb the weight of loaded tankers.

“We also wish to appeal to the government to reduce the import duty on these haulage trucks to enable transporters meet the new replenishment policy which forbids the engagement of old or used trucks.

“The safety implications of not replenishing an aging truck fleet cannot be over-emphasised,” said the oil firms.

The oil marketing firms also called on the relevant agencies of government to review, monitor and enforce set standards in line with international best practices in the standardisation of trucks, retail outlets and products specifications.

Egina to Add 200,000bpd by 2018

In a related development, NNPC yesterday projected that Nigeria’s crude oil production was expected to increase by 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) by the first quarter of 2018.

This, according to the state-run oil firm, would be made possible with the commissioning of the Umbilical Flow-lines and Risers (UFR) for the Egina Deep Offshore Project.

Speaking during the load-out ceremony of the UFR for the Egina project by Saipem Contracting Nigeria Limited in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Maikanti Baru, also restated the commitment of the corporation to the development of local content in the oil and gas industry.

A statement by NNPC said Baru disclosed that the module would guarantee the drilling of the first oil from the 200,000bpd Egina field by the first quarter of 2018.

He commended Saipem for the successful completion of the Egina UFR project, including the engineering, procurement, construction, installation and pre-commissioning of 52 kilometres (km) of oil production and water injection flow-lines; 12 flexible jumpers; 2km of an oil export line; 20km of gas export pipelines alongside the installation; and commissioning of 80 kilometres of steel tube umbilical and mooring of the FPSO and offshore loading terminal. (OLT).

He said: “What is being celebrated is the efficacy of the Nigerian Content Act and the NNPC is strongly committed to the successful implementation of all provisions of the Act.”

Also speaking, the Managing Director of Total, Nicholar Terahz, said the Egina project was the largest contributor to the development of the Nigerian content in the oil industry, being the largest offshore project currently going on in the country.

He noted that the employment opportunities and technology transfer the project generated contributed significantly to the nation’s economy.
In his remarks, the Managing Director of Saipem, Guido D’Aloisio, said the performance of Nigerian engineers on the project was commendable, adding that the country would be proud of it.

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Simbi Wabote, who was represented by the board’s Director, Planning, Research & Statistics, Daziba Patrick Obah, said that the quality of jobs done on the project by Nigerians and the gains thereof would further deepen Nigerian content in the oil industry.

Discovered in 2003, the Egina field is located at some 20km from the Akpo field within Oil Mining Lease (OML) 130 and is situated in a water depth of 1,750m.

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


Oil Rises to $43.76 Despite Falling Oil Demand



Oil price

Brent Crude Rises to $43.76 Per Barrel on Friday

Oil price extended its gain on Friday despite OPEC and other experts predicting a further decline in demand for the commodity.

The Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose from $39.44 per barrel on Tuesday to $43.76 per barrel on Friday before pulling back to $43.42 per barrel.

The oil surged after reports showed that US oil producers were shutting down due to hurricanes and also that crude oil inventories dropped by over 9 million barrels in the week ended September 11, 2020.

The commodity started its bullish run a day after OPEC lowered its demand outlook for the year through the first half of 2021, saying recovery without COVID-19 remained slow.

“Once again, OPEC+ meets against a worrying backdrop of soft global oil prices and an uncertain demand outlook,” Cailin Birch from The Economist Intelligence Unit told CNBC via email on Thursday.

“We maintain our view that Brent crude prices will average just over $42 a barrel in 2020, assuming that OPEC+ partners reconfirm their commitment to output cuts at their September meeting,” Birch said.

Another expert, Tim Bray, a senior portfolio manager at GuideStone Capital Management, through an email said “I do not believe we should expect any material change of course out of the OPEC meeting this week when they review market fundamentals, in part because compliance with previously agreed production cuts has been high,” Tim Bray, senior portfolio manager at GuideStone Capital Management, told CNBC via email.

“It might set the stage for action at future meetings, however,” Bray said.

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Coronavirus: European Investment Bank (EIB) Approves € 12.6bn Financing for Transport, Clean Energy, Urban Development and COVID-19 Resilience



Outgoing President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi and incoming Christine Lagarde.

€ 3.1 billion for COVID-19 public health and business financing; € 3.5 billion for private sector investment and working capital schemes; € 3 billon for clean energy and energy efficiency investment around the world; € 2 billion for Naples-Bari high speed train link largest loan in EIB history.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) today approved € 12.6 billion of new financing for projects across Europe and around the world.

New financing agreed today includes more than € 3.1 billion of COVID-19-related investment to improve public health, strengthen public services and back investment by companies in sectors hit by the pandemic.

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, the EIB has approved € 20.1 billion to enable public and private partners around the world to better tackle health, social and economic challenges.

The EIB Board, meeting by video conference, also backed investment in agriculture, water, housing, telecommunications and urban development across Europe, as well as in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

“Fighting climate change and tackling the COVID-19 pandemic must go hand in hand to achieve a green recovery. The EU Bank is working around the world to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic on lives, jobs and businesses; and to ensure that investment focuses on sustainability, innovation, and on reducing the devastating impact of climate change. The 12.6 billion Euros of new EIB financing approved today show how we are working with thousands of local partners to make a long-term difference to people’s lives during these challenging times”, said Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank.

Largest ever EIB loan to transform travel in southern Italy

Passengers travelling between Rome, Naples and Bari will from 2027 benefit from reduced journey times, a quicker and environmentally friendly alternative to car transport, and improved connections thanks to the largest loan the EIB ever approved.

The EIB board gave the green light for a EUR 2 billion loan to support the construction of the new high-speed train link that will cut journey times by 1 hour and forty minutes between Naples and Bari. More than 2000 jobs will be created during construction and 200 once construction of the high speed line across a European cohesion region is complete.

The new green transport link, part of the Italian government’s “Unlock Italy” decree, will increase the competitiveness of raid transport, reduce carbon emissions and support social and economic development in southern Italy. It is part of the Scandinavia-Mediterranean Trans-European Network (TEN).

€ 3.6 billion to help businesses to better withstand COVID-19 challenges

Ensuring that entrepreneurs and employers can continue to invest and adapt to new challenges posed by COVID-19 is crucial.

Companies in the Baltics, Benelux, Cyprus, France, Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia as well as East Africa, Morocco, the Middle East and the Pacific will benefit from new targeted COVID-19 financing initiatives approved by the EIB today.

The new schemes, managed by local financial partners and banking intermediaries, will help reduce economic shocks, unlock new investment and enable targeted financing for sectors most vulnerable to COVID-19 uncertainties.

€ 3 billion for renewable energy and energy transition

Today’s board meeting agreed to support energy investment that will reduce energy use and increase generation of clean energy across Europe and around the world.

€ 1.6 billion will be used to finance small-scale local climate action projects in France, Italy and across the EU, managed by experienced financing partners.

Financing to support construction of new windfarms off the Dutch coast and in Bosnia, improve energy efficiency in Austria and Ukraine, renovate hydropower in Georgia, roll out smart meters in Lithuania and modernise electricity networks in Madeira and Hungary was also approved.

Millions of people across Africa and Latin America will be able to access reliable clean energy for the first time following EIB support for new off-grid solar schemes and energy transition.

€ 2.9 billion to improve urban and national sustainable transport

Rail transport in Italy is set to be transformed by EIB backed investment to upgrade rolling stock on the national network, alongside today’s approval of EUR 2 billion financing for the new high-speed line between Naples and Bari.

The EIB Board also agreed to support new investment to upgrade public transport in Sarajevo and Krakow, and to help improve a key motorway link in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Improving urban development and social housing

Thousands of families will benefit from new large-scale social housing investment across France and in Germany under new financing programs approved today.

The EIB Board also agreed to support the New Slussen urban development project that will transform of the heart of the Swedish capital Stockholm.

Hospital patients will benefit from EIB support for construction of a new regional hospital in Tournai and approval of a national scheme to improve mental health facilities across Belgium.

A new scheme to support long-term healthcare investment in French regions underserved by medical services was also agreed.

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Crude Oil Rises Despite Demand Concerns as Hurricane Sally Disrupts Further Production




Oil Prices Surge as Hurricane Sally Disrupts Oil Production

Oil prices rose on Wednesday despite weak demand after strong hurricane sally threatens to disrupted operations of US oil producers amid a big drop in oil inventories.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian crude oil is measured, rose from $39.34 barrel on Tuesday to $41.58 per barrel on Wednesday.

Accordingly, the US West Texas Intermediate crude oil gained 1.8 percent to $38.96 per barrel.

American Petroleum Institute (API), a weekly oil projection report, on Tuesday reported that US crude oil inventories declined by 9.5 million barrels in the week ended September 11, 2020. This, experts at ING Research said if close to the real number due later today, could provide support for global oil prices.

The experts said, “If we see a number similar to the drawdown the API reported overnight, it would likely provide some immediate support to the market.”

This coupled with the fact that with reports that 25 percent of US offshore oil and gas output was halted and export ports were shut as the storm crawled offshore along the US Gulf Coast bolstered oil prices on Wednesday.

Oil prices gained despite OPEC lowering demand for the year, saying weak global recovery amid rising cases of COVID-19 will impact demand for the commodity through the first half of 2021.

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