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OPEC March Oil Output Dropped to 11-month Low

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Crude oil
  • OPEC March Oil Output Dropped to 11-month Low

Crude oil production by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries fell in March to an 11-month low due to declining Angolan exports, Libyan outages and a further slide in Venezuelan output, a Reuters’ survey found, sending compliance with a supply-cutting deal to another record.

OPEC pumped 32.19 million barrels per day last month, the survey found, down 90,000 bpd from February. The March total is the lowest since April 2017, according to the Reuters’ survey.

OPEC is reducing output by about 1.2 million bpd as part of a deal with Russia and other non-OPEC producers to get rid of excess supply. The pact started in January 2017 and will run until the end of 2018.

Adherence by producers in the deal rose to 159 per cent of agreed cuts from 154 per cent in February, the survey found. There was no sign that other producers had boosted output to cash in on higher prices or to compensate for the Venezuelan decline.

Oil has topped $71 a barrel this year for the first time since 2014, and was trading above $67 on Wednesday. Still, OPEC says supply restraints should be maintained to ensure the end of a glut that has built up since 2014.

In March, the biggest decrease in supply came from Angola, which exported 48 cargoes, two fewer than in the same month of 2017. Natural declines at some fields are weighing on output.

Production in Libya, which remains unstable due to unrest, slipped because of stoppages at two fields, El Feel and El Sharara, setting back 2018’s partial recovery in output.

And production fell further in Venezuela, where the oil industry is starved of funds because of an economic crisis. Output dropped to 1.56 million bpd in March, the survey found, a new long-term low.

Output in OPEC’s largest producer, Saudi Arabia, dropped by 40,000 bpd from February’s revised level, even further below the kingdom’s target.

OPEC’s number two producer, Iraq, pumped more. Exports from the south, the outlet for most of the country’s crude, rose despite maintenance at a loading terminal. Exports declined from the north but domestic crude use increased.

Among others with higher output, the biggest rise came from the United Arab Emirates, where production had dropped in February due to maintenance.

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 long experience in the global financial market.

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Economy

Africa’s Economy to Contract by $236bn in Value in 2020 Says AfDB

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Investors

African GDP to Contract by $236bn in Value Says AfDB

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has said the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic could cost the entire African continent about $236.7 billion in cumulative Gross Domestic Product.

The bank disclosed this in its latest report on African Economic Outlook (Supplement) released on Tuesday.

The bank predicted that the damage could be far greater if the impacts of the pandemic persist on the continent beyond the second quarter of the year. It said this could lead to a bigger contraction in Africa’s GDP in 2020.

According to the bank, the continent’s Real GDP could contract by as much as 1.7 percent this year if the virus has a shorter duration. This represents about a 5.6 percent decline from the January 2020 prediction.

However, under a long term scenario into the second half of the year, this could result in a deeper contraction in GDP.

This, the bank said could lead to 3.4 contraction, up from the 1.7 percent projected under the shorter duration and represents a decline of 7.3 percent from the previous projection before the outbreak.

It, therefore, said the combined loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa could range between $173.1 billion and $234.7 billion in 2020-2021.

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Economy

Brent Crude Oil Maintains $43 Per Barrel Despite Surge in US Inventories

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Oil

Brent Crude Oil Sustains Upsurge Despite Rising US Inventories

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, sustained its upsurge at $43 per barrel on Wednesday during the London trading session despite a report showing a build-up in the U.S. crude inventories in the week ended July 3, 2020.

Brent crude oil

According to the U.S Energy Information Administration (EIA) report released on Tuesday, crude oil production in the U.S is expected to decline by just 70,000 barrels per day from the 670,000 bpd previously predicted to 600,000 bpd.

While this was below the projected decline, it also points to a build-up in U.S stockpiles and suggested that oil production from the world’s largest economy may not decline as previously projected in 2020.

“The EIA’s forecast of a lower decline in U.S. output was partially offset by its outlook for firm demand recovery, which limited losses in oil markets,” Hiroyuki Kikukawa, general manager of research at Nissan Securities said.

“Still, expectations that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies would taper oil output cuts from August and softer U.S. equities added to pressure,” he said.

The EIA projected that global oil demand will recover through the end of 2021 as demand was predicted to hit 101.1 million barrels per day in the fourth quarter of the year.

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Economy

Illegal Withdrawals: Rep To Investigate NNPC, NLNG Over $1.05bn

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House of representatives

Rep To Investigate NNPC, NLNG Over Illegal Withdrawal of $1.05bn from NLNG Account

The Nigerian House of Representatives has concluded plans to investigate illegal withdrawal of $1.05 billion from the account of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The decision followed the adoption of a motion titled ‘Need to Investigate the Illegal Withdrawals from the NLNG Dividends Account by the Management of NNPC’ moved by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, on Tuesday.

The House adopted the motion and mandated its Committee on Public Accounts to “invite the management of the NNPC as well as that of the NLNG, to conduct a thorough investigation on activities that have taken place on the dividends account and report back to the House in four weeks.”

Elumelu said, “The House is aware that the dividends from the NLNG are supposed to be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Funds account of the Federal Government and to be shared amongst the three tiers of government.

“The House is worried that the NNPC, which represents the government of Nigeria on the board of the NLNG, had unilaterally, without the required consultations with states and the mandatory appropriation from the National Assembly, illegally tampered with the funds at the NLNG dividends account to the tune of $1.05bn, thereby violating the nation’s appropriation law.

“The House is disturbed that there was no transparency in this extra-budgetary spending, as only the Group Managing Director and the corporation’s Chief Financial Officer had the knowledge of how the $1.05bn was spent.

“The House is concerned that there are no records showing the audit and recovery of accrued funds from the NLNG by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, hence the need for a thorough investigation of the activities on the NLNG dividends account.”

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