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Oil & Gas

Oil thieves set Agip pipeline ablaze in N/Delta

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Unscrupulous people, described as crude oil thieves have set fire on an oil pipeline, belonging to Italian oil giant Agip at Ubeta community in the Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the field is operated by Nigeria Agip Oil Company, a subsidiary of Italy’s Eni.

Ubeta is a border community between Bayelsa and Rivers States, separated by Orashi River, deep in the resource-rich Niger Delta.

A community source, who participated in a Joint Investigative Visit (JIV) to the burnt facility, told that the fire, which broke out on Sept. 20 had been contained.

The source explained that the fire, which was ignited in the early hours of Sept. 20, was finally put off on Sept. 22 by a fire-fighting team.

He said the JIV report concluded that the fire was caused by vandals.

Vandalism of pipeline installations is rampant in the Niger Delta, the resource base of Nigeria.

“A joint investigation at the scene of the incident by regulatory agencies, NOSDRA, DPR, Rivers State Ministry of Environment and community representatives to ascertain the cause of the inferno revealed that it was due to a third party interference.

“An illegal bunkering point was found on the pipeline at the point of the fire and it was being repaired,” said the source.

Ubeta residents informed that the area is notorious for illegal crude refining activities, a development that has made the settlement a target for frequent raids by security agencies.

When contacted on the development, Ms Marilia Cioni, Regional External Communications Advisor in charge of sub-Saharan Africa at Eni, said the company would soon speak on the incident.
NN/SN

Edited by Silas Nwoha

 

Nathan Nwakamma: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Foreign

Putin, Iraqi PM discuss oil market, Syria over phone

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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday held a phone conversation with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, to discuss stabilizing the global oil market and the situation in Syria, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Putin and al-Kadhimi gave a positive assessment to the agreements on oil output cuts reached with the participation of Russia and Iraq in the OPEC+ format, which are aimed at overcoming the acute phase of the oil crisis, the statement said.

They stressed the importance of continuing effective joint efforts in this direction, it said.

While discussing the situation in Syria, Putin and al-Kadhimi agreed to further coordinate steps to ensure a long-term normalization of the situation in the war-torn Middle East country and restoration of its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The two leaders discussed issues concerning bilateral cooperation in trade, the economy and energy and expressed the wish to further develop the traditionally friendly ties between their countries, the statement said.

Putin congratulated al-Kadhimi on assuming his office earlier this month, and the Iraqi people on the occasion of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr celebrated during the past weekend.

Putin and al-Kadhimi agreed to continue the bilateral contacts at various levels, the statement said.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Interview: Scholar says national security legislation key to tackling turmoil in Hong Kong

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“It is urgent and important to end the chaos in Hong Kong through stronger national security legislation,” a Kenyan scholar has told Xinhua during a recent interview in Nairobi.

The recent violence in Hong Kong exposed loopholes in its legal system and the lack of effective enforcement mechanisms in maintaining national security there, as well as lack of legal means to effectively control the riots, said Gerishon Ikiara, an economics scholar at the University of Nairobi.

A draft decision on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to safeguard national security was submitted Friday to the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) of China for deliberation.

Young people hold up China‘s national flag during a flash mob in Hong Kong, south China, Sept. 17, 2019. (Xinhua/Li Gang)

Young people hold up China‘s national flag during a flash mob in Hong Kong, south China, Sept. 17, 2019. (Xinhua/Li Gang)

Ikiara, a former permanent secretary in Kenya’s Ministry of Transport and Communication, said it’s important that the NPC exercises the necessary powers conferred by the Constitution to fix the legal loopholes in order to protect the national sovereignty and security for both the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong.

He said that Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China, and the “one country, two systems” principle has been and continues to be an important prerequisite for its long-term prosperity and stability.

However, external support for anti-China riots and engagement in activities that endanger China‘s national security is likely to pose challenge to the key principle, he noted.

Regarding some Western politicians discrediting and attacking China‘s decision to establish and improve the legal system and enforcement mechanisms, the scholar pointed out that “the issue of safeguarding national security legislation is China‘s internal affairs, and no foreign country has the right to interfere with it.”

The interference was partly responsible for last year’s violent protests, Ikiara noted.

Photo taken on Nov. 17, 2019 shows the fire set by rioters next to a police vehicle outside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in south China‘s Hong Kong. (Xinhua)

Photo taken on Nov. 17, 2019 shows the fire set by rioters next to a police vehicle outside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in south China‘s Hong Kong.

(Xinhua)

Stressing that “one country” is the prerequisite and a basis for effective implementation of the “two systems,” he said under the umbrella of the Basic Law, a combination of Hong Kong‘s original system, economic model, and close links with the mainland have strengthened the region’s ability to withstand financial crises and major disasters, and its status as an international financial, shipping, and trade center.

Establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms of the HKSAR to safeguard national security will help improve the practice of “one country, two systems,” which is crucial for Hong Kong to end the chaos, restore order and make the Pearl of the East shine again.

Tourists visit a scenic spot at Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong, south China, Nov. 14, 2019. (Xinhua/Zhu Xiang)

Tourists visit a scenic spot at Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong, south China, Nov. 14, 2019.

(Xinhua/Zhu Xiang)

Ikiara said he believes that as China continues its deepening of reform and opening up, and its promotion of the Belt and Road Initiative, Hong Kong is expected to have more opportunities to achieve long-term economic and social prosperity.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Tanzania PM urges farmers to get ready for massive oil palm cultivation

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Palm-oil

Dar Es Salam, May 23, 2020 Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said on Saturday that the east African nation will start engaging in massive cultivation of oil palm from October to end importation of edible oils.

A statement by the Prime Minister’s office, issued in Kigoma region after Majaliwa had inspected oil palm seedlings nursery, said the premier told oil palm farmers in the region to get prepared for massive cultivation of the crop.

The seedling nursery is owned by Bulombora National Service, an affiliate of Tanzania People’s Defence Forces.

“Massive cultivation of oil palm starts in October.

“Each farmer, be individuals or cooperative farming groups will be provided with free seedlings across the region,’’ said Majaliwa.

The statement said the Prime Minister said 1.8 million oil palm seedlings have already been grown for distribution to farmers.

He added that Tanzania looked forward to end imports of edible oils.

In February, 2019, Majaliwa announced that the government had set aside $4.3 million to boost cultivation of oil palm as part of its strategy to ending importation of edible oils.

The Kigoma region accounts for more than 80 per cent of the palm oil production in the country and has the potential to make Tanzania one of the world’s leading producers and exporters of palm oil due to its soils and weather.

Tanzania imports almost half of its total edible oils despite having a vast and promising production potential in palm oil and sunflower sub-sectors.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Education

Why I did secretariat toilets project — NYSC member

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A National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member in the Surulere Local Government Area of Lagos State, Miss Ifeanyiwa Momah, said undertook a project of refurbishing some toilets in the NYSC secretariat in the area in order to leave a lasting legacy.

Momah told the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday that her donation, to give the toilets a better look, was a thing of joy for her, and for others to emulate.

She also said that as the President of Sustainable Development Group, she wanted to uphold one of its goals which was to make clean water and good hygiene available for everybody.

“I am so delighted to achieve this target which is part of the sustainable developmental goals of my Community Development Service Group.

“As president of the group, it beckons on me to do something which will stand as legacy and befitting gift to the secretariat.

“I am able to achieve the goal with the help of well wishers and private organisers,’’ Momah said.

According to her, good hygiene is important to the development of society and it is good for her to contribute her own quota.

“ I feel fulfilled with what I have done, and know lots are still yet to be done,” the youth corps member said.

The Lagos State Coordinator of the NYSC, Mr Eddy Megwa, commended Momah’s efforts in refurbishing the toilets at the secretariat.

“She is a great person with vision for doing something meaningful in her community, indeed it is a well thought out project, we must appreciate her efforts,” Megwa said.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

Momah pointing at the refurbished toilet tanks

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Foreign

Tanzania PM urges farmers to get ready for massive oil palm cultivation

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Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said on Saturday that the east African nation will start engaging in massive cultivation of oil palm from October to end importation of edible oils.

A statement by the Prime Minister’s office issued in Kigoma region after Majaliwa had inspected oil palm seedlings nursery owned by Bulombora National Service, an affiliate of Tanzania People’s Defense Forces, said the premier told oil palm farmers in the region to get prepared for massive cultivation of the crop.

“Massive cultivation of oil palm starts in October. Each farmer, be individuals or cooperative farming groups will be provided with free-of-charge seedlings across the region,” said Majaliwa.

The statement said the Prime Minister said 1.8 million oil palm seedlings have already been grown for distribution to farmers, adding that Tanzania looked forward to end imports of edible oils.

In February, 2019, Majaliwa announced that the government had set aside 4.3 million U.S. dollars to boost cultivation of oil palm as part of its strategy to ending importation of edible oils.

The Kigoma region accounts for more than 80 percent of the palm oil produced in the country and has the potential to make Tanzania one of the world‘s leading producers and exporters of palm oil due to its soils and weather.

Tanzania imports almost half of its total edible oils despite having a vast and promising production potential in palm oil and sunflower sub-sectors.

(XINHUA)

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Environment

Equipment failure caused 2 spills from Agip’s oilfields in Bayelsa – NOSDRA

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The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) says the two recent leaks from Agip’s oilfields in  Southern Ijaw and Brass Local Government Areas of Bayelsa were caused by equipment failure.

Mr Idris Musa, Director-General, NOSDRA, confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Yenagoa.

Musa explained that officials of the agency conducted a Joint Investigative Visit (JIV) to Agips 10″ Cough Creek-Tebidaba pipeline at Ologbobiri in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area and found the cause to be equipment failure.

He said that officials of the agency also visited the 24″ Ogoda-Brass trunk line site at Okpoama in Brass where a leak discharged a yet-to-be ascertained volume of crude oil into the environment.

The people of Okpoama in Brass local government area had earlier sent a ‘Save Our Soul’ message to the Federal Government, following widespread pollution by the oil spill in the area.

The Chairman of the Okpoama Kingdom Oil and Gas Committe, Percy Jerry Wemi-Kwomain, said that the incident happened at the Amangaetima bush near Ewoama-Brass.

“The oil spill occurred two weeks ago and it discharged enormous amount of crude oil into the adjourning creeks and rivulets, thereby affecting the environment and the livelihood of the people of the area,” Wemi-Kwomain said.

According to him, the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) made two secret attempted to fix the leaking pipeline without a JIV conducted by the relevant authorities.

He said the efforts were frustrated by youths placed on surveillance in the area.

“Without letting us know, they came with a swamp-buggy to fix the leaking point. We stopped them twice before they came to inform us that they want us to join them for the JIV.

“The oil is still leaking and that was why we have sent SOS to the Federal Government to come to our aid,” Kwomain had said.

The community leader further noted that the high pressure pipeline was built since 1972 and had recorded failure in several points.

Reacting to the disagreement between Agip and the host communities, the NOSDRA director-general however told NAN that the JIV was done and concluded amicably.

“The host community wanted to be paid a fee before repairs. That was the source of the disagreement, but the matter was later resolved,” Musa said.

Officials of Agip however declined comments on the two incidents.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

 

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Economy

Oil drops after China abandons target for 2020 GDP amid coronavirus outbreak

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Oil prices slumped on Friday after China’s decision to omit an economic growth target for 2020 renewed concerns that the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic will continue to depress fuel demand in the world’s second-largest oil user.

Brent crude fell $1.56, or 4.3 per cent to $34.50 a barrel by 0323 GMT, after gaining nearly one per cent on Thursday.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude dropped by $1.79, or 5.3 per cent, to $32.13 a barrel, having gained more than one per cent in the last session.

China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) kicked off a week-long meeting on Friday with the government saying it omitted the 2020 target, while pledging to issue one trillion yuan ($140 billion) of special treasury bonds to support companies and regions hit by the pandemic.

Abandoning the growth target “could be interpreted as putting less focus on infrastructure investment and could be viewed as negative for oil,’’ said Stephen Innes, Chief Global Market Strategist at AxiCorp.

“The commodity market, in general, was looking for a bigger infrastructure pump from the NPC so there is bound to be an element of disappointment,’’ Innes said.

Still, both Brent and WTI are heading for a fourth week of gains as more evidence emerged that fuel demand is recovering as countries ease business and social restrictions imposed to counter the coronavirus pandemic.

Gasoline demand is returning with traffic congestion in some of the world’s capitals recovering to year-earlier levels after the lifting of coronavirus, data prepared for Reuters shows.

Traffic flows in Berlin and Tokyo have rebounded, according to the data, while in the U.S., the easing of restrictions in many states has supported demand for gasoline.

The upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend typically kicks off the U.S. summer driving season.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Judiciary

Court remands man over alleged armed robbery, theft of 50 gallons of palm oil

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An Ile-Ife Magistrates’ Court in Osun, on Thursday, remanded one Elugbindin Timothy, 44, over alleged armed robbery and theft of 50 gallons of palm oil.
The Prosecutor, ASP Joseph Adebayo, told the court that the defendant committed the offence on March 10, around 5 am. at Odemuyiwa Village, via Ifetedo.
Adebayo said that the defendant conspired with others, now at large, to commit the offence.
He added that the defendant armed himself with gun and other dangerous weapons and robbed one Fatai Adeyeni of 50 gallons of palm oil and two bags of cocoa beans.
The prosecutor also listed other stolen goods to include three bags of palm kernel seeds, goats and hospital equipment, all valued at N10 million.
He further told the court that the defendant willfully set the house of Chief Fatai Adeyeni ablaze.
According to him, the offences were contrary to and punishable under Sections 1(1) and 6(b) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, Cap. R11, Laws of Nigeria, 2004.
Adebayo added that the offence also contravened Sections 1 (1), (2)(a),(b) and 443 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Osun, 2002.
The plea of the defendant was, however, not taken despite the fact that his defence counsel, Mr Obi Samuel, announced his appearance.
The Magistrate, Joseph Owolawi, did not grant bail to the defendant on the ground that his court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.
Owolawi, therefore, ordered the remand of the defendant at the State Criminal Investigation Intelligent Department (SCIID).
He adjourned the case till June 24, for mention.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Defence/Security

Military records successes against crude oil theft, others -DHQ

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The Defence Headquarters says the Nigerian military under Operation Delta Safe has continued to record more successes in the fight against crude oil theft and economic sabotage in the Niger Delta region.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, stated this at a news conference on the operations of Nigerian military on Thursday in Abuja.

Enenche said the Nigerian Navy Ship, Delta, had recently located and dismantled illegal refining sites and a wooden boat.

He said they contain three coolers, 136 dugout pits and 201 surface metal storage tanks in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta.

He added that 174 ovens laden with about 14,434 barrels of suspected stolen crude oil as well as 1.38 million litres of product suspected to be illegally refined AGO were also located and dismantled.

According to him, the storage facilities were dismantled while no arrest was made as operators of the illegal refining sites fled on sighting the team.

“Meanwhile, the illegal refining sites have been earmarked for swamp buggy operation.

“Similarly, on May 11, Forward Operating Base ESCRAVOS intercepted three large wooden boats around Madangho and Sara Creek in Warri South Local Government Area of the state.

“The boats were laden with about 12.6 barrels of suspected stolen crude oil and 43,000 litres of products suspected to be illegally refined AGO.

“Equally, on May 12, the team discovered seven refining units, 13 metal storage tanks and four dugout pits with about 440.3 barrels of stolen crude oil and 180,000 litres of products suspected to be illegally refined AGO.

“The boats, items and products discovered in the course of the operation were impounded,” he added.

The coordinator further disclosed that Forward Operating Base Ibaka patrol team around Effiat Waterways intercepted an abandoned wooden boat laden with 310 x 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice suspected to be smuggled from the Republic of Cameroon.

He added that on May 14, the Base patrol team also intercepted an abandoned medium size wooden boat laden with about 67 drums of products suspected to be PMS around Enwang Creek.

According to him, the seized bags of foreign parboiled rice, boat and drums of suspected PMS are currently in Forward Operating Base Ibaka custody.

In another development, on May 15, a Chinese vessel, MV HAILUFANG II was attacked by pirates off the Coast of Cote D’Ivoire.

“The pirates took control of the vessel and directed the vessel towards Nigerian Waters.

“The vessel had 18 crew members comprising Chinese, Ghanaian and Ivorian.

“The Nigerian Navy was alerted of the pirate attack and immediately, the Nigerian Navy Ship Nguru was dispatched to intercept the vessel.

“On interception of the vessel at about 140 nautical miles south of Lagos Fairway Buoy, the pirates refused to comply to the orders of the Nigerian Navy Ship, hence the Nigerian Navy had to conduct an opposed boarding of the vessel.

“All the ship crew were safely rescued, while the 10 pirates were also arrested,” he said.

On other operations, Enenche said that the troops operating in various theatres across the country also recorded tremendous successes within the week under review.

He said that troops of Operation Lafiya Dole had killed several members of the Boko Haram Terrorists/ISWAP fighters and senior commanders.

He added that the logistics facilities, gun trucks and other structures of the terrorists were also destroyed as well as recovery of cache of weapons.

According to him, some of these operations occurred in air strikes and other offensive operations executed across the theatre of operation.

In Operation Hadarin Daji, Enenche disclosed that the air component neutralised 27 armed bandits and destroyed some of their dwellings along the Nahuta-Doumborou Corridor on the border between Katsina and Zamfara States.

Under Operation Whirl Stroke, he said a total of 29 bandits and militias were neutralised within the last one week as well as recovery of arms and ammunition.

“The Military High Command congratulates all the gallant troops of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force and personnel of other security agencies involved in various operations across the country.

“Furthermore, the professionalism and dexterity of the Nigerian Navy Ship Nguru is hereby commended.

“It equally appreciates the general public for providing credible information that facilitated the success of various operations.

“The troops are encouraged to remain focused on eliminating the enemies of the country, while the general public is requested to continue to provide credible information in furtherance of our national security,” he said.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Judiciary

Court remands man over alleged theft of 50 gallons of palm oil

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An Ile-Ife Magistrates’ Court in Osun on Thursday remanded one Timothy Elugbindin, 44, over alleged robbery of 50 gallons of palm oil at gun point.

The Prosecutor, Asp. Joseph Adebayo told the court that the defendant committed the offence on March 10, 2020, around 5a.m., at Odemuyiwa Village via Ifetedo.

Adebayo said that the defendant conspired with others now at large to commit felony to wit: Armed Robbery.

He added that the defendant armed himself with gun and other dangerous weapons and robbed one Fatai Adeyeni of 50 gallons of palm oil and two bags of cocoa beans.

According to him, other stolen goods are: 3 bags of palm kernel seeds, goats and hospital equipment, total valued N10 million.

According to him, the defendant willfully set the dwelling house of Chief Fatai Adeyeni ablaze.

The Prosecutor stated further that the offence was contrary to and punishable under sections 1 (1) and 6(b) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act Cap R11, Laws of Nigeria, 2004.

Adebayo added that the offence also contravened sections 1(1), (2), (a), (b) and 443 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Osun, 2002.

The plea of the defendant was not taken, in spite of the fact that his defence counsel, Mr Obi Samuel announced his appearance.

Magistrate Joseph Owolawi did not grant the bail of the defendant on the ground that his court lacks jurisdiction to hear the armed robbery case.

Owolawi, therefore, ordered for the remand of the defendant at the State Criminal Investigation Intelligent Department (SCIID).

He adjourned the case until June 24, for mention.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

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Foreign

Man sentenced to 10 years in prison in Australia over foiled terror plot

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A 23-year-old man was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Thursday for his role in a foiled terrorist attack targeting 2017 New Year celebrations in Melbourne, Australia.

The Melbourne resident was apprehended by undercover police in November 2017, after admitting to them that he was planning to shoot civilians and take hostages just before the New Year’s Eve countdown, telling officers, “I’m planning to go hard.”

“You planned to commit an evil act, designed to cause the deaths of many innocent people,” Victorian Supreme Court Justice John Champion said during a sentencing hearing on Thursday.

“The prospect of randomly opening fire into a crowd of civilians with a rapid-fire weapon is a horrifying state of affairs to contemplate.”

According to media, the man became radicalized after he consumed Islamic State propaganda in 2016 and was fueled by a hatred for the community.

The man’s brother was also influenced by the group and in 2018 was shot dead by police after stabbing and killing a cafe owner in the Melbourne CBD, in an apparent terrorist attack.

During sentencing, Champion acknowledged that the 23-year-old was remorseful, having apologized for his actions and renouncing IS and what he says it did to his brother.

“I’m deeply sorry for what my actions were… I was just an angry person,” he said at the time.

He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of seven years and six months.

(XINHUA)

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Economy

Oil prices climb as U.S. stock drawdown eases supply glut fears

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Oil prices advanced on Thursday as a drawdown of the U.S. crude inventories and output cuts by major producers helped ease concerns about a supply glut, though lingering fears over the global economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic capped gains.

Brent crude futures for July delivery were trading up 33 cents, or 0.9 per cent, at $36.08 per barrel at 0344 GMT, rising for a second day.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for July were up 20 cents, or 0.6 per cent, at $33.69 a barrel, extending its gains into a sixth straight session.

The U.S. crude inventories fell by five million barrels last week, against expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.2 million-barrel rise, Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showed, while stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub dropped by 5.6 million barrels.

“While signs that WTI storage pressures are abating is positive for prices, the latest report shows that the fall in stocks owes more to supply factors than growing product demand,’’ Capital Economics said in a note issued on Wednesday.

Prices have been boosted lately by shipping data showing the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other allies, a group known as OPEC+, are complying with their pledge to cut 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd).

OPEC itself is encouraged by the rally in prices and strong adherence to output cut pledges, its secretary general said, although sources say the group has not ruled out further steps to support the market.

“With supply being managed through the compliance among OPEC+ and demand recovering in North Asia, particularly in China, things are moving in the right direction in terms of supporting oil prices,’’ said Victor Shum, Vice President of Energy Consulting at IHS Markit.

“If there is no surprise in a second or third wave in the virus attack and key members of OPEC+, Saudi Arabia in particular, are doing more cuts, we expect a gradual recovery will continue in the second half,’’ he said.

In fact, physical crude markets are signalling a rapid shift from an enormous over-supply at the height of the coronavirus lockdowns in April towards an expected under-supply in the second half of the year.

Still, concerns about the lasting economic impact from the pandemic, especially in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer, have applied downward pressure on prices.

Federal Reserve policymakers repeated a vow to take all steps necessary to shore up the U.S. economy, minutes from the U.S. central bank’s April 28-29 policy meeting released on Wednesday showed.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Foreign

U.S. crude oil production decreases last week: EIA

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U.S. crude oil production decreased during the week ending May 15, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Wednesday.

According to the EIA, U.S. crude oil production averaged 11.5 million barrels per day (b/d) last week, down by 100,000 b/d from the previous week and down by 500,000 b/d this time last year.

Oil prices gained on Wednesday after data showed a surprise drop in U.S. crude inventories.

The West Texas Intermediate for July delivery rose 1.53 U.S. dollars to settle at 33.49 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for July delivery was up 1.10 dollars to close at 35.75 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

(XINHUA)

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Science & Technology

NigComSat partners with Trefoil Networks to promote local content programming

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Nigerian Communication Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT), in collaboration with Trefoil Networks, on Wednesday launched an indigenous television network to promote local content programming.

The launch was held during a news briefing in Abuja.

The Managing Director of NIGCOMSAT, Mrs Abimbola Alale, said from the satellite distribution service to the local manufacturing of the set up boxes and local programming content is totally Nigerian.

The MD, who was represented by the General Manager, Corporate Affairs Directorate, Mr Adamu Idris, called on other potential clients to take advantage of the resources on board NigComSat-1R satellite, to achieve their ICT related goals and objectives.

“We have available capacity on C-band, Ku-band and Ka-band for Transponder lease, capacity on demand, satellite broadband, DTH services and others,” she said.

The Managing Director of Trefoil Networks, Mr Onochie Amasiani said the new satellite TV is a hybrid platform that offers completely Free-to-View channels with no monthly subscription, PVF and IP to watch YouTube and other Over-the-Air.

“We started the journey some years back and has culminated into what we are all proud of and to be associated with it.

” We know there are various players in the market but OurTV has a unique value proposition, which every Nigerian, home, family and business will be proud to associate with.

” Every Nigerian home will ask for OurTV for entertainment, relaxation, news, education, kids, and for everything you value from Television,” he said.

The Head of TV, Trefoil Networks Limited, Miss Braide Sayaba said the launch of the new digital satellite TV transmitting via NigComSat 1R known as ‘OurTV’ is the first and only H265 DTH Satellite TV in Africa with 18 exciting channels.

” We started our first transmission in 2015; today, Trefoil Networks is flagging off sales of OurTV decoders nationwide.

“Our customers can get our exclusive channels without monthly subscription. All they need is to buy the decoder which costs N11,900.

” OurTV is the definition of local content. Homegrown content, aggregated by Nigerians, transmitting on a Nigerian Satellite and being received through decoders made in Nigeria.

” The contents of the channels are safe for both children and adults. These channels cut across all demographics and genres.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports Trefoil Networks Limited is a Technology Company with focus on Information and Communication Technology, Broadcast, Network and Internet Solutions.

It is incorporated in Nigeria and licensed by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

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Foreign

U.S. crude oil inventories decrease last week: EIA

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U.S. crude oil inventories decreased during the week ending May 15, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a report on Wednesday.

According to the Weekly Petroleum Status Report, U.S. commercial crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, decreased by 5.0 million barrels from the previous week.

At 526.5 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories were about 10 percent above the five-year average for this time of year.

According to the EIA, total motor gasoline inventories increased by 2.8 million barrels last week and were about 10 percent above the five-year average for this time of year. Finished gasoline and blending components inventories both increased last week.

Distillate fuel inventories increased by 3.8 million barrels last week and were about 19 percent above the five-year average for this time of year.

Propane/propylene inventories increased by 1.1 million barrels last week and were about 14 percent above the five-year average for this time of year. Total commercial petroleum inventories increased last week by 5.0 million barrels last week.

(XINHUA)

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General news

FEC approves N2.9bn for procurement fire service equipment for Odukpani Oil and Gas Park

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday approved N2.9billion for the provision of water and fire service equipment in the National Oil and Gas Park to be sited in Odukpani, Cross River State

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Slyva, made this known at the end of the second session of the virtual meeting of the FEC coordinated from the Council Chamber of the State House, Abuja.

According to the minister, the project when completed, will provide additional infrastructural facility for the manufacturing of Oil and Gas components for the sector and boost economic activities in Cross River.

“Today, Council approved the provision of water and fire service equipment in the National Oil and Gas Park to be sited in Odukpani, Cross River State, in the sum of N2.9billion.

“The oil and gas scheme is to provide an environment, a corridor for citing industries that would produce components locally for the oil and gas industry.

“Of course, these parks will create jobs and also increase local capacity and participation in the oil and gas industry,’’ he said.

The Federal Executive Council also approved N610 million for the construction of a Faculty of Health Services at the Plateau State University, Bokkos, Plateau State.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this while speaking on the outcome of the virtual FEC meeting.

He said: “The Minister of Education today presented a memo seeking approval of council for the award of contract for the construction, equipping and furnishing of a faculty of Health Sciences in Plateau State University, Bokkos.

“It was awarded at the cost of N610, 355, 221.82 and the completion period is for 52 weeks.

“Also, a procurement of furniture and equipment was awarded at N114, 357, 600 and completion period is 12 weeks.”

In his contribution, the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, revealed that the Council approved 454,000 dollars for sea-time training for the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme for cadets on-board Foreign-going Vessels by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA).

The objectives of the Consultancy training services, according to the minister, are as follows:

1. To build capacity of the Nigerian Youths to take over the lucrative jobs available in the maritime sector, hitherto dominated by foreigners locally and to export excess Nigerian seamen to fill available spaces globally.

2. To enable over 1000 idling Nigeria seafarers that have graduated but yet to obtain requisite certificate of competency required of them, so as to be gainfully employed as officers and masters on board ships.

3. There is currently global scarcity of sea-time training spaces on-board merchant ship, thereby making it imperative for NIMASA to take advantage of the opportunity to build requisite capacity.

4. The need to further reduce unemployment rate in the country and the fact that Messr SWETS MARINE have given guarantee of adequate spaces to absorb 170 cadets, in addition to guaranteeing job placement on-board Chevron vessels for all cadets that would excel during the training.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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General news

COVID-19: Oil firm donates foodstuffs, protective materials to host communities in Delta

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The Midwestern Oil and Gas Company Ltd.  and its Joint Venture Partner, SunTrust Oil Company Nigeria Ltd. on Wednesday donated foodstuffs and face masks worth millions of naira to their host communities in Delta.

Mr Charles Odita,  the Managing Director of the company, said in Utagba-Ogbe, Kwale, Ndokwa West Local Government Area of the State, that the palliatives were to cushion the effect of the  COVID -19 pandemic on the people.

He said that the donation team was led by the Midwestern’s Head, Community Affairs, Mr Williams Eboh, in the company of the Community Liaison Officers, Mr Chukwuyenum Osuya and Mr Donatus Onah.

He added that the donation was supervised by members of the Community Accredited Contactmen Committee (CACC) during the distribution.

The managing director explained that the lockdown had inflicted hardship on the people, adding that the palliatives would help to ease the burden, particularly for the vulnerable in the 15 quarters that constitute the host community.

He said that the benefiting communities of the indigenous oil firm were the 15 main quarters in Umusadege, Umusam, and Ogbeani of Utagba-Ogbe, Kwale, Ndokwa West Local Government Area of Delta.

According to Odita, the COVID-19 lockdown palliatives gesture, which is synonymous with the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities in the society where they operate, were received with joy.

“As the lockdown occasioned by the dreaded coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the livelihood of the vulnerable in the society, Midwestern Oil and Gas Company Limited and its Joint Venture Partner, SunTrust Oil Company Nigeria Limited had provided for their host communities.

“The company donated four of 100kg bag of beans, 55 of 50kg bags of rice, 140 cartons of noodles, 20 gallons of palm oil, 280 of 1kg bags of salt, 2,900 gloves, 2,900 face masks and 3,000 informative flyers titled ‘Midwestern COVID-19 Safety tips.

“This is the usual way that the company reciprocates the cordial relationship that it enjoys from the community.

“We hope that by this effort, the citizens are encouraged to abide by the orders of the State Government, especially the stay-at-home order.

“The benefiting families are Umuegwor, Umuachi Ossai, Umunze Ogbe and Umuazaka Anie in Ogbeani Community; Umuadabam, Umuagbor, Ukuokole and Umuoluem in Umusam Community;  Umuebo, Umueleke, Umuachi, Umuakala, Umualama Ossai, Umunze and Umubeneku in Umusadege Community”.

The managing director said that the process of distributing the palliatives also afforded the company an opportunity to preach the essence of social distancing, washing of hands and other best approach of staying away from the pandemic.

Responding after receiving the palliatives,  Gilbert Enebuse, Spokesman of Ogbeani Community, Chief Okpu, Secretary of Umusam Communty and Mr Ezeoba Osondu, Umusadege Youth leader on behalf of their Okpala-Ukus (Head of Clans), thanked the oil firms for the donation.

Also, Anslem Nzete, who spoke on behalf of the Community Accredited Contactmen Committee, lauded the firms for their kind gesture and challenged other organisations to emulate them .

Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

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Foreign

China, OPEC agree to work closely to stabilise oil market suffering from COVID-19

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China, one of the largest consumers of oil in the world, and the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have agreed to work together to stabilise the oil market.

OPEC said this on Wednesday during a bilateral meeting.

The oil market is suffering from falling demand and low prices in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The “milestone” talks between the Chinese delegation and OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo were held on Thursday in an online format, according to the cartel.

“The meeting reflected on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy and oil market, as well as China’s domestic oil market, the rebalancing process of oil supply and demand, and China’s solutions for and optimisation of the oil and gas trade system.

“The meeting also reached a consensus on the importance of energy security and maintaining stability in the energy markets, strengthening collaboration between OPEC and China,” OPEC said in a statement.

Oil prices fell dramatically earlier this year against the background of the global coronavirus outbreak, which resulted in the implementation of lockdown measures and the suspension of production.

As China and a number of other countries are now resuming domestic production, the oil market is expected to stabilise by the end of 2020.

The OPEC+ countries, as well as oil producers from a wider G20 group of nations, such as the U.S., Brazil and Canada, reached the oil production cut deal in mid-April.

The deal envisages a reduction in oil production by the OPEC+ group by 9.7 million barrels per day for two months starting on May 1, and possibly up to 15 million barrels daily with the G20 nations taken into account.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Economy

Oil rises on signs of firmer demand, fall in U.S. crude stocks

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Oil prices rose on Wednesday amid signs of improving demand and a drawdown in the U.S. crude inventories but worries over the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic capped gains.

Brent crude futures for July delivery were up 23 cents, or 0.7 per cent, at $34.88 per barrel at 0347 GMT.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for July CLc1 were up 14 cents, or 0.4 per cent, at $32.10 a barrel.

The July contract closed on Tuesday at $31.96, up by one per cent.

The June contract expired on Tuesday at $32.50 a barrel, up 2.1 per cent, as the WTI futures market avoided the chaos of last month’s May expiry when prices sank below zero.

Oil prices have mainly risen during the past three weeks, with both benchmarks climbing above $30 for the first time in more than a month on Monday.

This was supported by massive output cuts by major oil-producing countries and signs of improving demand.

The U.S. crude inventories fell by 4.8 million barrels to 521.3 million barrels in the week to May 15, data from industry group, the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed on Tuesday.

Refinery runs rose by 229,000 barrels per day, the API said, a sign that plants are trying to produce more fuel as the U.S. eases its lockdowns put in place to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Official data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) is due at 10.30 a.m. (1430 GMT) on Wednesday.

“Oil markets have worried about high crude inventories but yesterday the WTI June contract expired and rolled over to July smoothly as concerns over crude stocks ease and demand have improved in the short-term,’’ said Kim Kwang-rae, commodity analyst at Samsung Securities in Seoul.

Asia’s gasoline profit margins turned positive on Tuesday for the first in nearly two months, giving hope to global oil refiners.

But lingering concerns about the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, especially in the U.S., which is the world’s biggest oil consumer, kept a lid on prices.

The U.S. Federal Reserve Chair, Jerome Powell, said on Tuesday layoffs by state and local governments will slow the U.S. economic recovery.

But Boston Federal Reserve Bank President, Eric Rosengren, said the U.S. unemployment rate is likely to stay at double-digit levels through the end of the year.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Foreign

2 killed after oil truck, car collide in Yemen’s Aden

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Two people were killed and three others were injured after an oil carrier truck and a car collided in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden on Tuesday, a security official told Xinhua.

The local security source said on condition of anonymity that “collision of a truck loaded with oil and a car caused a huge fire that killed two people and injured three others in Aden’s neighborhood of Mansourah.”

The collision’s fire also burned a number of residential buildings nearby and caused some damage, he said.

He added that the injured people were taken to hospital, one of them was with life-threatening injuries.

Local Yemeni police forces arrived at the scene and began an investigation into the incident.

The southern port city of Aden is considered as Yemen’s temporary capital where the Saudi-backed Yemeni government has been based since 2015.

The impoverished Arab country has been locked into a civil war since late 2014, when the Houthi rebels overran much of the country and seized all northern provinces, including the capital Sanaa.

(XINHUA)

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