Items filtered by date: Monday, 07 January 2019
A Niger Delta militant group, that styles itself Koluama Seven Brothers on Sunday said it carried out a “warning” strike on an oil facility owned by energy company Conoil in Bayelsa.
 
The attack was carried out on Friday, by the new group at 12:20 a.m. on Jan. 4 at Conoil’s Angle 2 Field.
 
The group said the attack “is just a warning”.
 
The organization said it had “no other option than to launch a strike to shut down Conoil” if demands were not met.
 
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps confirmed that a blast was heard on Friday around a Conoil pipeline in Bayelsa.
 
The militants threatened a production shut down at the facility owned by Mike Adenuga.
 
The Koluama Seven Brothers said in a statement it would carry out further strikes if its demands, including job creation, were not met by the company and a traditional leader.
 
Conoil Producing Nigeria operates six highly prospective blocks in the Niger Delta and produces over 80,000 barrels of oil per day, according to information on its website.
 
Attacks on pipelines and other facilities in the Niger Delta reached a peak in 2016, cutting Nigeria’s crude production from as much as 2.2 million barrels per day (mbpd) to near 1 mbpd – the lowest level seen in at least 30 years.
 
 
Source: Routers
Published in Business
The annual report of Moody’s Investors Service has predicted that prices of Oil and natural gas will be volatile in 2019.
 
The report, which outlined key credit themes in oil and gas for 2019, noted that while the recent announcement that OPEC and Russia would cut production helps alleviate concerns about oversupply, the pivotal questions in the coming year is whether OPEC and Russia would maintain their production discipline and what might happen in June, when the current agreement expires.
 
According to the report, Moody’s expects the medium-term price band for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude, the main North American benchmark, to be $50-$70 per barrel (bbl), and North American natural gas at Henry Hub to average $2.50-$3.50/MMBtu.
 
The report reads in part: “Market expectations for continued strong oil demand growth remain in place, despite concerns about slowing demand growth as a result of weaker economic growth, the impact of tariffs and a strong US dollar,” Moody’s Managing Director for Oil & Gas, Steve Wood said.
 
“Very high Saudi and Russian production, in particular, has heightened supply volatility, so whether OPEC and Russia maintain production discipline and renew agreements to limit output are key concerns going into the new year.”
 
Moody’s also stated in the report that Investors in exploration and production companies would continue to wait for better returns in 2019.
 
It also added that although capital efficiency has improved and commodity prices are higher than in 2015-16, infrastructure constraints have lifted transportation costs.
 
“And though the oilfield services sector would see earnings increase by 10-15 per cent, they currently remain at low levels, and most of the recovery would occur only later in the year.
 
“Conversely, refiners’ distillate margins would begin to expand from already strong levels in the second half of next year.
 
“In North America, wide differentials for regional oil and natural gas would narrow as infrastructure coming into service in late 2019 and 2020 eases bottlenecks in the Permian Basin, western Canada and other regions, relieving stress on commodity prices.
 
“Meanwhile, the Mexican energy sector faces risks from factors including a new government policy that shifts PEMEX toward refining and away from oil production, and Asian national oil companies contend with risks from volatile commodity prices, rising shareholder returns and evolving fuel-price regulations.
 
“While we will see only a gradual increase in rig activity in 2019, oilfield services (OFS) costs will likely rise over the medium term. Higher oil prices will encourage more production activity, which will stimulate already rising OFS prices, raising the breakeven cost of the marginal barrel and potentially raising medium-term oil prices.
 
“In North America, strong demand from shale producers is driving up pricing for high-calibre “super spec” drilling rigs, and for various production services. In Texas, strong economic growth and low unemployment have led to widespread labour shortages, escalating labour cost inflation. International activity is picking up in certain markets.
 
“But it will take higher oil prices to develop the more expensive conventional barrels that are ultimately needed to meet increasing global demand and offset natural production declines.
 
“Prices toward the upper end of the oil price-band will encourage increased supply as US production grows and OPEC countries reduce their compliance with their production quotas.
 
“Shale oil production in particular features relatively low extraction costs and short time lags from drilling to production, and shale’s drilling efficiencies have increased substantially over the past few years. US shale producers are paying increasing attention to capital discipline and return-focused performance, but even at current lower prices, we believe US shale production will continue to grow, increasing global production and keeping a lid on prices.
 
“We believe prices will remain largely within our expected range —although they will be volatile—amid increases in US shale production, reduced but still significant global supplies, and potential declining compliance with agreed production cuts, especially if growth in demand is more tepid,” the report added.
 
 
Source: NAN
Published in Business
The Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) has said that Nigeria’s electronic payment (e-payment) services recorded transactions worth N56.85 trillion from January to September 2018.
 
This is contained in a report the NIBSS released recently.
 
The report showed an increase of N16.4 trillion when compared to the N40.45 trillion that was recorded in the corresponding period of 2017.
 
The report also showed that most of the electronic transactions were done through the NIBSS Instant Payment (NIP), Point of Sale (PoS), Automated Transfer Machines (ATMs), Mobile Money, Electronic Bills Payment (E-Bills) and Web payments.
 
Breaking down the transactions, the report showed that ATMs transactions grew from N4.61 trillion in 2017 to N4.76 trillion at the end of the third quarter of 2018.
 
Also, the volume of transactions on ATMs under the period in review grew from 560.86 million in 2017 to 650.06 million in 2018.
 
The report also showed that the use of PoS as a means of payment by Nigerians grew by about N635 billion.
 
Under the reviewed period, 98.73 million transactions worth N975 billion were carried out using PoS in 2017, while in 2018, the volume grew to 196.83 million, valued at N1.61 trillion.
 
The volume of transactions carried out by Nigerians, using mobile money also rose from N795.18 billion in 2017 to N1.22 trillion as at September 2018.
 
Also, using the web payment channel, the total value of transactions under the reviewed period rose from N129.24 billion in 2017 to N183.07 billion in 2018.
 
The value of transactions on e-bill payments, which allowed customers to pay utility bills such as power, cable and so on online, however declined from N420.73 billion in 2017 to N370 billion in 2018.
 
 
Source: The Ripples
Published in Bank & Finance

Kenya’s earnings from tourism jumped by almost a third in 2018 from the previous year to 157.4 billion shillings ($1.55 billion), after the number of visitors rose by 37 percent, the tourism ministry said on Monday.

 

Credit: Reuters

Published in Travel & Tourism

Preliminary results from Democratic Republic of Congo’s tumultuous presidential election will be delayed past Sunday’s deadline, the head of the election commission told Reuters.

The commission, known as CENI, had received only 47 percent of vote tally sheets as of Saturday, said its president, Corneille Nangaa, and it was not yet clear when the results would be ready.

The delay is the latest setback in a disorganised poll to pick a successor to President Joseph Kabila, who has ruled the country of 80 million people since his father was assassinated in 2001.

The Dec. 30 vote could mark Congo’s first democratic transition of power since independence from Belgium in 1960. But tensions rose after observers reported a litany of irregularities that the opposition says are part of the ruling party’s effort to steal the election.

The opposition, represented by its two main candidates Martin Fayulu and Felix Tshisekedi, and the ruling coalition all say their candidates have won.

“It will not be possible to announce the results tomorrow,” Nangaa said.

A CENI spokesman later said that the commission was holding a meeting on Sunday to decide when they will be announced.

Worried that disputes and delays could spark the kind of violence seen after the 2006 and 2011 elections, the United Nations Security Council met on Friday to discuss how to react, but was unable to reach an agreement, according to an internal report seen by Reuters.

The United States condemned a lack of transparency in the contest, while China, a major investor, lauded the process.

“Tensions were mounting while the CENI tabulated the results, notably in light of posturing by parties and candidates,” Leila Zerrougui, head of the UN Stabilization Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo, told the meeting, according to the internal report.

But the 15 council members “differed in their appreciation of the problems that beset the process and were divided over the question of whether the Council should issue a press statement”, the report went on to say.

A negative international reaction could be problematic for Kabila, whose government has defended the election’s organisation, and could weaken the legitimacy of Kabila’s hand-picked successor, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, should he be declared winner.

INFLAME THE SITUATION
In the meeting, France pushed for the publication of a statement that recognised that Congo’s election had allowed people to exercise their democratic right and called for calm, but criticised the government’s decision to cut access to the Internet and some media outlets.

The United States, which has threatened to impose sanctions against those who undermine the election process and has deployed troops to Gabon in case its citizens need rescuing from any violence, backed the statement, alongside Britain, Ivory Coast, Belgium and others.

South Africa, long a Kabila ally, said the statement could “inflame” the situation if issued before the results, the report said. Russia said it could be seen as an attempt to skew public opinion. China “lauded the manner in which elections were conducted”, the report said, and said a statement should not be published before the results.

Congo’s Catholic church body, CENCO, said this week that it had identified the victor based on its own tallies collected by 40,000 observers, though it did not name the winner. The declaration was widely seen as a warning to authorities against rigging the vote.

 

- Reuters

Published in Economy
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