- Somalia to Auction First Oil Blocks Amid Unrest
Somalia is preparing to announce its first-ever oil licensing round in December, according to the country’s oil minister.
Abdirashid Mohamed Ahmed, the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, disclosed on Tuesday during an interview with Reuters.
“We are presenting up to 15 blocks,” Minister said on the sidelines of an African oil and gas conference in Cape Town, South Africa.
According to Ahmed, the 15 blocks could hold as much as 30 billion barrels of crude oil going by the data received by the government.
He, however, noted that the new blocks were far from the maritime boundary with Kenya that is currently the subject of a dispute at the International Court of Justice.
The war-torn country is looking to attract new investment following years of civil unrest. In October, about three mortar bombs were fired at Mogadishu’s international airport.
But Ahmed said the international naval blockades had almost eradicated offshore piracy at the former hotspot for maritime hijackings.
“Somalia was known before for piracy, terrorists, unrest and all that, but the federal government of Somalia is doing its best to stabilise the country,” Ahmed said.
“For the past decade or so there has not been one casualty of piracy, so offshore is safe to invest.”
Ahmed added that the new oil and gas investment would help create jobs and curb crime across the country.
“Somalia has a roadmap we can follow after we produce oil, so there will be no (resource) curse here in Somalia,” he said, referring to a tendency among some resource-rich countries to suffer from economic stagnation.
It would be recalled that Kenya exported its first crude oil to China earlier this year after breaking its diplomatic tie with its neighbour, Somalia, over an oil-rich borderland.
NNPC Spends N101.65bn on Petrol Subsidy in Q1 2020
FG Spends Petrol N101.65bn on Petrol Subsidy in the First Quarter
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it spent N101.65 billion on petrol subsidy in the first three months of the year.
In its latest Monthly Financial and Operations report released for the month of March, the corporation described the spending as under-recovery.
A break down of the report shows N43.31 billion was spent in January while N20.68 billion and N37.66 billion were spent in February and March respectively.
The amount was spent before the Federal Government halted subsidy in April when global oil prices plunged due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking on subsidy, the former President, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, Dr Sam Nzekwe, said “There is no need for subsidy again because they are using it to make unnecessary demands and this is the corruption that we are talking about. They are also using it to finance corruption too.
“The money that they would have used for other sectors or even send to FAAC is being used for subsidy and we cannot actually quantify its impact on the masses; rather, it is used to enrich a very few.”
Nzekwe urged the PPPRA to ensure subsidy does not return and encouraged the government to liberalise the downstream oil sector in order to allow other marketers to participate in fuel importation.
He said, “The NNPC should not be the only one importing petrol. The downstream sector must not continue like this. Other players should be allowed to play in the space too. The sector should be fully liberalised.
“And it is because the NNPC is the only one importing and almost running everything that makes it simple for it to say whatever it wanted as expenses on subsidy or under-recovery. This should not continue.”
Oil Prices Decline on Rising COVID-19 Cases
Global Oil Prices Dipped on Friday as New COVID-19 Cases Jump Globally
Global oil prices decline on Friday as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases surged across the world.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, declined from $43.47 per barrel it traded on Thursday during the Asian trading session to $41.60 per barrel on Friday at around 11:39 am Nigerian time.
Oil traders and investors are worried that the rising number of COVID-19 new cases would disrupt demand for the commodity and force refineries to shut down once again.
“I do not suspect many oil traders will be looking to place significant bids in the market today, suggesting prices may continue to wallow into the weekend,” said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp.
Despite efforts by both OPEC plus and other top oil producers to halt falling oil prices and reduce global oil glut, the lack of a cure for COVID-19 remained global concerns.
As previously stated on this platform, until a cure is found the world would have to find a way to either work through COVID-19 or shut down activities completely.
This is coming a day after the Federal Government of Nigeria announced that it was putting school resumption plan on hold following the latest COVID-19 report that shows Nigeria’s confirmed cases crossed 30,000 on Wednesday.
In the United States, more than 60,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Thursday, forcing lawmakers to start contemplating the second phase of COVID-19 lockdown.
We Are Losing N13.9bn Monthly Because FG Caps Tariff – Discos
Discos Says it is Losing N14bn Monthly Because of NERC Capped Tariff
The Nigerian power Distribution Companies (Discos) have said they a losing N13.9 billion in revenue every month because the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, limited how much they can charge for consumption.
Ernest Mupwaya, the Managing Director, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, made the statement during a presentation on behalf of the Discos to the House of Representatives Committee on Power.
The statement was after the Discos demanded realistic indices before the implementation of the proposed service reflective tariff, which was supposed to be implemented on July 1.
Mupwaya said there were some outstanding requirements before the service reflective tariff could be implemented.
“One of them is the removal of estimated billing caps. The financial impact of the Capping Order is an average loss of N13.9bn monthly, thereby, undermining or jeopardising the minimum remittance requirement,” Mupwaya stated.
The July 1 service tariff implementation was halted by members of the National Assembly, who prevailed on the Discos to shelve the date to the first quarter of 2021 due to the current economic challenges in Nigeria.
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