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301

Nigeria's National Assembly said on Wednesday oil major Shell should pay $3.96 billion for a 2011 spill at its offshore Bonga oilfield in the latest assessment of damage to the environment.

The non-binding decision comes after years of analysis by various Nigerian state agencies, which have proposed a range of fines as high as $11.5 billion.

The parliament finally reached a decision based on the report of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), which previously recommended a fine of $5 billion.

Shell declined to comment. The company has previously said it took responsibility for the spill and had cleaned the area.

The parliament's decision is non-binding as it only has the power to recommend fines to the government and cannot enforce them.

NOSDRA estimated that around 40,000 barrels were spilled when a tanker was loading crude at the offshore platform operated by Shell's subsidiary SNEPCO. The Bonga field was producing 200,000 barrels per day at the time.

NOSDRA has previously said the spill had hurt locals in the area who rely on fishing for their livelihoods as the slick covered an area of around 950 square km.

"Since all efforts by this committee were tactfully rebuffed by SNEPCO, (it) has decided to adopt the damage assessment report submitted by NOSDRA as the lead agency in all oil spill management," Uche Ekwunife, chairman of the environmental committee told the assembly.

Shell is also being pursued in a class action case for two other spills in the Niger Delta in 2008. In June, it offered 30 million pounds ($51 million) in compensation to 15,000 residents in the Bodo Community but this was rejected.

The United Nations Environment Programme has criticised Shell in the past for not doing enough to clean up spills and maintain infrastructure.

Nigeria is Africa's largest oil exporter and an OPEC member but the environmental toll has been huge. The mangrove creeks of the delta region are heavily polluted mainly due to leaks from illegal pipeline tapping and sabotage.

Foreign companies have been selling their stakes in onshore oilfields after becoming frustrated with industrial scale theft and resulting spills, which show no signs of abating.

On Monday, Shell had to shut down a pipeline as a result of a new leak close to where it was removing oil taps.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/sns-rt-us-nigeria-oil-shell-20141126-story.html

302
Vacancies / Cost & Budget Controller (CBC) at Daewoo Nigeria Limited
« on: November 27, 2014, 09:35:38 AM »
Daewoo Nigeria Limited a leading Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) company in the Oil & Gas industry.

Daewoo Nigeria Limited is a subsidiary of Daewoo E&C, South-Korea. It was registered on the 18th August, 1978. Our registered office is at 10, Lagoon Avenue, Osborne, Ikoyi, Lagos and our operational head office at Onne/BoriRoad Junction, Port-Harcourt.

We are committed to adhering and guided by the Nigerian Content Act. Our aim is to develop Nigerian Capabilities and to ensure Technology Transfer to our Nigerian Staff. We believe in training and re-training of our staff both on-the-job and outside to keep them abreast of the latest development in their area of discipline.

Daewoo Nigeria Limited is currently seeking for suitably qualified candidates to fill the job position below in her outfit:

Job Title: Cost & Budget Controller (CBC)

Location: Nigeria

Duties & Responsibilities
Implement internal procedures to facilitate job function and responsibilities.
Control and coordinate approval processes in relation to project budgets and revisions.
Control project costs and expenses.
Ensure adequate cost savings and efficiency.
Ensure project milestone billing and collections, Variations, correspondences are done on a timely basis.

Qualification & Experience
Minimum of Bachelors degree in Business/Social sciences and/or Engineering &Project Management discipline.
Minimum of 8-10yrs cognate experience in oil & gas construction industry.
Proficient in MS Office Suite

Application Closing Date
15th December, 2014.

Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should send their Curriculum Vitae indicating the position applied for to: dnl_hr@daewoonigeria.net

303
Vacancies / HSE Engineer (HSEENGR) at Daewoo Nigeria Limited
« on: November 27, 2014, 09:34:43 AM »
Daewoo Nigeria Limited a leading Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) company in the Oil & Gas industry.

Daewoo Nigeria Limited is a subsidiary of Daewoo E&C, South-Korea. It was registered on the 18th August, 1978. Our registered office is at 10, Lagoon Avenue, Osborne, Ikoyi, Lagos and our operational head office at Onne/BoriRoad Junction, Port-Harcourt.

We are committed to adhering and guided by the Nigerian Content Act. Our aim is to develop Nigerian Capabilities and to ensure Technology Transfer to our Nigerian Staff. We believe in training and re-training of our staff both on-the-job and outside to keep them abreast of the latest development in their area of discipline.

Daewoo Nigeria Limited is currently seeking for suitably qualified candidates to fill the job position below in her outfit:

Job Title: HSE Engineer (HSEENGR)

Location: Nigeria

Duties & Responsibilities
Manpower planning, forecasting and HSE resources to support the Project.
Coordinate HSE activities on the Project.
Ensure HSE Program is an integral part of the Project and that the design is risk-based.
Organize, carry out and attend any scheduled HSE audits.
Coordinate and compile HSE input during engineering to Project progress report Noise Control in Design.
Qualification & Experience
Minimum of Bachelors degree qualification in social science and/or Engineering discipline.
Minimum of 8 yrs cognate experience in oil and gas industry construction work.
Self-confident, able to execute position responsibilities with minimal guidance.
Demonstrate expertise with Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint or equivalent software.

Application Closing Date
15th December, 2014.

Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should send their Curriculum Vitae indicating the position applied for to: dnl_hr@daewoonigeria.net

304
Vacancies / Mechanical Engineer (MENGR) at Daewoo Nigeria Limited
« on: November 27, 2014, 09:33:45 AM »
Daewoo Nigeria Limited a leading Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) company in the Oil & Gas industry.

Daewoo Nigeria Limited is a subsidiary of Daewoo E&C, South-Korea. It was registered on the 18th August, 1978. Our registered office is at 10, Lagoon Avenue, Osborne, Ikoyi, Lagos and our operational head office at Onne/BoriRoad Junction, Port-Harcourt.

We are committed to adhering and guided by the Nigerian Content Act. Our aim is to develop Nigerian Capabilities and to ensure Technology Transfer to our Nigerian Staff. We believe in training and re-training of our staff both on-the-job and outside to keep them abreast of the latest development in their area of discipline.

Daewoo Nigeria Limited is currently seeking for suitably qualified candidates to fill the job position below in her outfit:

Job Title: Mechanical Engineer (MENGR)

Location: Nigeria

Duties & Responsibilities
Review ITT documents and clarify issues with client during project proposal.
Prepare mechanical data sheets and specifications.
Develop manufacturing drawings.
Preparation of technical Bid evaluation.
FEED Verification. Vendor print review and RFQ Preparation.
Confer with system engineers and other personnel to implement operating procedures, resolve system malfunctions, and provide technical information.
Qualification & Experience
University degree in Mechanical Engineering or its equivalent.
10yrs cognate experience in major plant construction projects
Expert knowledge of Plant Construction work Sequence in oil & gas infrastructure projects.
MS Office & Compress software.

Application Closing Date
15th December, 2014.

Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should send their Curriculum Vitae indicating the position applied for to: dnl_hr@daewoonigeria.net

305
Vacancies / Electrical Engineer (EENGR) at Daewoo Nigeria Limited
« on: November 27, 2014, 09:32:21 AM »
Daewoo Nigeria Limited a leading Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) company in the Oil & Gas industry.

Daewoo Nigeria Limited is a subsidiary of Daewoo E&C, South-Korea. It was registered on the 18th August, 1978. Our registered office is at 10, Lagoon Avenue, Osborne, Ikoyi, Lagos and our operational head office at Onne/BoriRoad Junction, Port-Harcourt.

We are committed to adhering and guided by the Nigerian Content Act. Our aim is to develop Nigerian Capabilities and to ensure Technology Transfer to our Nigerian Staff. We believe in training and re-training of our staff both on-the-job and outside to keep them abreast of the latest development in their area of discipline.

Daewoo Nigeria Limited is currently seeking for suitably qualified candidates to fill the job position below in her outfit:

Job Title: Electrical Engineer (EENGR)

Location: Nigeria

Duties & Responsibilities
FEED Verification.
Detailed Electrical engineering design.
Preparation of Technical Data Sheet and Specifications
TB Review, Deviation, Exception & Clarification
Risk & Assumption
Man Hour estimation
Engineering Schedule
Prepare Material Requisition/rfq
TBE (Technical Bid Evaluation)
As-built drawings/documentation.
Qualification & Experience
University degree in Electrical Engineering or its equivalent.
10yrs cognate experience in major plant construction projects
Expert knowledge of Plant Construction work Sequence in oil & gas infrastructure projects.
MS Office & Compress software.

Application Closing Date
15th December, 2014.

Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should send their Curriculum Vitae indicating the position applied for to: dnl_hr@daewoonigeria.net

306
Vacancies / Base Manager (BMGR) at Daewoo Nigeria Limited
« on: November 27, 2014, 09:31:27 AM »
Daewoo Nigeria Limited a leading Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) company in the Oil & Gas industry.

Daewoo Nigeria Limited is a subsidiary of Daewoo E&C, South-Korea. It was registered on the 18th August, 1978. Our registered office is at 10, Lagoon Avenue, Osborne, Ikoyi, Lagos and our operational head office at Onne/BoriRoad Junction, Port-Harcourt.

We are committed to adhering and guided by the Nigerian Content Act. Our aim is to develop Nigerian Capabilities and to ensure Technology Transfer to our Nigerian Staff. We believe in training and re-training of our staff both on-the-job and outside to keep them abreast of the latest development in their area of discipline.

Daewoo Nigeria Limited is currently seeking for suitably qualified candidates to fill the job position below in her outfit:

Job Title: Base Manager (BMGR)

Location: Nigeria

Duties & Responsibilities
Planning, monitoring, coordinating, integrating activities of all disciplines in the Base.
Responsible for labor relations & productivity, manpower planning, construction equipment planning/usage.
Ensure seamless operations within the base.
Analyze Schedule Impact about Critical Issues of Project.
Qualification & Experience
University degree or equivalent.
8-10yrs of direct experience related to Oil & Gas, petrochemical and infrastructure projects
Good knowledge of Engineering, Construction, Procurement, Materials and Commissioning activities oil & gas EPC Project.

Application Closing Date
15th December, 2014.

Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should send their Curriculum Vitae indicating the position applied for to: dnl_hr@daewoonigeria.net

307
Vacancies / Civil Engineer (CENGR) at Daewoo Nigeria Limited
« on: November 27, 2014, 09:28:23 AM »
Daewoo Nigeria Limited a leading Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) company in the Oil & Gas industry.

Daewoo Nigeria Limited is a subsidiary of Daewoo E&C, South-Korea. It was registered on the 18th August, 1978. Our registered office is at 10, Lagoon Avenue, Osborne, Ikoyi, Lagos and our operational head office at Onne/BoriRoad Junction, Port-Harcourt.

We are committed to adhering and guided by the Nigerian Content Act. Our aim is to develop Nigerian Capabilities and to ensure Technology Transfer to our Nigerian Staff. We believe in training and re-training of our staff both on-the-job and outside to keep them abreast of the latest development in their area of discipline.

Daewoo Nigeria Limited is currently seeking for suitably qualified candidates to fill the job position below in her outfit:

Job Title: Civil Engineer (CENGR)

Location: Nigeria

Duties & Responsibilities
Prepare detail design for foundation, drainage, road etc.
Review and modification of Shop drawing and routine contract administration
Produce structure design and sketches to incorporate in drawing
FEED verification
Perform structure design in line with work scope and standard
Take part in structural Design at the request of the Structural coordinator.
Qualification & Experience
University degree in Civil Engineering.
8yrs cognate experience in major oil and gas facilities civil engineering design.
Proficiency in application of Auto CAD, Excel, MS Office, STAAD Pro, V8i, GRL Weap 20.

Application Closing Date
15th December, 2014.

Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should send their Curriculum Vitae indicating the position applied for to: dnl_hr@daewoonigeria.net

308

Nigeria's naira improved a little from the record lows after the central bank surprisingly devalued the currency and increased the benchmark interest rate, in order to save its foreign reserves amidst a steep fall in oil prices.

USD/NGN traded at 175.00 on Wednesday compared to 177.00 where it traded prior to the central bank move.

The Nigerian central bank also raised the benchmark interest rate to 13% from 12%, in order to curb inflationary pressures stemming from a weaker local currency.

The bank moved the USD/NG target band to 160-176 naira from 150-160 previously.

"Falling oil prices have consistently reduced the accretion to external reserves, thus constraining the ability of the bank to continually defend the naira and sustain the stability of the naira exchange rate," said Godwin Emefiele, the central bank governor.

Nigeria's foreign reserves have shrunk by 18% to around $37bn in less than a year. Nigeria earns its foreign reserves mainly from oil exports.

Moody's had lowered its price assumptions for various major crude benchmarks on Tuesday citing the 25% drop in oil prices since June this year.

Moody's assumes the Brent crude, a proxy for the world market, at $80 per barrel for 2015 and to $85 per barrel in 2016. The WTI crude, a proxy for North American production, is assumed at $75 per barrel in 2015 and $80 per barrel in 2016 and thereafter.

The Currency Band

The USD/NGN pair has been, in fact, holding above 160 for nearly a year now. And it has hit the upper end of the new band a few days before the central bank decision.

It was in November, the currency weakened the most in the recent past; so far in the month, the naira has fallen more than 5.7% against the greenback. It was in July 2009, the currency made bigger losses, when it ended the month 6.4% down.

Some History

The central bank move is not new. It had done the same exactly three year ago. Then the band was raised to 150-160 from 145-155.

The rate hike was done in the previous month, that is, in October 2011, and it was a big surprise move of 275 basis points.

The central bank then cited prolonged naira weakness and high dollar demand as reasons for the move.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/nigerias-naira-recovers-little-after-central-bank-raises-usd-ngn-target-band-1476645?

309
News & Happenings / Stocks Cheap on Foreign Investors’ Exit
« on: November 26, 2014, 12:22:36 PM »
Foreign investors fleeing Nigeria as oil prices plunge are leaving stocks undervalued in Africa’s biggest economy, the bourse’s chief executive officer, Mr. Oscar Onyema has said.

The benchmark index’s 18 per cent decline this year isn’t justified by economic changes and as a result Nigerian equities are “effectively on sale,” Oscar Onyema said in an interview with Bloomberg in Diani, Kenya.
“The fundamentals demand higher valuations.”

Nigerian stocks dropped as crude slid into a bear market and the central bank eroded reserves to support the currency, which fell to a record low this month.


Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil producer, and its $520 billion economy is forecast to grow 6.5 per cent this year and next, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists.
“The local institutional investors are net buyers at the moment,” Onyema said, adding that “they are buying and their way of looking at it is that the prices we’re seeing today are not justified by the fundamentals.”


The Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) All Share Index closed at 34,111.85 basis points yesterday, while the NSE market capitalisation closed at N11.263 trillion. In addition, as 19 shares increased, six fell and 170 were unchanged.
PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc, a soap maker, was the bigger gainer, climbing 4.9 percent.

Foreigners will probably remain wary of the Nigerian market until presidential elections in February, Onyema said.

There is pent-up demand for stocks, though investors won’t commit funds until they have clarity on policy and security under the new administration, he said.
An Islamist insurgency in northern Nigeria and a campaign for the presidency pitting candidates from the mainly Muslim north against an incumbent from the largely Christian south point to “a very perilous contest whose results may also be disputed,” the Brussels-based International Crisis Group said in a report last week.

“We’re in a political cycle right now and foreign investors want to see what the outcome is,” Onyema added.

“They want to get certainty about the security situation and they also want to see the package of measures that the fiscal and monetary authorities will take in addressing the shocks that we’ve seen.”
The naira had weakened to a record low of N178 to a dollar this month because of the collapse in the price of oil, which accounts for more than two-thirds of government revenue.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday devalued the naira by moving the midpoint from N155 to a dollar to N168 to a dollar. It also widened the band around the midpoint by 200 basis point from + or – 3 per cent to + or -5 per cent. Similarly, it increased the monetary policy rate (MPR) from 12 per cent to 13 per cent and also raised private sector cash reserve ratio (CRR) from 15 per cent to 20 per cent.
“When you look at OPEC countries, they’re all feeling the sweat, but Nigeria tends to be more pronounced, because of some of the perceived weaknesses in our buffers such as the level of foreign reserves and the ability of the central bank to defend the currency,” Onyema said.

“I have confidence in the central bank’s ability to provide a currency that has stability.”

Onyema said the NSE is seeking to boost listings and talking to so-called marginal oil field operators eager to match the success of Seplat Petroleum Development Company’s initial public offering in April, Nigeria’s first since 2008.

“The marginal field operators have a real opportunity to participate in our market, especially given the success that Seplat has shown,” Onyema said.
Marginal field operators in Nigeria include Bayelsa Oil Company, Platform Petroleum Limited and Sahara Energy Field Limited.

http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/onyema-stocks-cheap-on-foreign-investors-exit/195064/?

310
News & Happenings / FCMB Restates Commitment to Oil,Gas Reserves Growth
« on: November 26, 2014, 12:21:49 PM »

FCMB Capital Markets Limited, the investment banking arm of FCMB Group Plc has restated its commitment to enabling the realisation of Nigeria's oil and gas reserves growth agenda by actively supporting indigenous operators.

A statement from the firm yesterday quoted the Executive Director, FCMB Capital Markets Limited, Mr. Tolu Osinibi to have stated this at the Oil Council World Assembly 2014 conference that took place in London recently.

The Oil Council World Assembly is the largest business network platform for oil and gas leaders and other stakeholders across the globe.
Speaking at the conference, Osinibi stated that "FCMB Group’s support of the oil and gas industry remains strong."

He explained that the financial institution’s involvement in the sector "is in line with our commitment to contribute to Nigeria's economic growth."

Furthermore, Osinibi added that the ongoing structural shift in the industry, especially assets divestment by the International Oil Companies in the past few years had resulted in a significant increase in participation of indigenous operators across the industry value chain, adding that the consequent increase in investment in the industry would take place over the next few years as the acquirers develop the assets bought.

"We have over the past few years demonstrated the ability to help with identifying and allocating the technical and financial risks associated with complex projects in the oil and gas industry.
“We have what it takes to play a leading role in helping to execute initiatives that will boost the growth of the industry and, consequently, Nigeria," Osinibi added.

Commenting on FCMB’s participation at the event, he explained that his firm’s participation at the conference as well as being a co-sponsor, reflected its focus on being a strategic partner to key stakeholders across the industry value chain.

http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/fcmb-restates-commitment-to-oil-gas-reserves-growth/195063/?

311
News & Happenings / OPEC Faces Test, Meets Thursday on Oil Prices
« on: November 26, 2014, 12:20:53 PM »

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is set to hold a very crucial meeting on Thursday to decide on new production cuts for member countries, as the cartel seeks to lift crude oil prices which have plunged by about one-third in value since June to about $80 a barrel.

If OPEC doesn’t curb production, the price of crude is likely to drop into the $60 per barrel range and possibly lower.

If OPEC agrees to a cut, crude could climb to $80 a barrel until production levels are confirmed early next year. The cartel would need to cut production by more than 1 million barrels a day to make any difference, analysts say.

The snag, though, is Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer, which has set its
sights on upsetting the US shale oil boom.

Analysts say the kingdom is content to see shale oil producers -- and even some members of the cartel -- suffer from low prices and will resist pressure to reduce output and shore up the cost of oil.

According to AFP, Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi was silent about his government's intentions on Monday as he arrived in Vienna, Austria, ahead of the OPEC gathering.

“Is this the first time we have oversupply? he was quoted as saying by Dow Jones Newswires when questioned about current supply and demand.
However his Iraqi counterpart Abdel Mahdi arrived in Vienna pushing for action, deeming the steep price drop “not acceptable”.

Iraq’s sentiments will be re-echoed by Nigeria, Venezuela and Iran whose economies have taken a hit since oil started its downward spiral.

In contrast, Saudi Arabia is strong enough to withstand lower prices.
“Saudi Arabia wants to try and knock out shale oil competitors from the market,” said Saudi economist Abdulwahab Abu-Dahesh.

“They have the fiscal strength to remain steadfast for two to three years,” he told AFP.

Oil prices have collapsed to four-year lows on factors, including dampening demand in a sluggish world economy, a sharp rise in output from shale oil and other unconventional sources, and a strong dollar.

Although Saudi Arabia and its Gulf neighbours the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait could bear the burden of lower production, “I don't think they will cut because they will lose their market share,” said Fahad Alturki, chief economist and head of research at Jadwa Investment in the Saudi capital.

Figures from the US Energy Information Administration (IEA) showed Saudi exports to the US dropped by almost 30 per cent from 1.25 million barrels per day in July to below 900,000 bpd in August, although it remains the second largest US supplier after Canada.

The kingdom then cut its prices for crude sold to the US market, sending global prices plummeting in early November by almost $2.

Analysts saw the Saudi move as an effort to hold onto North American market share against cheaper oil from US shale fields.

Saudi Arabia also raised prices for its oil sold to Asia and other areas but was apparently “concentrating more on defending its market share in the US,” Commerzbank analysts said.

The kingdom exports two-thirds of its crude to Asia but this year has seen its market share fall in China and India, said analysts from Platts, a global energy information provider.

OPEC pumped 30.6 million bpd last month, above its 30 million bpd target, according to the IEA, which advises member countries on energy policy.
Of that total, Saudi Arabia produced around 9.6 million bpd in October, according to data cited by OPEC.

Yet the kingdom may have to deal with pressure from Russia, the third largest producer after the US. The country’s most powerful oil official, Igor Sechin, was scheduled to arrive Vienna yesterday for talks with OPEC members.

Sechin, the head of state oil company Rosneft and a close ally of Russian President
Vladimir Putin, was expected to meet OPEC officials amid hints from Moscow that Russia could cut output or exports if the cartel does the same.

OPEC also has to contend with member countries facing stiff political and economic challenges at home, such as Nigeria, Venezuela and Iran, which may not readily oblige the cartel's policy shifts if they hurt their economies.
As such, tomorrow’s meeting could signal not just the group’s oil strategies but the internal relationships and new direction of the group.

http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/opec-faces-test-meets-thursday-on-oil-prices/195100/?

312

Africa’s richest man and President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has advocated that for Nigeria to surmount the current challenges of falling crude oil prices, the country and the entire Gulf of Guinea region must increase local processing and consumption.
Speaking at a special session of the just-concluded 32nd edition of the annual conference of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) in Lagos, Dangote stated that increasing local refining had been a goal of the Federal Government for many years.

Dangote, however, pointed out that the progress has been impeded by lack of investment in the downstream petroleum sector as well as a very outdated policy and regulatory environment for the oil and gas sector.

He said the new trend where no single drop of oil from Nigeria, and only an insignificant quantity from the entire Gulf of Guinea region, is going to the United States of America, the traditional market for the bulk of the oil trade from the region, is not likely to change in the foreseeable future.

According to him, until very recently, sustained high oil prices as well as an increasing demand fueled by growth-induced demand in fast growing countries such as China, India and other emerging economies, has encouraged the development of new sources of oil, especially shale oil and gas as well as the emergence of new oil regions.

He noted that high oil prices over the past decade or so has also accelerated the search for alternative fuels and continued improvements in fuel efficiencies.

“The consequence of these developments has created a significant shift in the supply dynamics and an oversupply situation with the resultant collapse of the oil price that, in just a few months, has seen a 20-25 per cent drop from over $100 per barrel to just below $80 per barrel. These demand- supply dynamics however are not the only drivers of the recent price collapse. Some observers have suggested global politics and power play are also at work,” he said.

“Could it be the “Swing Producers” flexing their influence?; Saudi Arabia which is capable of pumping 12 million  barrels per day versus the USA nine million barrels per day appears to have started a price war designed to punish its major competitors (such as USA and Russia) who are unable to tolerate oil price at levels below $75. In October 2014, as oil prices slipped toward$85, the Saudis increased their production and offered discounts to major Asian customers, and this month, with US prices nearing $80, Saudis again offered discounts to their North American customers in a transparent bid to gain the market share,” Dangote explained.

According to him, the United States oiil supply has undisputably contributed to low prices, adding that the question is how soon low oil prices can chase American oil from the market.

“No doubt, an extended period of low prices would kill projects in oil sands, deepwater and the Arctic, which typically require many years and billions of dollars to develop. But the Saudis are also not able to sustain low prices, as their economy is now accustomed to oil above$100. It is believed that Saudi Arabia needs the price to be above $90 to balance the books, but can live with lower oil prices for longer than their competition. Another scenario: Could this be high stakes poker by World Powers? USA and Saudi Arabia playing the oil card against Iran and Russia?  Think about this a minute; “the Obama administration wants Teheran to come to their position over its nuclear program. It also wants Vladimir Putin to back off eastern Ukraine. After recent experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, the white House has no desire to put American boots on the ground to force their position. Instead, is it in alliance with Saudis to drive down oil price by flooding an already weak market with crude?” Dangote further explained.

Dangote stated that as the Russians and the Iranians are heavily dependent on oil exports, the assumption is that the economic impact of sanctions and significantly reduced oil revenue will make them easier to deal with.

“ So have the USA and Saudi Arabia found a common cause to use oil as the leverage; Saudis want to  put pressure  on Iran  and to force Moscow  to weaken its support  for the Assad regime in Syria. As oil and Gas account for 70 per cent of Russian exports and its budget does not add up unless the oil price is above $100, the US is able to bring deeper economic pressure on Russia in addition to sanctions. Could this be another dynamic?,” he added.

For Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea Region, Dangote said the challenge posed by the shale oil and gas revolution and the shift in supply dynamics had only been ameliorated by the worsening instability in the Middle East, North Africa and the Ukraine imbroglio, which has created a window of opportunity for the region’s oil.

“Unfortunately, this window of opportunity is currently being threatened by the region’s own increasing instability as a result of the terrorist activity in Nigeria, and political instability in other parts of the region such as Sudan,” he added.

http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/dangote-advocates-for-increased-local-refining-of-crude-oil/194987/?

313

The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited has said that the absence of a functioning cylinder manufacturing plant, inadequate storage facilities, poor transportation network and infrastructure, as well as limited jetty availability and the low priority accorded to berthing of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) vessels have all contributed to the domestic market’s inability to absorb its increased LPG supply to the domestic market.

NLNG also listed the other impediments to the growth of the domestic LPG market, which could require urgent intervention of stakeholders to include terminal operation and development, distribution and retail, promotion and awareness as well as government policy and incentives for full maturity of the domestic LPG market.

While affirming his company’s commitment to providing the Nigerian domestic market with sufficient volume of LPG, also known as cooking gas, from its six- train facility at Bonny, Rivers State, the Managing Director of NLNG, Mr. Babs Omotowa advocated for increased investment across the value chain to enable sustained and reliable product availability.

Omotowa, who was represented at a recent LPG conference in Abuja by the company’s Marketing and Development Manager, Mr. Abdulkadir Ahmed noted that NLNG, which currently supply some 80 per cent of the total cooking gas consumed by Nigerians, has also subsidised the product to the cost of about $50 million, since the government-induced supply intervention in the domestic commenced.

In a presentation titled: “NLNG’s Role in Developing the Domestic LPG Market”  Omotowa said the company had considerably increased its volume of supply to the domestic market but that the domestic market would be unable to take more volume from it due to the extant market challenges.

“NLNG’s intervention in the domestic LPG market began in 2007 with the dedication of some150, 000 metric tonnes of cooking gas annually, in response to an acute shortage of the product in the market at the time. Only last year, the company further increased this volume by 66 per cent to 250,000 metric tonnes in readiness to meet growing utilisation of cooking gas by Nigerians,” he said.
He further said that only about 600,000 metric tonnes of cooking gas have been absorbed by the local market since NLNG’s intervention in September 2007 because of market inefficiencies across the LPG value chain.

The inefficiencies he said include: “The absence of a functioning cylinder manufacturing plant, inadequate storage, poor transportation network and infrastructure, as well as limited jetty availability and low-priority berthing accorded to Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) vessels.”

Similarly, President of the Nigerian LPG Association, Mr. Dayo Adeshina, pointed out that due to Nigeria LNG’s intervention, the domestic LPG is not where it was when it came on the scene in September 2007.

“NLNG has been at the forefront of stabilising supply which has brought some obvious gains, including an almost seventy percent reduction in price from between N6,500 and N7,500 for a 12.5kg cylinder to its current price of between N2,800 and N3,500. But other stakeholders still have some way to go for the public to fully enjoy the gains of this intervention,” he said.

http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/nlng-bemoans-low-absorbing-capacity-of-domestic-lpg-market/194986/?

314
News & Happenings / Total Upstream Tasks Students on Oil Exploration
« on: November 25, 2014, 08:19:44 AM »

Total Exploration and Production (E & P) Nigeria limited has tasked secondary school students on capacity building in oil and gas exploitation at the 2014 Open Day organised recently by the company for secondary schools.

The Deputy Managing Director, Lagos District, Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria (TUCN), Mr Charles Ngoka, described the programme "as part of the company's Corporate Social Responsibility to the society and the citizens; the Open Day affords students vital opportunity to give students career counselling session and talks on social responsibility".

The programme featured health tips, safety and environment, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and tips on security. It also touched on GSR/field operation/production and human resources.

The participating schools were Dowen College, Queens College Yaba, St Gregory College, Kuramo College, and Girls Senior Secondary School, Lagos.

Addressing the students, the Executive Director, Deep Water District, Total E & P,Mr. Bruno Erwes, said Total had been in Nigeria for fifty years producing over 200,000 barrels of oil per day.

He pointed out that the success of the oil company is anchored on its values which include good attitude to people and the environment where it operates.

Erwes stated that boldness forms one of the most important aspects of Total's operational attitude saying students must be able to be daring in thinking out new innovation by doing things differently.

Total’s deepwater boss also emphasised on mutual supports among total workers, saying the company has been able to get to that stage due to the staffs' ability to develop mutual trust hence bringing out loyalty and capacity to help others.

According to him, Total has been able to sustain its leadership in the oil industry based on its consistent commitment and strong partnership with locals where it operates.

He told students that the success and survival of the company has not been without challenges which include: security, kidnapping, piracy, illegal bunkering, and uncertainty in government policy.

He added that the issues of the company's commitment to Nigeria's gas reform, host communities' expectations, falling oil prices and increasing production costs also form part of the challenges that it faces on a regular basis.


Mr. John Oyelakin of the Health Safety and Environment department of the  deep water district of Total, stated that workers' safety is always at the top priority of the company, saying ensuring staff safety is a means of maintaining company's value for its workers.

He admonished students to be of good character, saying success is always anchored on doing things rightly.

Deputy General Manager, CSR/Public  Affairs, Total E & P Deepwater District, Dr. Nkoyo Attah, while speaking on the company's social responsibility, stated that Total do not only intervene in the communities' needs , but  also gives back to the society; saying such must not only be sustainable, but must also be continuous.

She added that apart from ensuring the host communities feel the positive impact of the company, it also gives support to the government, individuals and institutions.

On careers in Total, Manager, HR Support Deep Water Field Operations, Mr. Akpos Adonike  said the students must have great understanding in Mathematics and English, saying the two subjects are the most important in terms of solving problems and communicating.

While revealing that Total employs an average of 100 staffs every year, he emphasised that career development is vast in oil and gas industry, harping that the students must be more hardworking in their academics.

Representative of the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Bello, encouraged students to be hardworking, resilient, strong, honest and upright saying these are moral values that would take them to the next level in life.

http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/total-upstream-tasks-students-on-oil-exploration/194983/?

315
News & Happenings / Freefall of global oil price
« on: November 25, 2014, 08:18:43 AM »
Oil prices continue to fall as Saudi Arabia, a leading member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, cuts sales price for America, but increases that of Europe and Asia. Oil companies are forever looking for longer credit, more discounts, higher premium, and cheaper prices. Saudi is also probably doing this because American shale oil producers are coming on strong. This trend will likely continue. Demand from the 12-member OPEC countries that supply one-third of global crude oil will drop from 30.3 million barrels per day to 29.3 by the end of 2014. Nigeria, an oil producing country, plans a coal-fuelled power generating plant for 2015.

Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, brags about Nigeria’s other sources of renewable energy like biomass, solar, wind, hydro, and gas. FE, today’s answer to Formula One racing cars, uses electric motors, instead of petrol. Some think that in some futuristic neon-lit city, traffic lights will recharge car batteries. Woe is fossil fuel! Apart from competition from alternative sources of energy, oil is a depleting commodity. Titusville, in Pennsylvania, USA, where oil was first drilled in 1859, has no more oil! And some oil companies are diversifying to petrochemicals, coal mining, and nuclear power, to produce energy, plastics, fertilisers, and drugs.

The unfolding Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, with large oil deposits throws its own spanner in the works. Noam Chomsky, social critic and professor of linguistics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, remarked: “The Gulf Region has been the main energy producing region of the world since Second World War, and is expected to be so for another generation. Iraq (excised out of conquered Turkey by Britain) has the second largest oil production in the world, and… is very easily accessible and cheap. If you control Iraq, you are in a strong position to determine the price and production levels… to undermine OPEC.” A rule of thumb is that the security of oil depends on access, and control, of oil route during wartime. The ISIS oil bunkers are having a field day.

Anthony Samson, author of the seminal book on oil, “The Seven Sisters,” which provoked this discourse, says that oil business is essentially about alternation of shortage and glut; hectic oscillation of prices; tug between producers and distributors; and a nexus between oil and transport. OPEC countries won’t confirm if they would cut oil production level, to shore up the falling price. That means they are all surreptitiously increasing production and thus depressing sales price – to their collective chagrin.

Oil industry watchers may recall that a former Saudi Oil Minister, Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, once declared: “The law of supply and demand will now decide the price of oil.” The fall of oil price will adversely affect Nigeria that gets 95 per cent of its dollar earning, and 80 per cent of its revenue from oil, as it loses grip of its North American market. In October, the decline in revenue forced the three tiers of government to share the $2.7bn that should have been transferred to the Excess Crude Oil account. It appears that the Federal Government’s N2tn annual fuel subsidy bills will be compromised.

It is a puzzlement that the Central Bank of Nigeria is employing moral suasion, a euphemism for blackmail, to get banks to prop up the falling exchange rate of the naira to the dollar. Rather than acknowledge the direct correlation between the fall of oil prices and that of the naira, the CBN seeks to blame the banks it seems. Less petro-dollar revenue means lower dollar supply; the scarcity of dollar, by the law of demand and supply, hikes the price of the dollar. Economic analysts link the fall of the naira against the dollar to the falling price of oil, speculative buying of the dollar and increased demand for dollar by those converting their naira to dollar, ahead of further naira decline.

Practically all the economies of the world depend on oil. The oil companies say they are indispensable to the industries of the West and the finances of the oil producing nations. They are the world’s utility companies with their vast array of oil rigs, refineries, pipelines, and filling stations. Their fleets of oil tankers have more tonnage than the navy of most countries. Their near-total control of mining and refining technology, the markets and products, compels oil producing countries, like Nigeria, to continue to import petroleum products. With such capacity, oil companies run the world, and fix oil prices, while oil producing countries get the blame.

Sometime in the past, the American government waived anti-trust laws to allow American oil companies form consortiums, a euphemism for a buyers’ cartel, to collectively fix the price they would buy crude from OPEC countries. The oil companies were desperately trying to hold back production, to prevent an oil glut, and so keep oil prices up. It is however fair to note that an American President, General Ford, faulted the waiver. He argued that the policies of sovereign states should not be dictated by artificial rigging and distortion of world commodity prices.

OPEC was formed in 1960 to keep up the price of oil, but Saudi, the largest producer of oil, and ally of America, always intervened to prevent price from getting too high. This goes against the first resolution of the OPEC Charter: “That members can no longer remain indifferent to the attitude heretofore adopted by the oil companies in effecting price modifications; that members shall demand that oil companies maintain their prices steady and free from all unnecessary fluctuations; that members shall endeavour… to restore… prices to the levels prevailing before the reduction.”

The suggestions by a former Algerian military President, Houari Boumedienne, that oil was not just a fuel, but a vehicle that oil producing nations must use for the revival of the Third World, and compel an equitable new system of world justice, could not have sat well with the West and its oil companies. His encouragement of other Third World countries that produced commodities like copper, iron ore, bauxite, rubber, coffee, cocoa, and groundnut, to take control over their products, and join the “new international economic order,” must have triggered a scheme to torpedo OPEC solidarity.

The oil embargo against countries that supported Israel in the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, drastically pushed up the price of crude oil. But the oil discoveries in Alaska and the North Sea, and the literal dumping of oil at any price by Russia, helped the oil companies survive. Also, they began to negotiate with individual OPEC members, like Iran and Venezuela, who began to break the ranks. Saudi Arabia joined, and the oil embargo fell through. But then, Russia’s need for oil, for itself and its satellite states, soon fizzled out the oil glut, and Russia began to import oil from the OPEC nations.

The fall of oil prices comes from increased demand for oil by Far East nations, like China, with about one-third of the world’s foreign exchange, and OPEC’s fear – of cheap oil from the ISIS, alternative fuel, and open demands for better life by citizens of oil producing countries. Michael Ignatieff, of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, thinks free markets, human rights, and democracy, are the grace notes of the new Western global hegemony. The West is up against OPEC big time.

http://www.punchng.com/opinion/freefall-of-global-oil-price/?

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