- Power Firms Sue FG Over Alleged Discriminatory Practices
Power generation companies in the country have dragged the Federal Government before the Federal High Court in Abuja over what they termed discriminatory practices against their interest and that of their gas suppliers.
In their suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/180/2018 before Justice Binta Nyako, the firms accused the Federal Government of conferring preferential treatment on Azura Power West Africa Limited and Accugas Limited at their own expense.
They alleged that government’s discriminatory practices were taking a toll not only on the Nigerian electricity supply industry but also on the power sector as a whole.
The generation firms, which jointly sued the Federal Government, are Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited, Transcorp Power Limited, Egbin Power Plc and North-South Power Company Limited.
They joined as respondents the Federal Government; Central Bank of Nigeria; Minister of Power, Works and Housing; and the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc.
Also joined as respondents in the suit are Azura Power West Africa Limited and Accugas Limited.
The Gencos claimed that despite making sacrifices by continuing to generate electricity for the national grid without getting payment from the NBET, the defendants had treated and intended to continue to treat them, their investors and suppliers unfairly.
They claimed to be facing the threat of going into extinction on account of “huge indebtedness to banks and financiers, who provided the foreign currency-denominated acquisition loans with which the power plants were acquired from the Federal Government during the privatisation exercise in 2012/13.”
The firms alleged that the NBET had consistently defaulted in paying them for the electricity generated and put on the national grid in breach of its contractual obligation.
According to them, the contractual obligation is to the effect that “the Gencos would be paid fully (100 per cent) not later than 45 days of invoice submission, and upon delay in payment, be paid with interest at the agreed rate.”
They claimed that by reason of the failure of the NBET to pay, the firms had in turn been forced to default in meeting their obligations to their lenders, O&M contractors, equipment manufacturers, service providers and other persons and entities engaged by them for the purpose of ensuring the smooth and effectual generation of power in all power plants owned, controlled and/or managed by the Gencos.
Justice Nyako has fixed April 16, 2018 to entertain the suit.
Crude Oil Rises to $43.68 on Monday Despite Concerns Over Rising COVID-19 Cases
Oil Rises to $43.68 Despite Concerns Over Rising COVID-19 Cases
Oil prices rose on Monday during the London trading session to $43.68 per barrel despite growing concerns over the rising number of new COVID-19 cases.
The Brent Crude oil, against which Nigerian crude oil is measured, rose as high as $43.68 per barrel before slightly pulling back to $43.24 per barrel as at 1:25 pm Nigerian time.
Despite the rising number of COVID-19 new cases in the US and the rest of the world, Brent crude oil has been able to sustain the recent upsurge on the back of OPEC and allies 9.7 million per day production cut agreement and the reported improvement in compliance level.
However, experts have said if the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to increase that demand for the commodity will decline as people and businesses would be forced to shut down operations and stay at home.
“There will be some kind of decline in demand if cases were to increase as people will stay at home,” said Howie Lee, an economist at Singapore’s OCBC Bank. “The pace of U.S. demand recovery will not be as steep as expected.”
Analysts at ING bank said in a note that the report of the Energy Information Administration due later this week will highlight the impact of the new restriction due to the second wave of COVID-19 on gasoline demand.
“We will get a better idea of what impact tighter restrictions in several states have had on gasoline demand with the EIA (Energy Information Administration) report this week.”
Citigroup Sees $60 Per Barrel Crude Oil in the Next 12 Months
Citigroup Says Crude Oil Will Reach $60 Per Barrel in a year
Despite the current economic downturn and the projected second phase of COVID-19, Citigroup, a New-York based financial service company, has said oil price could hit $60 per barrel in the next 12 months.
Citigroup disclosed this on Thursday during a virtual EMEA Media Summit titled – ‘Navigating the Future: What’s Next in a Post-COVID-19 World’.
“After a substantial underperformance in the last six months relative to several other commodities, crude will eventually bounce back to around $60 per barrel over the next 12 months,” Max Layton, European Head of Commodities Strategy, Citigroup said while giving a presentation on the outlook for commodities in the second half of 2020, and into 2021.
This means Brent crude oil would rise by at least 50 percent from the current level of $42 per barrel in the next 12 months.
“It’s going to be a function of the demand and supply but recently we have been seeing a spike in the demand for some of the commodities,” said Atiq Rehman, Head of EMEA Emerging Markets, Citigroup.
“A lot of these economies are heavily commodity-dependent, and perhaps, in the past have been guilty of not diversifying when they come under pressure. I think perhaps, this recent moves will push them to diversify away from simply commodities,” Grant Carson, Head of TRUK And Non-Presence Countries, Citigroup, stated citing Russian as one of the countries that have recorded success in diversifying away from crude oil.
Oil Sustains $42 Price Level as OPEC Output Drops to Over Two-Decade Low
OPEC Oil Output Drops to Over Two-Decade Low in June
Crude oil sustained $42 per barrel price level following a recent survey conducted by Reuters that showed the Organisation for the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) managed to cut oil production to over two-decade low in the month of June.
According to the survey, OPEC’s 13 members pumped 22.62 million barrels per day in June, 1.92 million barrels per day below May’s revised figure. The lowest since May 1991.
OPEC and allies, together referred to as OPEC plus, had agreed to cut oil production by 9.7 million barrels per day in the month of April to rebalance the global oil market and prop up prices amid COVID-19 pandemic.
OPEC’s share of the 9.7 million barrels per day production cut was 6.084 million bpd but OPEC delivered 6.523 million bpd cut in the month of June despite the inconsistencies from Nigeria, Angola and Iraq.
In June, Saudi Arabia reduced production by 1.13 million barrels per day to 7.53 million bpd. While Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates met their quota but struggle to fulfill the extra cuts.
Nigeria, Iraq and Angola continue to struggle in the month of June. However, their performance improved compared to May as Nigeria attained 77 percent compliance level, up from 19 percent in May.
While Iraq and Angola achieved 70 percent and 80 percent compliance level, respectively. Nigeria and Iraq have pledged to cut more in July despite their economic challenges. Angola, however, said it would not be able to cut extra oil production until October.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is measured, rose to $42.48 per barrel on Friday as at 2:58 pm Nigerian time.
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