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166
Oil firms keen to know how Nigeria's president elect Muhammadu Buhari plans to tax them could be waiting a long time as he makes ending corruption and reforming the opaque national oil company his most urgent sector priorities.

Four party sources from Buhari's All Progressives Congress (APC) told Reuters the issue of fiscal terms, seen as crucial by the industry, will have to wait on current thinking about oil and gas policies for Africa's leading producer.

Crude output has stagnated close to 2 million barrels per day over the past few years, owing partly to underinvestment.

"We need to address the structural issues and leave the fiscal for now," Senator Bukola Saraki, whose APC party controls both houses of parliament after a landslide win, told Reuters.

"A more transparent NNPC (Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation) is needed with reasonable accounting," he said.

Buhari owes his March 28 victory against incumbent Goodluck Jonathan partly to a perception that Jonathan allowed corruption to get out of control -- especially in the oil sector.

A string of multibillion dollar oil corruption scandals tainted the NNPC and other bodies that handle energy.

By contrast, Buhari was seen as one of the few Nigerian leaders to have cracked down on corruption during his military rule in 1983-1985. Many Nigerians hope he will again.

"The worry is that there's going to be a lot of time wasted in witch-hunting...That could take a year in which nothing else will happen," said a Nigerian investment banker focused on upstream oil and gas projects, who declined to be named.

APC leader Bola Tinubu, whose support was instrumental in Buhari's victory and wields huge influence, told Reuters a transtional committeee would be set up.

"No way will we discuss that now," he said.

FAILED OIL BILL

Jonathan's administration re-drafted a Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in 2012 that had been in the works for a decade.

The PIB was meant to change everything from fiscal terms to overhauling the NNPC, environmental rules and revenue sharing, but its comprehensive nature caused disputes between lawmakers.

Yet the main thing the oil companies were worried about was tax. The bill proposes 20 percent tax on offshore projects and 50 percent for onshore. Shell, Exxon and other majors had all complained publicly that the terms are unfair, given the risk associated with operating in Nigeria.

Uncertainty over the fiscal terms of the bill have been holding back billions of dollars of investment, especially into capital-intensive deepwater offshore, leading some to propose the bill be broken up into several pieces debated separately.

"It doesn't need to be an omnibus, you can take things piecemeal," one APC source said.

Hopes that doing so would resolve the fiscal issue quicker look slim, since the voting public are much more concerned about cleaning up graft than making oil majors happy.

The average Nigerian benefits little from the country's huge energy resources while politicians wear gold watches and build monster homes in the capital Abuja.

Also, says Control Risks' Thomas Hansen, "The cabinet needs to strategise first and fiscal terms are likely to take longer and require discussions with the (international oil companies)."

APC sources say the new administration will first sack and replace the top management of the state oil company. Then it will review its accounts to restore credibility.

A bill will be drafted to break the NNPC into four entities, as already prescribed in the latest PIB draft. But it will also, crucially, remove the oil minister from the NNPC's board of directors to curb political interference, one APC source said.

Others said more generally that the minister's current powers would be heavily trimmed.

Oil and gas will have separate companies for upstream, with a third covering pipelines and refining, and a fourth will be an inspectorate. It could be submitted to parliament in the first quarter of next year, one parliamentary APC source said.

http://www.trust.org/item/20150415113731-lnn85/?

167

Nigerian President-elect Muhammadu Buhari, faced with low oil prices, will need to crack down on crude theft from pipelines to shore up government revenue and help producers, an industry executive said.

ďThe key for me in the first 30 days of government is to put a blitz around oil theft like they would on Boko Haram,Ē Kola Karim, chief executive officer of Shoreline Natural Resources Ltd., said in an April 10 phone interview from London. ďThe government needs to stop the hemorrhage.Ē
Nigeria, Africaís biggest oil producer, loses an estimated 300,000 barrels a day to criminal gangs that tap crude from pipelines that criss-cross the southern, oil-rich Niger River delta for local refining or sale to tankers waiting offshore, according to the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp.

Buhari will take office on May 29 after defeating incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan in a March 28-29 vote, with oil prices, the source of 70 percent of government revenue and 95 percent of export income, down 49 percent since June. Oil theft costs Nigeria about $6 billion a year, according to the central bank.

Brent crude, which compares with Nigerian oil grades, rose 1.5 percent to $59.20 a barrel as of 9 a.m. in London, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Calls to the mobile phones of APC spokesman Lai Mohammed and Buhariís spokesman Garba Shehu for comment werenít answered.

Support Funding

Most of the smaller companies obtained financing based on a price of $70 a barrel, compounding difficulties from the fall in the price of crude while they struggle to keep production steady in the face of pipeline attacks and oil theft, according to Karim.

Tax incentives to these companies and government-backed support funding would ďenergizeĒ the oil industry, according to Karim. ďIf the government says hereís $10 billion; weíre going to lend to the oil and gas industry, to stimulate the industry in Nigeria, at 3 percent with a backstop guarantee, its a no-brainer,Ē he said.

With support smaller Nigerian producers including Shoreline Natural Resources and Seplat Petroleum Development Co. would be able to double their share of the countryís oil output to 30 percent in five years, getting the West African nation closer to its target of pumping 3 million barrels by 2020, according to Karim. Nigeriaís production slipped 90,000 barrels a day to 1.9 million barrels in March, data compiled by Bloomberg shows.

Oil assets with an estimated value of $5.8 billion will go on sale in the coming months, and Nigeriaís new government will have to ďraise incentivesĒ to enable small, local companies to acquire some of them, Philipp Chladek, an analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, wrote in an April 13 note.

Restive Areas

Karimís Shoreline, with output of about 60,000 barrels a day, is one of more than five Nigerian producing companies that bought fields in restive areas of the Niger River delta as companies including Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total SA and Eni SpA retreated.

While violence has eased since 2009 after thousands of fighters in the region disarmed under an amnesty, oil theft remains rife. The victory of Buhari, a Muslim northerner, against Jonathan, a Christian from the Niger delta, is unlikely to cause a worsening of attacks on oil installations beyond the current piracy and theft, Karim said.

Buhari will also inherit the six-year insurgency of the Boko Haram Islamist militant group in the north waged in its campaign to impose Shariah, or Islamic law, in the country of more than 170 million people. He has pledged to crush the group.

Once in office, Buhariís government should move to secure the pipelines while ďsustaining dialogue and relationship with the communities in Niger delta,Ē Karim said.

Nigeria Oil Region Unrest Risk Abates as Jonathan Concedes Small Nigerian Oil Producers May Merge to Survive Price Drop Buharu Pursues Cabinet to Boost Economy, Battle Boko Haram

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-14/shoreline-ceo-says-buhari-must-curb-oil-theft-to-boost-revenue?

168

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that the slump in crude oil price will have severe impact on the Nigerian economy as well as other oil producing countries in the continent in 2015.

Therefore, given the weaker economic outlook for the continent, the fund revised downward Africaís projected growth in 2015 to 4.5 per cent, from five per cent in 2014.

The IMF stated this in its latest 2015 World Economic Outlook titled: ďUneven Growth: Short- and Long-Term Factors,Ē released on Tuesday.

The price of a barrel of crude oil has almost halved from $115 in June last year, to $58.25 a barrel as at yesterday. This has led to drastic reduction in Nigeriaís revenue and had compelled the federal government to introduce some economic stabilisation measures in order to ensure a more sustainable revenue profile in 2015. For instance, among other measures, the federal government during the week disclosed that all local and foreign private jet owners in the country shall pay an annual surcharge of N3,200 per kilogramme based on the weight of each aircraft. In the same vein, owning a yacht in the country now attracts an Import Adjustment Tax of 50 per cent, just as champagne, wines and spirits attract Import Adjustment Tax of 50 per cent.

Continuing, the IMF acknowledged that Nigeria and some of the regionís oil-exporting countries with limited buffers have started to adjust to the decline in oil prices.

The IMF reiterated the need for oil-exporting countries to enact prompt fiscal adjustments, even as it advised that oil importersí policy stance should strike the right balance between promoting growth and preserving stability.

Part of the 210-page global economic report stated: ďThe oil price decline will have a severe impact on the regionís oil exporters, including Nigeria, with 2015 growth for those countries marked down by more than 21⁄2 percentage points. In contrast, projected growth in the regionís oil importers is broadly unchanged, as the favorable impact of lower oil prices is offset to a large extent by lower prices of commodity exports.

ďKey downside risks include further downgrades to growth in major trade partners, a sharper-than-expected tightening of global financing conditions, and mounting domestic security threats and policy uncertainty ahead of elections. Oil-exporting countries should enact prompt fiscal adjustments, while oil importersí policy stances should strike the right balance between promoting growth and preserving stability.

ďSub-Saharan African growth for 2014 as a whole remained solid at five per cent, albeit lower than the 5.2 per cent growth in 2013. Growth in South Africa fell from 2.2 per cent in 2013 to 1.5 per cent in 2014, on account of mining strikes and electricity supply constraints. Elsewhere in the region, growth, driven by strong investment in mining and infrastructure and by private consumption, held up well, especially in the regionís low-income countries. Exceptions were Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, where growth declined sharply as a result of the Ebola epidemic, which caused severe disruptions in agriculture and services and the postponement of mining development projects.Ē

In addition, it noted that: ďThe regionís oil-exporting countries, especially those with limited buffers (Chad, Nigeria), started to adjust to the decline in oil prices. This adjustment led to lower growth than was previously expected. By contrast, growth in the regionís oil-importing countries was broadly in line with previous projections, although with considerable variation across countries.

ďFiscal and current account balances worsened significantly in the regionís oil-exporting countries, reflecting ambitious infrastructure investment agendas financed with shrinking oil revenues. Fiscal balances also deteriorated in other parts of the region, reflecting continued fiscal strains in the Ebola-affected countries and strong exceptional spending in Mozambique.Ē

http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/imf-oil-price-decline-will-have-severe-impact-on-nigerian-economy-in-2015/206847/?

169

Falling global oil prices and other commoditiesí ratesí decline will leave Nigeria and other sub-Sahara Africanís economies worse-off this year than last year, the World Bank has said.

It stated in its projections for the year just released at its headquarters in Washington DC ahead of its Spring meetings, that sub-Saharan Africaís growth will slow in this year to 4.0 per cent from the 4.5 per cent recordrd last year. This yearís forecast is below the 4.4 per cent average annual growth rate of the past two decades, and well short of Africaís peak growth rates of 6.4 per cent in 2002-08.

However, it said the harsh economic climate will start to rebound from next year, especially for countries such as Nigeria with a diversified economy and strong services orientation.

ď In Nigeria, for example, although the economy will suffer this year, growth is expected to rebound in 2016 and beyond, driven by a relatively diversified economy, and a buoyant services sector,Ē it said.

The forecast, put together by Africaís Pulse Ė a Think Tank Group of the apex bank, said low oil prices will continue to weigh down on prospects of less diversified oil exporters such as Angola and Equatorial Guinea. It added that in several oil-importing countries, such as Cote díIvoire, Kenya and Senegal, growth is expected to remain strong. It said in Ghana, high inflation and fiscal consolidation will weigh on growth, the same way that problems in the electricity sector will curtail growth in South Africa.

The body said Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows were subdued last year, reflecting slower growth in emerging markets and declining commodity prices, pointing out that a good number of African countries are turning to the international bond markets to finance infrastructure projects.

It however called for fiscal discipline and efficient deployment of government resource. Its Lead Economist for Africa and co-author of Africaís Pulse, Punam Chuhan-Pole said: ďLarge fiscal deficits and inefficient government spending remain sources of vulnerability for many countries of the region. It is urgent that these countries strengthen their fiscal positions and fortify their resilience against external shocks.Ē

The World Bank Groupís 2015 Spring Meetings will draw the worldís finance and development ministers to Washington, DC,  U.S for talks on the state of the global economy and international development.

http://thenationonlineng.net/new/nigerias-others-economies-gloomy-says-world-bank/?

170
The shale oil boom that pushed U.S. crude production to the highest level in four decades is grinding to a halt.

Output from the prolific tight-rock formations, such as North Dakotaís Bakken shale, will decline 57,000 bopd in May, the Energy Information Administration said Monday. Itís the first time the agency has forecast a drop in output since it began issuing a monthly drilling productivity report in 2013.

Deutsch Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and IHS Inc. have projected that U.S. oil production growth will end, at least temporarily, with prices near a six-year low. The plunge in prices has already forced half the countryís drilling rigs offline and wiped out thousands of jobs. The retreat in Americaís oil boom is necessary to correct a supply glut and rebalance global oil markets, according to Goldman.

ďWeíre going off an inevitable cliffĒ because of the shrinking rig counts, Carl Larry, head of oil and gas for Frost & Sullivan LP, said by phone from Houston on Monday. ďThe question is how fast is the decline going to go. If itís fast, if itís steep, there could be a big jump in the market.Ē

West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery climbed 27 cents Monday to settle at $51.91/bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are down 50% from a year ago.

The decline in domestic production will come just as U.S. refineries start processing more oil following seasonal maintenance, easing the biggest glut since 1930. The withdrawal from U.S. oil stockpiles is expected to bring relief to a market thatís seen prices drop by more than $50/bbl since June.

Temporary Relief

The relief may prove temporary as U.S. drillers are building a backlog of drilled wells that they plan to hydraulically fracture and place into service as soon as prices rebound. Analysts including Wood Mackenzie Ltd. have estimated that the inventory has grown to more than 3,000 uncompleted wells.

ďU.S. production can return quickly with any price recovery,Ē Adam Longson, an analyst at Morgan Stanley in New York, said in an April 13 research note. ďA backlog of uncompleted wells, falling service costs, hedging opportunities and plenty of capital on the sidelines should all support investment, perhaps more than the market expects.Ē

The EIAís May production forecasts cover the yield from major plays that together accounted for 90% of domestic output growth from 2011 to 2012.

Regional Output

Output from the Eagle Ford in Texas, the second-largest oil field in the U.S., is expected to fall 33,000 bpd in May to 1.69 MMbpd. Production in the Bakken region of North Dakota will decline 23,000 to 1.3 million, the EIA said.

Yield from the Permian basin in West Texas and New Mexico, the largest U.S. oil field, will continue to rise, by 11,000 bpd to 1.99 million.

The EIAís oil-production estimates are based on the number of rigs drilling in each play and estimates on how productive they are. The numbers of oil rigs in service across the country slid 42 last week to 760, the fewest since December 2010, Houston-based field services company Baker Hughes Inc. said.

Deutsche Bank forecast in a research note last week that production in May will mark ďan important inflection point for the U.S. oil market.Ē

http://www.worldoil.com/news/2015/4/13/shale-oil-boom-seen-ending-in-may-following-price-collapse-eia

171
Oil & Gas Industry / Let there be light and there was none
« on: April 14, 2015, 08:23:49 AM »
Nigeria struggles to provide adequate electricity supply to its citizens, even if it is Africa's largest exporter of oil and natural gas. Many citizens have to find ways to deal with the lack of 'light', as the Nigerians call it. Waza blogger, Elizabeth Ayoola, is just about fed up with the coping mechanisms Nigerians have had to resort to.
Today is the fourth consecutive day that there has been no light at home; another evening of chirping birds, heat waves, candles, and darkness.

After frustration fizzles away I am filled with sadness that in 2015, in a country with abundant resources and formidable amounts of wealth, we do not have a steady supply of power.

Generators everywhere
I moved back to Nigeria in July 2013, it was an impulsive decision as most decisions in my life are. Having done my National Youth Service in 2010/2011, I already knew what the implications of going back again would be: wonderful food and sunshine; but also disorderliness, endless traffic, expensive transport and, worst of all, no consistent light.

No place in Nigeria is exempt from the sufferings of loud generators: people hauling around endless kegs of petrol, changing engine oil, and paying generator repairmen to help you further break your generator.

At work, I often post articles on so called increasing tariffs and projected improvement for light, but I wish these press releases and news reports would translate into power in my home.

Coping mechanisms
When I moved back, the apartment I moved into had semi-serviced light. This meant we had guaranteed light from 7pm-8am on weekdays, and more hours during the weekend.

The security in this arrangement was that no matter whether PHCN (Power Holding Company of Nigeria) decided to bring light or not, we were guaranteed light between these hours.

It helped after a long day of traffic, chaotic work environments, and hustling, that I was guaranteed light. Another benefit of the arrangement was  that there was one generator, handled by the security guards, which serviced all of the flats in the apartment.

I had never managed a generator before, and didnít intend on starting.

But as the saying has it, Ďnever say neverí. I recently moved into a new apartment and my budget meant I couldnít afford a serviced place, meaning what? I would have to deal with the nightmare of learning how to use a generator.

Upon the first two weeks of me moving in, I wasnít able to purchase one, meaning I was dependant on PHCN. IT WAS HELL!!

30 minutes a day
In the past two weeks, they have probably brought light only five times- once, it was for 30 minutes that day.

I had to ensure I fully charged my laptop and phone battery before I got home, turned them off overnight to ensure they didnít die, and I had to be out during the day.

What does a person do in a room with no electricity all day? Over the past two weeks I have truly realised that as an aspiring writer/entrepreneur that light is everything!

You never realise the grave effect that power supply has on you until you find yourself arranging your life around the amount of money you have to buy petrol, the amount of petrol you have in your generator, how you will manage it all without spending most of your hard earned salary lighting up your house. PHCN!

Basic minimum
I hope this message will get to PHCN at some point, especially if part of the employees job descriptions is to play musical chairs with our power supply. We pay for light monthly, yet we may not even get light for up to half of the month.

Iím not sure if privatising power supply has made much of a difference either, or companies are pocketing most of the contract money and doing the basic minimum, if even that.

More importantly, I hope one day soon the leaders of our country will get tired of black-outs, change-overs and restrictions on productivity, which affects overall economic growth.

Fairness
Not everybody is wealthy enough to provide their own basic amenities through buying endless amounts of petrol on a monthly basis, and in all fairness it is a pity that itís what we have to do to have consistent light in a country with a government.

As I write this, I still havenít learnt how to turn on my generator, but in order to preserve my petrol in this time of fuel scarcity, Iíve got to keep it off and face my present reality: darkness.

https://wazaonline.com/en/freedom-of-expression/let-there-be-light-and-there-was-none?

172
Nigeria has just experienced historic presidential elections marking the first democratic transfer of power in this country. The new president Ė Muhammadu Buhari Ė takes over the reins in a very sensitive moment as Nigeria faces multiple challenges including economic woes triggered by the oil price collapse. Given the importance of oil to the economy and government revenues, Buhari will need to re-examine Nigerian oil policy in light of growing US light oil production and lower oil prices.

The rising oil and liquids production from major US shale plays like the Bakken and the Eagle Ford has gradually been replacing imports of crude oil into the US, particularly the light sweet grade which has a similar quality to oil produced from the US shale formations. This downward trend in the US light sweet crude imports has had an especially dramatic impact on African oil producers since the region was a major supplier of light sweet crude to the US Ė accounting for almost two-thirds of the light sweet crude imported into the US from 2009 to 2013. In fact, 85 percent of the 1.6 million barrels per day (b/d) drop in US crude oil imports between 2009 and 2013 came from the African region. The successful development of shale oil resources in the US is clearly upending oil flow dynamics globally and African producers have to find ways of adapting to the new environment.

Read the full story here http://www.forbes.com/sites/thebakersinstitute/2015/04/13/nigerias-president-elect-and-domestic-oil-policy-challenges-and-opportunities/?

173
THE Nigeria LNG Limited, NLNG, said it has spent over $9.3 billion to develop its six trains, which put it in good stead to deliver about seven percent of the global LNG supply. In a publication made available to Vanguard, NLNG stated that the amount was spent between 1990, when train one, the base project was started to 2007, when train six came into operation.

A breakdown of the figure shows that trains one and two cost $3.6 billion and was financed by NLNGís shareholders. Train 3, including additional tankage, cost $1.8 billion. The financing was carried out in a manner similar to that of the base project, while much of the cost of the new LNG tankers was borne by third party financiers.

Excluding ship acquisition, the cost of trains four and five (NLNGPlus Project) was said to have cost $2.2 billion. These were funded with a combination of internally generated revenue and third party loans amounting to $1.06 billion. The final investment decision, FID for train six was taken in July 2004 for the sum $1.74 billion. It was principally financed from internally generated funds.
With six trains currently operational, the entire complex is said to be producing 22 million tonnes per annum, MTPA, of LNG and five MTPA of liquefied petroleum gas, LPG, and condensate from 3.5 billion standard cubic feet, SCF, per day of natural gas intake.

But final decision is yet to be taken on train seven, seven years after train six became operational. No reason was given for the delay. Vanguard however gathered from reliable sources that the project has been delayed due to lack of political will. As regards local content, NLNG stated that it has partnered with Hyundai Heavy Industries, HHI, and Samsung Heavy Industries, SHI, to promote the development of a ship repair yard in Badagry, Lagos.

According to NLNG, the aim is to bridge the gap created by the absence of an operational dockyard to cater for the repair and maintenance of Very Large Crude Carriers, VLCC, LNG carriers, large and medium size carriers, drilling rigs and support vessels.

In reaction to the shortage of gas for domestic use, NLNG said it has committed to delivering 250,000 metric tonnes of LPG into the Nigerian market annually and has signed sales and purchase agreements, SPAs, with 15 off-takers (all Nigerian companies) for the lifting of LPG for the domestic market.

NLNG is owned by four shareholders, namely, the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC (49 percent), Shell (25 percent), Total LNG Nigeria Limited (15 percent) and Eni (10 percent).

- See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/04/nlng-spends-9-3bn-on-6-trains-delivers-7-of-global-lng-supply/?#sthash.WuyGDi1D.dpuf

174

A new report by Wood Mackenzie has predicted new challenges and uncertainties for Nigeriaís oil and gas industry, following the recent victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the presidential election.

The report, which considered the impact of APCís landmark victory on the country's oil and gas industry, cautioned that since another political party other than the PDP has been elected, there will be new challenges and uncertainties for the oil and gas sector.

Wood Mackenzie however noted that the defeated President Goodluck Jonathanís public acceptance of the result was hugely positive for the country's upstream sector as it has greatly reduced the risk of unrest.

Following the election of a new political party, Wood Mackenzie identified key considerations that could pose new challenges and uncertainties for the oil and gas sector.

According to Wood Mackenzie, the oil and gas industry's biggest fear is a sudden change of fiscal terms, particularly for deepwater production sharing contracts (PSCs) Ė in a bid to increase government revenues, and counter the current deficit.

The report predicted that even in this current low oil price environment, the risk of APC government changing the fiscal terms cannot be ruled out.

The report noted that a series of new appointments will be made throughout government - among them a new Minister of Petroleum Resources and a new Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

ďThe new government's transition period could also result in delays to ongoing deals that have not yet been approved,Ē Wood Mackenzie added.

Wood Mackenzie recalled that in 2008, the PDP government proposed wide-ranging legislative and fiscal reform under the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), but passage has stalled.

ďAPC's position on industry reform is not yet known, but the PIB will be redrafted,Ē the report said.

The report also highlighted the menace of crude oil thieves, saying that Nigeria's onshore production has been seriously affected by growth in oil thefts, leading to losses of upwards of 150,000 barrels per day.

This translates to billions of dollars of lost revenue annually for both the oil and gas operators as well as the federal government, according to Wood Mackenzie.

ďAPC has expressed intent to tackle oil theft as a priority. Wood Mackenzie says that while the industry would welcome reduced losses, a 'get tough' approach could worsen the already difficult operating environment in the onshore Niger Delta in the short term,Ē the report added.

http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/election-of-new-political-party-creates-uncertainties-in-nigeria-s-oil-industry/206726/?

175
Oil & Gas Industry / Nigeria PIB - NUPENG Threatens Strike If...
« on: April 14, 2015, 08:17:38 AM »
National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) has threatened to withdraw its services across the country if the current National Assembly (NASS) fails to pass the Petroleum Industrial Bill (PIB) into law.

The president of the union, Comrade Igwe Achese, disclosed this to newsmen in Lagos during a briefing tagged 'What is the future of oil and gas sector?

According to him, we will not use the word 'strike' to scare Nigerians but we will withdraw our services across the country if the 7th Assembly fails to pass the PIB that has become a recurrent decimal.

Igwe noted that the bill must be passed by the NASS and dispatched in order to ensure transparency in the oil and gas business.

"We are not joking with this issue and I hope strongly that the present assembly will do the needful," he said.

NUPENG also lamented the vandalism of pipelines in the country and called on government to provide adequate protection for them.

"For refineries in Kaduna to function properly, there is the need to secure them and other throughout the country," he added.

Part of their demands include the rehabilitation of refineries in order to reduce massive importation of petroleum products, tackling the problem of outsourcing of workers in the Oil and Gas sector, road rehabilitation, security, inauguration of the PPRA board, among others.

The labour leader said the divestment of oil must be stopped and that government must bring in new policies to sustain the sector. On the scarcity of fuel in Abuja, Achese emphasised that the NUPENG was not on strike and despite the insecurity in the country, they still ensured the distribution of the product across the country.

"The question of no fuel should be directed to the NNPC and others because we are committed to our jobs," he said.

Meanwhile, the NUPENG president has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the successful conduct of the general elections and urged the commission to improve on its performances.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201504140074.html?viewall=1

176

Oando Energy Resources Inc. (ďOERĒ or the ďCompanyĒ) (TSX: OER), a company focused on oil and gas exploration and production in Nigeria, today announced its 2014 year-end summary Reserves and Resources for its assets in Nigeria. The annual independent reserves and resources evaluation was undertaken by DeGolyer and MacNaughton (ďD&MĒ), worldwide petroleum consulting group, and prepared in accordance with National Instrument 51-101 ďStandards of Disclosure for Oil and Gas ActivitiesĒ of the Canadian Securities Administrators (ďNI 51-101″) and the Canadian Oil and Gas Evaluation Handbook (ďCOGEHĒ). Reserves and other oil and gas information in this news release is effective December 31, 2014 unless otherwise stated.

Highlights

The Company has significantly increased its reserves, both Proved (1P) and Proved and Probable (2P) Reserves, as a result of technical revisions and the acquisition of the Nigerian upstream oil and gas business of ConocoPhillips Company (ďCOPĒ or the ďAcquisition AssetsĒ) versus the Form 51-101F1 and Form 51-101F2 filed for the year ended December 31, 2013;

Proved net reserves (1P) increased by 78% to 288.5 MMboe, while Proved and Probable net reserves (2P) increased by 82% to 420.3 MMboe. The increase was largely due to recognizing the precedence of the license renewal under the Nigerian Petroleum Act, which is the basis of the extension of the reserves beyond the current license limit.

Best Estimate (working interest) Contingent Resources (2C) correspondingly decreased by 78% from 547 MMboe to 122 MMboe as a result of the conversion of approximately 190 MMboe of 2C Resources to 2P Reserves due to the rebased evaluation utilizing the economic life of the producing fields; also, net negative revisions of 246 MMboe occurred due to the current crude oil price environment which has deemed certain contingent developments uneconomic; and lastly, the change in the interpretation of reservoirs by the Independent Evaluator.

Unrisked and Risked Mean Estimate Prospective Resources also decreased to 957.1MMboe and 229.6MMboe, respectively.

The economic value (NPV 10% of Future Net Revenue) of the Proved and Probable Reserves (2P) has increased by$545 Million (+44%) to $1,785 Million, largely due to the COP acquisition.

ďWe are very pleased with the new 2014 Reserves Numbers that confirms our thesis at the time we embarked on our transformative COP acquisition,Ē said Pade Durotoye, CEO of Oando Energy Resources. ďThis large Reserves base gives us significant scope and opportunity to even further enhance production over the coming years and pursue in-field exploration opportunities that will further increase our Resource Base.Ē

177

Despite being Africaís top oil producer and largest holder of natural gas reserves on the continent, Nigeria imported 764,000 barrels of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, otherwise known as cooking gas, from the United States in 2014, the first time since 2010, according to the Energy Information Administration, The Punch reports.

Data obtained from the EIA, the statistical arm of US Department of Energy, showed that Nigeria imported 140,000 barrels of LPG in 2010. For 2011, 2012 and 2013, the country did not import a barrel from the US.

The biggest annual import of US LPG by Nigeria has happened at a time when the US import of Nigerian crude oil hit record lows following the growth in US shale oil production.

The country also imported 139,000 barrels of LPG from the US in January this year, according to EIA data. Other petroleum products Nigeria imports from the US include kerosene, finished motor gasoline (petrol), jet fuel, fuel ethanol and lubricants.

According to the Head of Energy Research, Ecobank Capital, Dolapo Oni, most of the gas in the US is priced based on the Henry Hubs prices, which is lower than our gas prices of $2.80 (export parity price) and as such Nigeria continues to be an attractive market for  exports from the US.

ďFurthermore, indigenous buyers are unable to negotiate freight rates and other charges when buying from the NLNG as they get an inclusive price but when they import, they are able to control their expenditure on these items better. The end result is a cheaper LPG landing cost,Ē he added.

http://energymixreport.com/nigerias-importation-of-us-lpg-increases-exponentially/?

178
News & Happenings / Why Nigeria is hotspot for business enterprise
« on: April 02, 2015, 02:38:36 PM »

Nigeria is without a doubt, one of Africaís top business destinations, despite the many challenges the country faces. Doing business in Nigeria comes with a high riskĖhigh opportunity ratio but there are unique benefits and trends with regards to the nationís economic development. Africajumpstart.com lists the following as some of the things that make Nigeria an attractive business destination.

Highest business start-up rate Ė According to a recent study published by CNN, both Nigeria and Zambia have the highest business start up rate on the continent, at 39.9 percent, followed by Malawi and Ghana. This means that you will be literally surrounded by entrepreneurial spirit. But it even gets better than that for Nigeria. While many countries report a huge rate of start up discontinuation soon after, Nigeria has by far the biggest success rate. More businesses survive in Nigeria beyond the first five years than anywhere else in Africa.

Hot spot for e-commerce Ė Nigerians are confidently building e-commerce businesses, which are gaining fast in popularity. Nigeria with 28.4 percent, has one of the highest internet penetration rates in sub-Saharan Africa, even overtaking Kenya and South Africa, making it an attractive destination for e-commerce businesses. Popular Nigerian online businesses like Jumia, Konga, or Jovago have not only sparked excitement among consumers, but also among international investors. Nigeria is well ahead of most countries in terms of e-commerce development and online business presence; and in this regard it is already successfully building the ground for a globally competitive market.

Large population Ė Nigeria is Africaís largest nation, with one in five African being a Nigerian. But it not only has the largest population, but also the biggest economy. The importance of combining the two is underscored by Ernst & Youngís Africa Attractiveness report, which states that mining will not be Africaís fastest growing sector in the next decade or two, but agriculture and fast-moving consumer products. Putting that into the context of a fast-growing demography and economy indicates the huge potential Nigeria holds that no other market is currently able to provide in this form. There is immense potential for scalability and for the growth of business within a single African market.

Huge Agric potential Ė Nigeriaís economy has been heavily dependent on oil revenues in the past, but with a renewed  determination by the Nigerian government to develop the agricultural sector, it will most certainly become the sector of the future in Nigeria. This will enable entrpreneurs to tap into an industry at the top of the countryísfs development agenda and one that feeds Ė literally Ė into the daily needs of a huge population. If you are operating in related industries such as food processing, manufacturing, rural micro-credit, and export you can still expect that the growth of the agricultural sector will be a powerful engine for your business endeavours.

How to establish business in Nigeria

The first step to establishing a business enterprise in Nigeria is incorporation of the business at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in accordance with the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990. The next step is the registration of the company with Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) for the granting of Business Permit. NIPC also grnats approvals for expatriate quota positions and incentives.

Requirements for business permit Ė Purchase NIPC form I for N10,000.00. Completed form submitted with original receipt; Certificate of Incorporation; A minimum share capital holding in the joint venture; Details of share holding in the joint venture; Joint venture/partnership Agreement where applicable; and Memorandum and Articles of Association. Others are: CACĀfs Form CO2 and CO7 duly certified; Evidence of capital importation for wholly foreign companies; and Approval from the appropriate professional bodies where applicable.

Expariate quota Ė The following additional requirements have to be met for expatriate quota approvals: Evidence of acquisition of operational premises and operational machinery/equipment in the case of industrial establishment; Evidence of Foreign Capital Importation; Management and Technical Services agreement (for service companies); Tax Clearance Certificate; Minimum authorised share capital of N5 million; Evidence that the personnel required is not likely to be available in Nigeria; and Minimum share capital of N15 million (for two automatic expatriate quota positions) and of N30 million share capital (in case of four automatic expatriate quota positions).

Others are: Supply names, address, qualifications and positions to be occupied by the expatriates; Company must produce its project implementation programme; Company must produce a training program for Nigerians in addition to management succession schedule; and Company will furnish its feasibility report where applicable especially for new and prior industries.

Top sectors for business Ė Agriculture and food processing; Banking & finance; ICT; Business services; Fast moving consumer goods; Oil & gas; Metals & mining; Advertising; Securities and e-commerce.

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/04/why-nigeria-is-hotspot-for-business-enterprise/?#sthash.Va68mKd8.dpuf

179
Satisfied that President Goodluck Jonathan quickly conceded defeat to Gen Muhammadu Buhari, over the outcome of the Presidential election,the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has described the latterís action as clearly shown that election was not a do-or-die affair.

Bobboi Bala Kaigama,President of TUC in a congratulatory message to the President elect on Wednesday in Abuja,said TUC views General Buhariís resolve to contest the 2015 general elections as a mark of his belief in the project Nigeria, and his unflinching desire to contribute his quota in ensuring that he continues with the good work of his predecessor and to even surpass it.

Kaigama said ďWe particularly applaud the president-elect for his doggedness and refusal to quit despite the defeat he suffered in the last three elections, we also commend His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, whom we learnt has congratulated his opponent. What President Jonathan did is a proof that election is indeed not a do-or-die affairĒ.

TUC urged the president-elect to work at keeping his campaign promises to Nigerians which were some of the basis upon which he was voted for.

He noted that Buhari must realise that irrespective of the number of votes he got from individual states, there is no part of the country where he was not voted for.

ďBy implication it means that he is the president of Nigeria and father to all. Muslims, Christians, pegans, voted for him because they believe in him. As such, we donít wish to see the issue of religion, tribalism, nepotism, which have always been the bane of Nigeriaís development rear their ugly heads in the next dispensation.

ďSuffice to say that the president-elect is already abreast of the countryís challenges, which ranges from electricity, unemployment, insecurity, corruption, poor health facility, incessant strikes, poor infrastructure,as a man who has always been popular among the poor of the north (known as the ďtalakawaĒ in the northís Hausa language), we want him to know that his responsibility is now broader, as it now involves the poor of the whole country.

ďHis rare reputation for honesty among Nigeriaís politicians, both military and civilian, is what the country needs now to regain our lost glory as a nation. We look forward to seeing an end to lateness to work again,  end to corruption and sanity in the system!,ĒTUC noted.

http://dailyindependentnig.com/2015/04/jonathan-proved-election-not-die-affair-tuc/?

180
News & Happenings / Tough times for Boko Haram under Buhari: Experts
« on: April 02, 2015, 02:11:50 PM »

President-elect Muhammadu Buhari's standing in Nigeria's restive north, the birthplace of the Boko Haram insurgency, along with his experience as a retired army general, will help him in the fight against the insurgents and in other security-related crises, experts believe.

"I think he will help curb their activities," Otive Igbuzor, executive director of the African Center for Leadership, Strategy and Development, told The Anadolu Agency.

"I expect the next government to be tougher in terms of dealing with the militants," he said.

In his acceptance speech on Wednesday, Buhari vowed to battle the Boko Haram militant group and government corruption.

"I assure you that Boko Haram will soon know the strength of our collective will and commitment to ridding this nation of terror and bringing back peace and normalcy to all affected areas," he said.

"We shall spare no effort until we defeat terrorism," added the president-elect.

Igbuzor believes Buhari's assumption of the presidency will take a toll on the six-year-old insurgency.

"That is the expectation of every Nigerian; I think that he should be able to fix it," he told AA.

"You recall that recently when Boko Haram wanted to negotiate, they named him as negotiator on their behalf," Igbuzor noted.

In 2013, the notorious militant group named Buhari its preferred negotiator Ė an offer he flatly rejected.

Known for his fierce criticism of Boko Haram, the former military ruler was targeted in 2014 in what was described by the group as an assassination attempt.

During the presidential campaign, Buhari promised that, as commander-in-chief, he would lead from the front and not from behind from the comfort of Aso Rock, the seat of the presidency in capital Abuja.

Nigeria is fighting a six-year Boko Haram insurgency that has claimed tens of thousands of lives and displaced over one million people from the country's northeast, where the militants have been the most ruthless.

The military recently announced that all territory earlier captured by the insurgents in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states had all since been "liberated" by the army.

Boko Haram's activities have ebbed in recent days.

Strategy
Experts believe Buhari's history as a retired army general will help him in the fight against the insurgents.

"There is no basis to compare Buhari with the outgoing president in terms of handling operations involving the military," retired Colonel Tahiru Alayande, a military expert, told AA.

"I expect that he will raise troops' morale by paying all their dues at the right time and by truly equipping the military," he said.

"And I expect that, as a former commander himself, he won't tolerate his commanders waiting for Boko Haram to attack before defending, which has been the case [until now]," Alayande asserted.

"We should wipe these guys off the map. Hard stances must be taken against any community that harbors militants under any guise," he insisted.

Born in 1942, Buhari was commissioned by the army as a second lieutenant in 1963.

He has since served in different capacities as an army officer, including a stint as military governor of Nigeria's restive northeastern region.

The major-general served as military head-of-state between 1983 and 1985, following the ouster of the country's civilian regime.

"Buhari was a tough army commander who led the battle against Maitatsine, which was similar to Boko Haram," Alayande told AA.

"By all standards, he has all the edges, and he must use them against Boko Haram," he said.

Maitatsine Ė a religious group whose name literally means the "one who damns" Ė waged a similar insurgency against the Nigerian state in the 1970s.

The group was decimated after its leader Mohammed Marwa, nicknamed Maitatsine, died in 1980.

The sect had claimed to seek "religious purity," portraying anyone opposed to its ideology as "un-Islamic."

Many people who follow Boko Haram see it as a reincarnation of the Maitatsine group.

Igbuzor, the analyst, noted that Buhai had promised to pay special attention to the welfare of the armed forces and their families, as well as fallen soldiers and their families.

"He promised to boost the morale of the men and women of the armed forces," he told AA.

"One hopes thatÖ the government will act swiftly and decisively on actionable intelligence to help bring back our girls," added Igbuzor.

One year ago, Boko Haram militants made international headlines after abducting 276 schoolgirls from their dormitory in Borno State. All but 57 of the girls still remain in captivity.

"The expectations of Nigerians from the Buhari administration are very high; it is hoped he won't let the people down," Igbuzor said.

Yinusa Yau, a prominent Nigerian rights activist, expects a change in the approach to the fight against Boko Haram under Buhari, himself a Sunni Muslim.

"In terms of security, we should expect the president-elect to quickly get down to business," he told AA.

Yau expects Buhari to involve all relevant stakeholders Ė governors, interest groups and elders in the northeast Ė in the fight against Boko Haram.

"[The aim will be] to develop a collective agenda and responsive strategy to deal with the insurgency," said Yau, who at one time served on government committees on the Boko Haram crisis.

Buhari, a Hausa Fulani Muslim from Nigeria's northwestern Katsina State, is particularly admired in the north for his Spartan lifestyle and personal discipline as an elder statesman.

He won all but one of the six states (Taraba) in the northeast, considered the heartland of the Boko Haram insurgency.

Buhari won 473,543 out of 515,008 votes cast in Borno; 446,265 out of 491,767 in Yobe; and 374,701 out of 661,210 in Adamawa Ė the three states most affected by the insurgency.

Following his election victory, celebrations swept across Nigeria's restive northern region.

Convoys of trucks and four-wheel-drive vehicles carrying thousands of people drove through Boko Haram's heartland, shouting that "the end has come" for Boko Haram.

Some youths drove around Maiduguri, Borno's provincial capital, with loudspeakers, singing victory songs for Buhari in local languages.

Others carried placards bearing slogans, such as "Sai Buhari; No more Boko Haram."

Who are Boko Haram?
Boko Haram, which recently pledged allegiance to the Daesh militant group, links the perceived rot in Nigerian society to "corrupt western values," calls for a return to "true Islam," and rejects modern notions of democracy.

Its popular name Ė "Boko Haram" Ė is derived from its claim that "Boko" (translated as "western education") is "Haram," the Arab-Hausa word for "religiously proscribed."

The group's official name is Jama'at Ahlus-Sunnah Li-Da'awah Wal-Jihaad, roughly translated as "Congregation of the People of Sunnah for Proselytism and Jihad."

Reportedly founded in 2001, it was led in its initial years by Mohamed Yusuf, who was killed in police custody in 2009 after being captured in the northeastern Bauchi State following an attempted jailbreak.

Boko Haram has no clear organizational structure. It is said to employ "cells" and is sometimes accused of fostering conflicting beliefs.

The group has never revealed the number of its members, nor have Nigerian security agencies ever provided any estimates.

But videos seen by AA Ė coupled with the prevalence and intensity of Boko Haram's attacks Ė suggest the group must have thousands of fighters.

Boko Haram's recruitment style, meanwhile, appears to vary from case to case.

Some group members Ė due to gullibility, ignorance, or frustration with a system that has left them with little to hope for Ė appear to have bought into the group's violent ideology.

On the one hand, there are those who are lured into the group by its promises of three daily food rations. Others, however, have reportedly been "forcibly conscripted" into the group.

Boko Haram doesn't have a particular dress code, allowing its members to mingle with civilian populations without being detected.

In some instances, group commanders and fighters have been seen in videos wearing hoods. At other times, they've been spotted in military fatigues.

No clear funding sources have been linked to the militant group.

Claims that the group is self-sustaining seem far-fetched, meanwhile, given the unimpressive socioeconomic profile of some of its members and leaders, including late Yusuf.

The group's reputation for harboring petty criminals, however, isn't in line with its apparent sophistication as reflected by the formidability of its arsenal Ė which has been known to include rocket launchers and anti-aircraft missiles.

Military sources believe the group has engaged in armed robbery and other criminal activities in order to fund its ongoing insurgency.

The funding issue has raised serious questions about Boko Haram and its backers, with many observers suggesting that local politicians could be covertly supporting the group.

It is the opinion of some that Boko Haram has become a "franchise" under which criminal elements conceal their activities.

Western intelligence officials have linked Boko Haram with terrorist groups operating outside Nigeria, including Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

Others, however, insist there is no concrete evidence to substantiate these claims.

http://www.aa.com.tr/en/rss/487652--tough-times-for-boko-haram-under-buhari-experts?

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