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391

Christophe de Margerie, the chief executive of French oil company Total, has died in an air crash in Moscow.

His corporate jet collided with a snow plough and then was engulfed in flames. All four people on board were killed.

The driver of the snow plough was drunk, according to Russian investigators.

Mr de Margerie, 63, had been chief executive of Europe's third largest oil company since 2007. He was highly regarded within the oil industry.

'Huge loss'
"France is losing an extraordinary business leader who turned Total into a world giant," French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said in a statement.

"France is losing a great industry captain and a patriot."

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his condolences.

News agency Tass quoted a Kremlin spokesman as saying: "The President highly appreciated de Mergerie's business skills, his continued commitment to the development of not only bilateral Russian-French relations, but also on multi-faceted levels."

Mr de Margerie joined Total Group after graduating from the Ecole Superieure de Commerce in Paris in 1974.

At the company, where he had spent his entire career, he was nicknamed "Big Moustache".

John Hofmeister, former president of Shell Oil, told the BBC: "It's a huge loss to the industry and its future focus.

"What he has done for Total in repositioning the company to return to integrity and sound operations is deeply respected and highly regarded."

According to Russia's Vedomosti newspaper, Mr de Margerie had met Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at his country residence outside Moscow to discuss foreign investment in Russia.

Russian investments
Total is an important player in the Russian energy market and Mr de Margerie was a staunch defender of maintaining ties, despite Western sanctions against Moscow over its actions in Ukraine.

Total is one of the biggest foreign investors in Russia and is planning to double its output from the country by 2020.

It is working on the Yamal project, a $27bn joint venture to extract natural gas in northwest Siberia.

During his time at the helm of Total Mr de Margerie successfully defended the company against allegations of corruption around the UN oil-for-food programme in Iraq.

He maintained the company's investments in Burma and Iran despite US sanctions against those countries.

Shares in Total were down sharply at the open, but have since recovered.

Vnukovo-3 Business Aviation Center at Moscow"s Vnukovo airport
Mr de Margerie was flying from Moscow's Vnukovo airport, southwest of Moscow
Mr de Margerie's jet had been due to fly to Paris from Moscow's Vnukovo International Airport.

Vnukovo, is located to the southwest of Moscow and is used by President Vladimir Putin and other government officials.

Russia's emergencies ministry said in a statement the accident had involved a Falcon-50 plane shortly before midnight local time (20:00 GMT) on Monday.

"Among the chief versions for what happened, investigators are looking at a mistake by the air traffic controllers and the actions of the driver of the snow plough. Apart from that, they will also check the versions of poor weather conditions and mistake by the crew," said Russia's Investigative Committee, a federal agency that answers to President Putin.

"At the current time, it has already been established that the driver of the snow plough was drunk."

Pictures from the scene show the driver looking shocked, but walking unaided and without any obvious serious injury.

Reports say the visibility at airport was 350m (1,150ft).

New leadership
Total did not have a succession plan in place for Mr de Margerie, but in July he said that a replacement would come from inside the company.

The company plans to hold a board meeting as soon as possible.

Philippe Boisseau who is in charge of Total's new energy division, which is developing renewable energy sources, has been mentioned as one possible successor.

Patrick Pouyanne, president of Total's refining and chemicals division, has also been named as a possible new boss.

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-29699733

392
An oil and gas supply boat captain who was kidnapped and tortured by Nigerian pirates last year is suing Chevron USA and Edison Chouest Offshore for failing to take safety measures that could have prevented the attack, Courthouse News Service reports.

The report says Wren Thomas, who captained Edison Chouest's C-Retriever vessel, which was tasked with supporting Chevron drilling activity offshore Nigeria, filed suit Oct. 16 against both companies in Harris County, Texas.

Edison Chouest is based in Cut Off and provides supply boats to support offshore oil and gas operations worldwide.

Thomas accuses Chevron and Edison Chouest of ignoring multiple death threats he reported receiving over the supply boat's radio and for failing to replace the boat's radio communications system with a safer satellite phone system, the report says.

Thomas and an American engineer on the boat were taken hostage on Oct. 23, 2013 when pirates stormed the C-Retriever during one of its supply runs, the report says.

The report says Thomas is seeking damages for gross negligence under the Jones Act, the federal law that regulates working conditions for American sailors.

http://www.nola.com/business/index.ssf/2014/10/boat_captain_tortured_by_niger.html?

393
News & Happenings / M&A, Key Driver of Indigenous Oil Companies’ Growth
« on: October 21, 2014, 09:25:21 AM »
The increasing level of Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) in the Nigerian oil and gas sector has been described as an important driver for indigenous companies.

Renaissance Capital Limited (RenCap), in a report titled: “Nigerian M&A Market- Is it still hot down there?” forecasts strong opportunities for Nigerian oil and gas companies.

It described indigenisation as a long-term structural policy shift that has continued to favour local companies via extensive tax breaks and preferential access to new resources.

“Some general concern has been expressed in the market about the over-heated M&A market in Nigeria, which could crowd out some of the more conservative operators such as Seplat.

“However, we see Seplat as still very active as the company benefits from a strong balance sheet and technical track record,” it stated.

The report argued that M&A represents an important value driver for smaller producers such as Mart Resources, Lekoil and possibly Eland in the long term.

It added: “We see three types of potential opportunities for indigenous players to pursue: further divestments by international oil companies (IOCs), which are likely to continue in the medium term; farm-in opportunities, with several deals announced recently by Lekoil and Eland in particular.

“We think the government will be moving ahead with its marginal field licensing round scheduled for this year. A total of 31 fields have been included in the latest round, of which 16 are onshore fields. Moreover, we think it will be quite challenging to close the sale of four blocks that were sold by Shell this year and which we estimate would likely fetch about $5 billion in proceeds.”

Furthermore, it noted that since local banks appear to be busy with reserves-based lending to marginal field holders, the amount of capital that could be sourced from the banking system is only about half of the total deal value. It also estimated that about $2.5 billion would have to come from other sources, which may prove challenging and at the same time create potential opportunities for companies with excess liquidity, such as Seplat.

“Selling of Nigerian assets by IOCs may be seen as lack of confidence in the country’s oil sector especially on the back of widely discussed vandalism and oil bunkering.

“However, we see this process as mutually beneficial. IOCs are able to redeploy their capital in lower risk and potentially higher return areas, while indigenous players can create value from M&A via three main steps,” it explained.

It listed the steps to include more diligent work to restore production, which normally gets second priority in IOCs’ strategies where the focus is on giant fields; dealing with local communities and reducing the downtime of operations – local companies seem to be more successful in this area; and better fiscal terms.

“We view indigenisation as a long-term structural policy shift in many oil-producing nations, which favours local operators through extensive tax benefits and preferential access to resources,” it stated.

http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/m-a-key-driver-of-indigenous-oil-companies-growth/191811/?

394

The Managing Director of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Ltd, Babs Omotowa has said the company provided about five per cent of Nigeria’s revenue projection for the 2014 through its income tax payment to the federation.

Omotowa also said, having exhausted its tax holiday period, about 70 per cent of value generated by the company now goes to the government and people of Nigeria.

He said at the 46th annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM) of Nigeria in Abuja that Nigeria has reaped significant benefit from NLNG in terms of its 49 per cent dividend, 30 Corporate Income Tax (CIT) and feed-gas purchases amongst other benefits.

Omotowa equally stated that with increasing competition from new gas discoveries and shale gas phenomenon, NLNG was analysing global trends in the natural gas market as well as developing strategies to make the most of market before extant windows of opportunities closes.

“To give you a perspective, the company’s income tax payment this year represented about five per cent of the total revenue projections of the government for 2014,” Omotowa said.

He further explained: “The reality is that having come to the end of our tax holiday period, about 70 per cent of value generated in NLNG today goes to the government and people of Nigeria.”

Speaking on the current challenges of the company with regards to the global LNG market, Omotowa said, the company will continue to push for a sizeable share of the market.

“We cannot rest on our oars and so we continue to look at the future which we currently see as laden with challenges. As more LNG projects come on stream, new sources of gas are discovered, with our plant starting to age and a growing complex business environment, the future headwinds are strong,” he added.

Omotowa further stated: “We are therefore already looking at our strategies to achieve even beyond these boundaries as the window of opportunities closes.

So, we are analysing the global trends including shale gas competition, new mega LNG plants in Australia and East Africa threats to our business.”

He noted that the technological improvements to shale gas extraction have doubled the world reserves in LNG and this has led the United States to changing from an importer to a likely exporter.

“Henry Hub gas prices have fallen by more than 85 per cent from $15/mmbtu in 2005 to less than $4.50/mmbtu today.
These global challenges are not made easy by the local challenges from the uncertainties of policy changes, delayed passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), gas developments for domestic use, sustaining feed gas supply, ageing plants and ships, and continued tension between a Nigerian culture and a World-Class culture,” he added.

He however said that NLNG was already looking at what it needs to do differently from growing volumes by the addition of a seventh train to enable it compete with volume in the global market as well as use that to offset any reduced prices.

“Train 7 will allow us add eight million metric tonnes or 40 per cent to our current production capacity. It will enable us attract over $12 billion investments, create over 18,000 construction jobs and yield additional $2.5 billion revenues. So, a Train 7 is a big value to Nigeria and together with shareholders we are continuing to work on this.”

On the company’s 2013 year-end performance, Omotowa said: “We ended the year 2013 as the second best in the world among 13 LNG peer sites on overall operational efficiency index.

http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/nlng-payments-account-for-5-of-nigeria-s-2014-revenue-projection/191801/?

395
News & Happenings / Nigeria earns N69bn from LPG sales
« on: October 21, 2014, 09:21:38 AM »

Nigeria earned about N68.957 billion from lifting Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG, for both export and domestic consumption in 2013, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has revealed.

The NNPC in its Annual Statistical Bulletin 2013, disclosed that the country lifted 417,924 metric tonnes, MT LPG in 2013, despite LPG production of 409, 712 MT.

The Nigerian Association of LPG Marketers, NALPGAM, using the Mont Belvieu LPG price, put current price of LPG at N3.3 million for 20 metric tonnes, translating to about N165,000/ MT. Belvieu LPG price is the international pricing model used by the Nigeria LNG Limited, NLNG, to sell gas to the domestic market.

The Bulletin in a breakdown of LPG production and lifting in 2013, indicated that Chevron and NNPC produced 163,885 MT and 245,827MT respectively, while both companies lifted 150,046 MT and 267,878 MT respectively.

To this end, the NNPC accounted for 60 per cent of LPG production and 64 per cent of LPG lifting for export and local consumption, while Chevron accounted for 40 per cent and 36 per cent of LPG production and lifting respectively in 2013.

Further breakdown showed that Nigeria’s highest LPG lifting was recorded in November, with 59,669 MT; followed by September 59,035 MT and March 58,608 MT.

Other LPG lifting were: January 29,833 MT; February 29,871 MT; April 29,894 MT; May 29,580 MT; June 36,962 MT; July 54,649 MT; while in August 29,824 MT.

There were no LPG lifting in October and December 2013, according to the NNPC Report.
In the area of LPG production, May, March, and June 2013 recorded the highest output of 39,498 MT; 39,104 MT and 35,597 MT respectively.

Others were: January 34,802 MT; February 28776 MT; April 34,652 MT; July 32,526 MT; August 32,473 MT; September 31,562 MT; while in October, November, and December 33,780 MT, 32,254 MT and 34,689 MT were produced respectively.

Furthermore, the report disclosed that a total of 1.191 million MT, MMT of Natural Gas Liquid, NGL, was produced in 2013, while 1.176 MMT NGL was exported.

Specifically, 435,867 MT, 394,548 MT and 360,995 MT of propane, butane and pentane respectively, were produced in the period under review, while 443,550 MT, 396,312 MT and 336,397 MT of propane, butane and pentane respectively were lifted.

Indicating further, the Bulletin put total crude oil and condensate production in 2013 at 800.488 million barrels, giving a daily average of 2.19 million barrels per day (mmb/pd). This is lower than the previous year’s by six per cent.

“In the gas sector, a total of 2.325 trillion Standard Cubic Feet (SCF) of Natural Gas production was reported by 25 companies. This shows a decrease of 9.88 per cent when compared with 2012 production.

- See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2014/10/nigeria-earns-n69bn-lpg-sales/?#sthash.k2uz1SS2.dpuf

396
The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has called on the federal government to explain in details the contingency plans it has put in place to avert any economic shocks that may arise from the fall in price of crude oil in the international market.

As the price of crude oil continues to slide downwards, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said there is no cause for alarm because contingency plans are already being put in place to avert shocks to the economy.

However, Director General of NECA, Mr. Segun Oshinowo, insisted that government must let Nigerians know its level of preparedness in order to ensure that the country does not go back to another era of austerity.

Speaking at an interactive forum with journalist in Lagos, Oshinowo said, the call became necessary given that Nigerian economy is extremely susceptible to changes in price of oil in the international market.

“Let government explain in details the contingency plan it has put in place to cushion the effect of any shock arising from the decline in price of crude oil at the international market. We want to know the preparedness of government in ensuring that we will not go back to another era of austerity,” Oshinowo said.

He equally charged government to begin the process of privatising the nation’s four refineries and resume national debate on the removal of fuel subsidy in the face of shrinking oil prices.
He advised that the same courage and determination, which the present administration had demonstrated in privatising the electricity sector should be extended to the refineries in order to save national resources that are being expended on turn around maintenance (TAM) for which the nation is actually not getting appropriate benefits.

The NECA DG, who emphasised that government cannot continue to play politics with the privatisation of the nation’s refineries, said the refineries will perform at optimal capacity if handed over to private investors to manage.

According to him, the role of government in an economy should be that of a regulator or an enabler and not an operator insisting that the private sector should be empowered and encouraged to create jobs, in order to check the rising unemployment rate in the country.

“Time has come for government to hand over the operations of the nation’s refineries to private investors. A lot of money is going into subsidisation of petroleum products and turn around maintenance of the refineries. For how long will this continue? The price of crude oil has been on downward slide which means that government subsidy on fuel should be reducing. This is the period for government to raise its hands because if this trend should continue, it will get to a level where there will not be subsidy again,” Oshinowo said.

Speaking further, the NECA spokesman condemned the overbearing attitude of some government regulatory agencies which he accused of indulging in practices that stifle businesses.

He cited the case of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC), which compel private investors to bear the costs of its operations, a development he described as an aberration in any economy.
He warned that NECA will soon commence the process of naming and shaming the agencies that are engaging in such act insisting that the federal government must fund its agencies.

“Why should protecting consumers be at the expense of private enterprise? CPC had been demanding manufacturers to re-register products already registered and certified by the National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) which amounts to duplication of functions.

“While NECA was not against protecting consumers, the cost of doing so must not be shift to private enterprises which are already overburdened by taxes and other levies paid to the government. The federal government must fund its agencies,” Oshinowo added.

http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/failing-oil-prices-neca-demands-details-of-fg-s-contingency-plans/191678/?

397
News & Happenings / Okonjo-Iweala: We are Stabilising the Economy
« on: October 20, 2014, 09:19:01 AM »

The Conference of the National Council on Finance and Economic Development (NACOFED) has said the significant fall in global oil prices and oil production hiccups in the domestic affairs have had adverse impact on the revenue stream of the Nigerian economy and called for urgent steps towards diversification.

But the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who raised the alarm of falling oil prices a few days ago, gave an assurance that contingency plans were being made to keep the economy stable while the excess crude account is built to cushion the effect of further drop in oil prices on the international market.

Frowning on the proponents of ‘share all revenues collected’, whom she said forgot that Nigeria was saved from plunging into a financial mess in the aftermath of the 2008/2009 global economic crisis because had a $22 billion excess crude account (ECA), which it resorted to, Okonjo-Iweala said the federal government  was already re-building the ECA to a level which, according to International Monetary Fund  (IMF) standards, is comfortable.

The finance minister told THISDAY in an interview at the conclusion of the 2014 IMF-World Bank meetings in Washington DC: “Now we are trying to build the ECA up again. We did our modelling and forecast at $5 billion. If we can save that, it will save us for a little while. The IMF did its own model and said we need about $6.3 billion in that ECA  minimum, to cushion us. Right now we have $4.05 billion, so we have a gap of $2 billion. All this time we have been shouting let us save and not share…We will try to manage the best we can.”

“We all want the best for our country, which is to make sure that our reputation for keeping a stable economy is sustained. We don’t want one in which the exchange rates is fluctuating, most Nigerians don’t want it. You have to relate the level of reserves and  the amount of money in the ECA to the exchange rates, that’s what keeps it stable. If you now go spending everything and you have a crisis and the oil price fall, you will not have anywhere to turn. And this is what we have been preaching for the past three years and we are being harassed because of it but now we are seeing it happen. What we are doing is  that we are making contingency plans to keep the economy steady as much as we can through this crisis,” she added.

NACOFED also directed that steps should be taken to facilitate the early processing of the request from states for the floatation of bonds and issue of Irrevocable Standing Payment Orders (ISPOs) while it urged the states to observe the regulations guiding internal and external borrowings.

It said there was need to broaden and improve on revenue generation to finance government expenditures, as well as sustained effort by the governments in arresting the current challenges in the oil and gas sector particularly the vandalisation of oil and gas installations and crude oil theft.

According to highlights of its resolution reached at the end of the 2014 Conference of the National Council on Finance and Economic Development (NACOFED), which was held in Enugu State, it announced a collaboration between the federal and state finance authorities to work towards broadening and improving revenue generation as a means of effectively financing government expenditures.

The resolution, a copy which was made available to THISDAY among other things noted that though the world economic outlook remained uncertain, the Nigerian economy had continued to show strong resilience despite the current security challenges.

It also commended President Goodluck Jonathan on his efforts towards resolving the security challenges in the country

While calling for good governance, transparency and accountability at all levels of government, it further resolved that “the Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) be approached to assist the states being owed and the state governments were also urged to look into the issue of loans they owed the Federal Government.”

Also, it said the issue of the refund to state governments on the expenditure incurred for rehabilitation and renovation of federal roads be further looked into while states were however urged to ensure that due process is followed in undertaking such projects in order to merit refund.

http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/okonjo-iweala-we-are-stabilising-the-economy/191622/?

398

Diplomatic relations between Ghana and Nigeria is said to be under threat following the failure of Ghana to officially order investigations into the activities of Saltpond Offshore Producing Company (SOPC), which has been accused of laundering stolen Nigerian crude to Europe.

Wall Street Journal (WSJ), a US-based newspaper which levelled the allegations, said Saltpond is suspected of being used to tranship and smuggle stolen Nigerian crude to Europe and that Washington is probing Saltpond as part of a broader inquiry into how Nigerian oil gets stolen and laundered.

Sources within the intelligence community in Ghana told The Finder that Nigeria is not happy that Ghana has not ordered official investigations into the accusation when it was published.

Consequently, investigative bodies in Nigeria have officially written to their Ghanaian counterparts to investigate the allegations levelled against Saltpond Offshore Producing Company.

The US for the first time failed to import a single barrel of crude oil from Nigeria in July 2014.

This troubling scenario, according to industry watchers, would not augur well for the Nigerian economy, which is highly dependent on revenue from oil.

Nigeria, Africa's biggest crude exporter, depends largely on crude proceeds to service over 85% of its budget.

Nigeria used to be the fifth largest exporter of crude oil to the US.

While US crude imports rose by 569,000 barrels per day in July, imports of Nigerian crude fell to zero for the first time.

Data obtained from the US Energy Information Administration showed that US imports rose to 7.623 million bpd, up from 7.054 million bpd, in June.

But imports from Nigeria fell to zero in July, down from 89,000 bpd in June, all of which had gone to the US Atlantic Coast.

Reports indicated that before July, the US has reduced crude imports from Nigeria by 91%, putting the country's crude exports in disarray.

The US, which was hitherto the biggest importer of crude from Nigeria with over one million barrels per day, early this year imported an average of 100,000 bpd till June 2014.

Data obtained from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) revealed that by the end of last year, the US dropped to the 10th highest importer of Nigeria's crude, with 1.438 million barrels down by 15.111 million barrels in December 2012.

North America accounted for 22.19% of Nigeria's total crude export by December 2012, but it dropped to 2.23% by December 2013.

According to an NNPC report, "prior to the decline, the US was the highest buyer of Nigeria's crude, purchasing 14.279 million barrels in December 2012, thereby accounting for 19.15% of Nigeria's total crude export and 86.28% of total crude export to North America.

Oil laundering allegation at Saltpond platform

The accusation was that small vessels that have loaded "unofficial" oil in Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta frequently come to discharge at Saltpond. There, the Nigerian crude is mixed with Ghanaian oil. It comes from Nigeria, but it gets a certificate of Ghana origin.

The oil is then transferred to larger tankers for transhipment to Europe.

The provenance of the other oil that made its way to an Italian refinery over the course of the past year, however, is not clear.

Three cargoes, listed in shipping documents as "Saltpond blend crude oil," went to Genoa's terminal for delivery to Italy's Iplom SpA refinery, according to shipping and port records and officials.

The WSJ reported that two cargoes, unloaded in August 2013 and February 2014, carried about 340,000 barrels altogether, according to Genoa port officials.

The third tanker, unloaded in April of this year, carried 132,000 barrels. Together, that's more than four times the platform's 2013 output of around 100,000 barrels, according to the Ghana government’s figures.

Giorgio Profumo, Iplom's president, confirmed to WSJ that his refinery had received crude labelled as coming from Saltpond, but said he believes the cargoes were legitimate because they are approved by the Ghana authorities.

Saltpond platform was inaugurated in 1978 to pump oil from an offshore field. In its heyday, the field, located seven miles off the country's coast, produced more than a million barrels a year. That has dwindled to just over 100,000 barrels over the course of 2013.

But since last August, three tankers picked up more than 470,000 barrels from Saltpond, transporting it to an Italian refinery near the port of Genoa, according to port officials, ship-tracking services and port records, reports the WSJ.

Some US and Nigerian officials suspect Saltpond is one of several destinations that smugglers use to tranship stolen Nigerian crude, effectively laundering it by making it appear to come from a legitimate source outside of Nigeria, says the US newspaper.

http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=331021

399
Commander, NNS Luguard Lokoja of the Nigerian Navy Commodore, Shuwa Muhammed, on Thursday said the Navy had impounded a 40-meter-length wooden boat conveying about 65,000 liters of petroleum products said to be diesel or crude oil from bunkerers on the River Niger.

He said the boat was discovered at a marshy area on River Niger around Lokoja on Monday by the command while on patrol from Baro Niger State to Lokoja and Idah in Kogi State.

In a media briefing in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, the commander said the petroleum products were stored in nine Geepee tanks of 500 liters each. He added that the command also recovered from the boat, three Yamaha boat engines, two pumping machines, 150 liters of PMS, three hoses, ruber bucket, a machete, one bag containing machine tools and five empty 25 liters of jerry cans.

Muhammed said the command had intensified patrol around the area, adding that this must have made the bunkerers to abandon the products and fled for their lives while his officials later discovered and impounded the boat and the petroleum products.

According to him, the seized products would be handed over to the officials of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation for testing to determine the type of products they are. He added that the boat will be destroyed with all its equipment.

Muhammed said, “The Federal Government policy and directive from the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin, on zero tolerance on oil theft and illegal bunkering on our waterway would be enforced with a view to eradicate the menace, which have led to significant loss in revenue accruable to the federal government.”

He however called on the public to give useful information to the command in its effort to eradicate oil theft on the water ways.

The representative of the NNPC at the media briefing, Mr. Joseph Idoko, said the product will undergo test before determine whether it is diesel or crude.

http://www.punchng.com/news/navy-impounds-65000-litres-of-petroleum-products-in-kogi/?

400
Vacancies / Oil & Gas Vacancies in Abu Dhabi
« on: October 16, 2014, 03:00:47 PM »
We are seeking to recruit for 100+ vacancies for an Abu Dhabi based state owned oil and gas company’s brownfield projects, drilling and well operations for following disciplines through a recruitment campaign from 16 to 25 October in UAE:

1.   Discipline Engineers (Mechanical/Electrical/Instrumentation/Piping/Process/Mechanical/Civil)

2.   Project Engineers

3.   Constructions Engineers

4.   Project Control and Planning Engineers

5.   QA/QC Engineers - Projects

6.   Drilling Engineers

7.   Drilling HSE Engineers

8.   Subsurface Engineers (Well Engineers)

9.   Contracts Engineers (Drilling and Well Operations)

10. Drilling Fluids and Cement Engineers

11. QA/QC Engineers – Well Operations

12. Operations and Maintenance

Candidate should have BS Degree in Engineering and possess minimum 8 years relevant experience, preferably with owner/operator.

Maximum age limit is 55 years. Interview venue and details will communicated to shortlisted candidates individually.

Forward CVs with the desired position to jthomas01@almansoori.biz

Note: Employees working with ADNOC Group companies on direct contract will not be considered

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20141001054132-82968720-oil-gas-jobs-abu-dahbi?trk=object-title

401
Nigeria is proposing an oil price benchmark of $78/barrel for the purposes of revenue calculations in its 2015 budget, according to a government paper seen Thursday, amid concerns over falling oil prices in the international market.

The 2015 oil price benchmark, which is slightly higher than the $77.50/b price for the current 2014 budget, was contained in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework sent by President Goodluck Jonathan to parliament.

The oil production target was set at 2.278 million b/d, lower than the 2.38 million b/d of oil output assumed for 2014, as the government admitted that crude oil theft still posed a major threat to aims to increase oil production.

"Our [oil price] proposal is also driven by the need to be cautious in our revenue projections given the volatile nature of oil prices and the need to rebuild our fiscal buffers, which have been very useful in periods of revenue shocks," the president said.

"It should be recalled that the country has had painful experiences with regards to crude oil price swings."

Oil, which has been trading well below $90/b in the international market in recent weeks, accounts for around 80% of Nigerian government revenue. However, large-scale theft of its crude and a reduction in exports following the increase in shale oil production mainly by the US, has posed a major threat to Nigeria meeting its revenue targets.

The US, previously Nigeria's biggest crude importer, no longer imports crude from the West African country.

Data released Wednesday by Nigeria's central bank, for instance, showed Nigerian oil output averaged 1.9 million b/d in the second quarter, unchanged from the previous quarter but well below the government's output target of 2.38 million b/d for 2014.

"Despite the government's efforts to curb incessant crude oil theft in the Niger Delta region, the menace has continued to dampen crude oil production," the central bank said.

Nigeria's gross oil receipts also dropped by 0.7% to Naira 1.79 trillion ($11 billion) during the period, the bank said.

Analysts said a planned increase in spending in 2015, a general election year, may be behind the proposal to raise the oil price benchmark, with expenditures put at Naira 4.817 trillion compared with Naira 4.7 trillion in 2014.

http://www.platts.com/latest-news/oil/lagos/nigeria-proposes-78b-oil-price-benchmark-for-26906659?

402

Saudi Arabia has long been a swing producer of oil, ready to take action to maintain a floor for prices. However, with the Kingdom showing no signs of intervening in the near term, Libya and Nigeria have emerged as nations that could alleviate recent downward pressure on prices.

Both countries posted large output gains during the summer, amid a backdrop of softening demand and accelerating North American production.

Helima Croft, head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, pointed out that the unanticipated return of Libyan exports was the initial catalyst for the downward move in oil.

She also noted that Libya and Nigeria contributed nearly one million additional barrels per day to the market over the three-month period.

“In both cases, production has increased in an environment where the overall security situation has deteriorated, seemingly placing them at risk for a sudden reversal in export volumes that could help lessen the burden on the other big producers to turn off the spigots,” Ms. Croft said in a report.

Despite the remarkable recovery in Libyan exports, the security situation has significantly worsened since the summer as regional leaders warn that the country is at risk of becoming a failed state.

“For now, though, oil has been spared from the rising unrest,” the strategist said, noting that the elected government has managed to keep control of oil infrastructure and oil accounts at the central bank. “How long they can maintain this advantage, however, is very much in question.”

Nigeria’s oil surge was primarily attributed to a decline in crude theft and force majeures by companies operating in the volatile Niger Delta. However, Ms. Croft warned that the oil region will likely become more difficult to control as national elections set for February 2015 approach.

“The Nigerian military, underfunded and overextended by the virulent Boko Haram insurgency in the north, will be hard pressed to deal with any uptick in election related unrest and criminal activities in the oil region,” she said. “In our view, the recent gains in output could quickly become a casualty of Nigeria’s looming game of thrones.”

http://business.financialpost.com/2014/10/15/how-libya-and-nigeria-could-provide-a-floor-for-oil-prices/?__lsa=c810-5463

403
News & Happenings / Can Nigeria secure its golden geese?
« on: October 15, 2014, 10:46:37 AM »
Since the first successful oil well was drilled by Shell-BP in 1956 at Oloibiri, Nigeria has acclaimed the status of Africa’s largest oil producer and the sixth largest in the world. However, the Nigerian oil and gas industry has been engulfed in challenges with few success stories. The statistics are damning: the country loses approximately 215 000 bpd to oil theft, at an estimated value of US$ 8 billion a year.

It is pertinent to state that the troubles in the Nigerian oil and gas industry cannot only be blamed on regional instability, oil theft and religious extremism. With the upcoming general elections, the long-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which could help overhaul the beleaguered oil industry appears to be on the back burner, whilst the oil minister’s claims of efforts made to secure pipeline infrastructure have not served as a deterrent to oil theft. 

However, with the continuous investment of foreign players and the renewed involvement of local players, DW predicts that in 2015 Nigeria could drill 110 development wells both onshore and offshore. By the end of 2019 Nigeria’s crude output could be 3.39 million bpd from its current output of 2.95 million bpd. However, this is likely to be limited by lack of sufficient infrastructure and potential delays to final investment decisions pending the passing of PIB into law. With the right reforms and stability within the oil rich Niger Delta region, oil output would be sustainable over a longer period, which could finally see the Giant of Africa roaring to hit its peak.

http://www.energyglobal.com/news/drilling-and-production/articles/Can-Nigeria-secure-its-golden-geese.aspx?#.VD5CPGddXMs

404
News & Happenings / Japan, S. Korea emerge top buyers of Nigerian LNG
« on: October 15, 2014, 10:42:36 AM »
Japan, the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas importer, bought the largest share of Nigeria’s LNG exports last year, data from the World Oil and Gas Review 2014 has shown.

Between the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and May 2012, Japan shifted heavily towards LNG as it shut down all of its nuclear reactors. Nuclear generation in Japan represented about 26 per cent of the power generation prior to the 2011 earthquake, according to the United States Energy Information Administration.

The Asian country, which now relies on LNG imports for virtually all of its natural gas demand, imported 5.4 billion cubic metres from Nigeria in 2013, while South Korea bought the second largest volume of 3.54 billion centimetres, according to the report, which was released this week.

Spain imported 3.27 billion centimetres, and other importers of Nigerian LNG cargoes last year included Portugal (1.75 billion), Turkey (1.27 billion), Brazil (1.17 billion), Mexico (1.17 billion), France (1.07 billion), India (1.04 billion), Taiwan (0.62 billion), China (0.57 billion), Argentina (0.55 billion), Thailand (0.32 billion), Kuwait (0.23 billion), Netherlands (0.09 billion), Israel (0.08 billion) and the United States (0.07 billion).

The Nigeria LNG Limited said it currently manages 16 long-term LNG sales purchase agreements executed with 11 buyers on a delivered ex-ship basis. The long-term buyers take delivery of their volumes in receiving facilities spread across the Atlantic Basin in countries such as Spain, France, Portugal and Italy in Europe, Turkey, Mexico and the US.

“In addition to our traditional deliveries to Europe and the US, NLNG also supplies LNG to South America, with deliveries to Mexico and Brazil; and to Asia and the Middle East, with deliveries to Japan, South Korea, India, China, Taiwan, Thailand and Kuwait,” said NLNG in its ‘Facts and Figures on NLNG 2014’.

“Going forward, gas trade flows will become more Asia-focused. Between now and 2030, more than half of additional demand coming from Asia and Middle East,” the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Total E&P Nigeria, Elizabeth Proust, had said of the global gas trade.

She further said that one-third of new supply would come from North America, adding that the increasing new supply of LNG, shale oil and gas, was intensifying global competition for access to demand markets for oil and gas.

With the entry of the US into the LNG market, buyers now have more choice. Already, major Asian energy consumers have signed deals with yet-to-be-built export terminals in the US. The US Department of Energy has received 43 applications for 38.97 billion cubic feet per day of capacity and 87.54 million tonnes per annum (11.6 Bcfd) of Memorandum of Understandings have been signed, according to energy market analytics company, Bentek Energy.

According to global management firm McKinsey, North American gas developers are keen to export their plentiful supply of cheap LNG to higher priced markets, adding that Australia, East Africa, the Middle East and Russia have some of the largest gas resources available for supply after North America, and could potentially supply almost 280 billion centimetres per year by 2030.

Nigeria currently has LNG production capacity of 22 million metric tonnes per annum.

The country’s share of the global LNG market was said to have slipped to 7.5 per cent from 10 per cent amid delay in the start-up of key projects.

Olokola LNG, Brass LNG and Train 7 projects have over the past few years continued to await Final Investment Decision by the stakeholders on the projects, even as some have pulled out of the projects.

“We have a necessity to ensure that all of these projects go ahead. That is a necessity mandated by the law. Whether it is Train 7 or Brass LNG or OK LNG, we are consistently putting those projects forward because strategically our policy towards LNG is to keep our market share at about 10 per cent,” the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Joseph Thlama Dawha, had said recently.

Sale and purchase agreements have already been executed with five buyers for the 8.4 mtpa Train 7 project, which will raise the liquefaction capacity of NLNG to 30 mtpa, according to the NNLG.

LNG projects in Africa, Canada and Australia have faced delays or even cancellation as global demand growth slows and the US output increases, according to Goldman Sachs Corporation in a recent report.

Bloomberg reported that factors that may slow demand for LNG included the restart of nuclear reactors in Japan, China’s success in shale-gas exploration and production, and economic conditions in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Goldman expects strong demand growth in Asia to be led by China and ASEAN nations, with modest growth from India, South Korea and Japan.

Brass LNG project was designed to produce 10 mtpa, with the FID initially planned for 2006. But it has yet to be taken by the shareholders, which include the NNPC, Total and Eni Group. ConocoPhillips withdrew from the project in 2012.

http://www.punchng.com/business/japan-s-korea-emerge-top-buyers-of-nigerian-lng/?

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