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Power Output Drops by 30% in 2Q, Says Report

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PHCN Power Plant

THE power sector recorded a drop of 30.01 per cent in the second quarter (Q2) due to poor generation caused by militants’attacks in the Niger Delta, a new report has said.

The report said the attacks led to the shut down of pipelines and the shut-in of gas that powered thermal plants between last April and June.

A report, released by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), stated the status of power generation and distribution during the period.

According to the report, 2,046,821,132.72 kilowatts-hour (kwh) of electricity was generated in April with average daily output of 68,227,371.09 kwh.

In May, grid output was 1,765,782,918.34 kwh with average daily production at 56,960739.30 kwh while in June production was 1,426,183,518.94 kwh and daily output was 47,539,450.63 kwh.

According to the data, Egbin Power Station made the highest contribution to the national grid with 15.81 per cent, Shell’s Afam VI Power Station came second with 13.81 per cent and Geregu Power station provided the least at 0.46 per cent.

However, Afam I-V, Gbarain, AES, Rivers IPP and Omoku Power Stations operated at zero levels. A new Independent Power Plant, Paras Energy, contributed 0.94 per cent. Paras Energy, on the Lagos–Ibadan Expressway, has a bilateral Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Eko Electricity Distribution Company to supply its generated electricity.

Generation output from the thermal power stations, especially those outside the Niger Delta, continued to be adversely affected by pipeline vandalism, the report said.

In May, energy dipped by as much as 13.73 per cent compared to April’s output.

Shell’s Afam VI Power station beat Egbin Power Station by making the highest contribution to the grid with 17.32 per cent.

Egbin came second with 15.63 per cen. The new entrant, Gbarain Power Station (one of the NIPP plants constructed by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company), contributed the least with 0.38 per cent while Olorunsogo Power Station, which contributed 0.72 per cent in April, made no contribution.

Total generation went down by 19.23 per cent in June compared with energy generated in May. However, for the first time, Jebba Hydro Power Station contributed the highest energy into the grid with 15.57 per cent.

Egbin came second with 14.58 per cent, while another hydro station, Kanji power station, came third with 14.58 per cent. Omoku power Station resumed production with the contribution of 0.18 per cent.

Throughout the second quarter, AES Power Station, Rivers IPP, and Afam 1-V did not produce any power. The hydro power stations steadily improved their contributions to the grid in the second quarter from 21.78 per cent in April to 23.10 per cent in May and 32.46 per cent in June.

The hydro power stations made the highest contribution in June. Thermal plants (legacy stations) experienced a marginal rise from 30.71 per cent in April to 31.66 per cent in May and dropped to 28.77 per cent in June.

The National Integrated Power Plants (NIPP) produced 20.72 per cent in April, went down to 17.33 per cent in May and dropped marginally to 17.06 per cent in June.

The most significant difference in contribution during this period under review was in the independent power plant (IPP) group. In April, the group contribution was 26.80 per cent and it went up marginally to 27.91 per cent in May and dropped drastically to 21.72 per cent in June.

During the quarter, the national grid witnessed 14 total system collapses and four incidents of partial system collapse.

“In April, the grid witnessed three instances of total system collapses and no incidence of partial system collapse but in May, the grid witnessed six instances of total system collapses and one incident of partial system collapse while in June the grid witnessed five instances of total system collapses and three incidents of partial system collapse. The incidents of total and partial collapses occurred, especially due to generation limitations,” the TCN said.

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 experience in the global financial markets.

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Top Five US Oil and Gas Firms Lost $307bn in Market Value Amid COVID-19 Crisis

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Crude oil

Market Value of US Five Largest Companies Decline by $307bn in 2020

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the oil and gas industry was faced with slumping prices. However, with a record collapse in oil demand amid the coronavirus lockdown, the COVID-19 crisis has further shaken the market, causing massive revenue and market cap drops for even the largest oil and gas companies.

According to data presented by StockApps.com, the top five oil and gas companies in the United States lost over $307bn in market capitalization year-over-year, a 45% plunge amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Market Cap Still Below March Levels

Global macroeconomic concerns such as the US-China trade war and the oil overproduction set significant price drops even before the coronavirus outbreak. A standoff between Russia and Saudi Arabia in the first months of 2020 sent prices even lower.

After global oil demand plunged in March, Saudi Arabia proposed a cut in oil production, but Russia refused to cooperate. Saudi Arabia responded by increasing production and cutting prices. Shortly Russia followed by doing the same, causing an over 60% drop in crude oil prices at the beginning of 2020. Although OPEC and Russia agreed to cut oil production levels to stabilize prices a few weeks later, the COVID-19 crisis already hit. Statistics show that oil prices dropped over 40% since the beginning of 2020 and are hovering around $40 a barrel.

Such a sharp fall in oil price triggered a growing wave of oil and gas bankruptcies in the United States and caused a substantial financial hit to the largest gas producers.

In September 2019, the combined market capitalization of the five largest oil and gas producers in the United States amounted to $674.2bn, revealed the Yahoo Finance data. After the Black Monday crash in March, this figure plunged by 45% to $373bn. The following months brought a slight recovery, with the combined market capitalization of the top five US gas producers rising to over $461bn in June.

However, the fourth quarter of the year witnessed a negative trend, with the combined value of their shares falling to $367bn at the beginning of this week, $6.2bn below March levels.

Exon Mobil`s Market Cap Halved in 2020, Almost $155bn Lost YoY

In August, Exxon Mobil Corporation, once the largest publicly traded company globally, was dropped from the Dow Jones industrial average after 92 years. As the largest oil and gas producer in the United States, the company has suffered the most significant market cap drop in 2020.

Statistics indicate the combined value of Exxon Mobil`s shares plunged by 52% year-over-year, falling from almost $300bn in September 2019 to $144bn at the beginning of this week.

Phillips 66, the fourth largest gas producer in the United States by market capitalization, witnessed the second-largest drop in 2020. Statistics show the company`s market cap dipped by 49.6% year-over-year, landing at $22.9bn this week.

The Yahoo Finance data revealed that EOG Resources lost over $21bn in market cap since September 2019, the third-largest drop among the top five US gas producers.

Conoco Phillips witnessed a 42% drop in market capitalization amid the COVID-19 crisis, with the combined value of shares plunging by almost $30bn year-over-year.

Statistics show Chevron witnessed the smallest market cap drop among the top five companies. At the beginning of this week, the combined value of shares of the second-largest US gas producer stood at $141.5bn, a 36.9% plunge year-over-year.

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Gold Hit 26.8% ROI YTD, the Highest Increase in Value Among Top Assets

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Gold Bars

Gold Delivers 26.8% Return on Investment Year-t-Date

As the world’s earliest form of currency, gold has long been considered a reliable store of value. Unlike banknotes, stock, or other assets, the precious metal managed to preserve the investors’ wealth throughout the years, especially in times of turmoil in the financial markets.

According to data presented by AksjeBloggen, gold hit a 26.8% YTD return on investment, the highest increase in value among top assets.

Gold Return Rate 8.5% Higher than in 2019

Investors tend to focus on gold in times of market volatility, considering it to be a ‘safe haven’ in crises like the coronavirus. In 2019, the value of gold increased by 18.3%, revealed the Blackrock data. The precious metal continued the impressive performance in 2020 with a 26.8% YTD return, 8.5% more than in 2019.

Statistics show that last year, the S&P 500 index increased in value by 31% but was outperformed by Nasdaq, which grew by 35.2%. The MSCI Europe index rose by 26.1% in 2019. China A-shares followed with a 22.3% ROI.

However, the COVID-19 crisis had a massive impact on popular assets, causing a sharp fall in their values during the first half of 2020. The Blackrock data revealed the Nasdaq YTD return hit 23.9%, 11.3% below the 2019 performance. China A stocks reached 10% ROI YTD, much under the 22.3% return in 2019.

Statistics show the S&P 500 index had an 8.4% value increase in the nine months of 2020, almost four times less than in 2019. MSCI Emerging Market Index reached a 4.9% value increase in the same period, compared to 13% in 2019.

The Blackrock data show that crude oil, FTSE 100, and MSCI Europe index witnessed the most significant drop in the nine months of 2020, with their values falling by 34.6%, 22.4%, and 11.5%, respectively.

Global Demand for Investment Gold Surged by 100% YoY

Although many investors value gold as an important portfolio asset, the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic led to a surge in global demand for the precious metal.

The World Gold Council data showed the global demand for investment gold increased significantly since the beginning of the year.

In the fourth quarter of 2019, it amounted to 279.2 metric tons. By the end of March, this figure jumped by more than 93% to 539.6 metric tons. The increasing trend continued in the second quarter of the year, with global demand for investment gold hitting 582.9 metric tons, an almost 100% jump year-over-year.

Statistics indicate the global demand for gold for investment purposes hit a record-breaking 1,152 metric tons in the first half of 2020, the highest figure so far.

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Oil Prices News: Oil Gains Following Drops in US Crude Inventories

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Oil Prices Gain Following Drops in US Crude Inventories and OPEC High Compliance Level

Global oil prices extended their 2 percent gains on Thursday after data showed U.S crude oil inventories declined last week.

The price of Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is measured, gained 0.2 percent or 7 cents to $43.39 a barrel as at 12:10 pm Nigerian time. While the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude appreciated by 8 cent or 0.2 percent to $41.12 barrels.

Oil prices extended their three days gain after the American Petroleum Institute said the U.S crude inventories declined by 5.4 million barrels in the week ended October 9.

The report released after the market closed on Wednesday revealed that distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, declined by 3.9 million barrels. Those stated drawdowns almost double analysts’ projections for the week.

Much of the fall is due to the effects of Hurricane Delta shuttering U.S. production in the Gulf of Mexico, and as such, will be a transitory effect,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific at OANDA.

“Therefore, I am not getting too excited that a turn of direction is upon markets, although both contracts are approaching important technical resistance regions.”

Also, the report that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, referred to as OPEC+ attained 102 percent compliance level with their oil production cuts agreements bolstered global oil outlook. Suggesting that demands for the commodity are likely not growing and could drag down prices in few weeks, especially when one factor in the reopening of Libya’s Sharara oil field, workers returning to operation in Norway and the Gulf of Mexico.

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