Monday, February 26, 2024
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Seplat Passes Vote Of Confidence On Embattled CEO

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…describes allegations against him as ‘spurious’

Seplat Energy Board has unanimously passed a vote of confidence on its embattled chief executive officer, Mr. Roger, describing allegations him as “spurious allegations, being vindictive reaction to the board’s enforcement of corporate governance standards.”

Last week, a Federal High Court in Lagos issued an interim order restricting Mr. Roger Brown from everyday running and management of the company as the chief executive, either by himself or by proxies or agents

The court said the situation would suffice until a decision is reached on a motion by some stakeholders on notice for interlocutory injunction.
The petitioners involved are Moses Igbrude, Ajani Abidoye, Sarat Kudaisi, Robert Ibekwe and Kenneth Nnabike. They prayed for the court to grant an order restraining the board chairman Mr. Basil Omiyi, and all independent non-executive directors of Seplat Energy from running the company’s affairs “in an illegal, unfairly, prejudicial and oppressive manner pending the hearing and determination of the petitioners’ motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.”

Also Read: Court Bars Seplat Energy CEO From Management Activities

The company said it “it believes these allegations are a spurious and vindictive reaction to the board’s enforcement of corporate governance standards and a determination to continue to uphold their fiduciary duties and loyalty to the company.

“The board of Seplat Energy has unanimously passed a vote of confidence in Mr. Brown as the CEO. The interim orders are premised on allegations of unfair, prejudicial, and offensive acts by the chairman, CEO and all of the independent non-executive directors (INEDs) of Seplat Energy,” the statement signed by the board chairman, Mr. Omiyi stated

“Since Mr. Brown became CEO in 2020, Nigerian nationals have been appointed to the company’s most important positions, including chairman, senior independent non[1]executive director, chief financial officer and chief operating officer.

Also Read: Nigeria’s Energy Transition In Focus At Middle East Energy Conference

“The order allows the chairman, Mr. Basil Omiyi, and all the INEDs of Seplat Energy to continue running the affairs of the company on the basis that it is in accordance with Nigerian law. Mr. Brown has delegated authority to Mr. Samson Ezugworie, chief operating officer, to act as CEO during the period that he is required to step back from his executive duties,” Seplat Energy said

The company however said that it would follow due process of law in responding to the allegations before the courts. At the same time, the company will continue to maintain its operational excellence and act in line with the best corporate governance standards.

By Ken Okoye

NNPC, NUPRC Differ On Nigeria’s Increased Oil Output Data

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Nigeria’s Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission’s (NUPRC) has differed with the group chief executive officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company [NNPC], Mr. Mele Kyari, on the increase in the country’s oil production.
In Nigeria, NUPRC is mandated with the responsibility of ensuring compliance to petroleum laws, regulations and guidelines in the upstream oil and gas sector.

Early Last week, the NNPC boss disclosed that Nigeria’s oil production had increased to 1.6 million barrels per day (mb/d), but a most recent oil production status report from the NUPRC indicates that production stood at 1.547mb/d as at February 2023.
According to the Commission’s data, Nigeria’s crude oil output increased by 3.82% month-on-month (M-o-M) from 1.258mb/d in January to 1.306mb/d in February, the highest level in 13 months.

Total oil production, which includes blended and unblended condensates, increased from 1.494 mb/d in January to 1.547 mb/d in February.
It is believed that in addition to the campaign against oil theft and vandalism, the increase in the country’s oil rig count in the January OPEC report indicates that more in-fill wells from some oil fields are currently being drilled.

Also Read: Nigeria Positioned For Over $200bn In Deep Water New Investments – NUPRC

This is possibly related to the restart of some shut-in well and the recent auction of marginal oil fields. Analysts say, to maintain the trajectory of increasing oil production to analysts’ forecast of 1.661mb/d, the sector must internalize security surveillance and technological innovations as done in Saudi Arabia and Russia.

The increase in February reveals a 3.8% increase when compared with the figure recorded a month earlier, in January 2023, which stood at 1,258,150bpd.

The figures further showed that although the volume of crude oil produced during the period was 1,306,304 bpd, the total volume of production output was increased to 1,547,719bpd, when the blended condensates of 51,664bpd, and unblended condensates of 189,751bpd, were added.

Nigeria’s production share by OPEC has been set at 1.8 millionbpd but the country has over time, fallen short of delivering this volume of production due to the myriad of challenges facing the oil sector.

Also Read: NCDMB, BOI Launch $50m Fund For Oil Sector Manufacturers

After failing to meet this production target, Nigeria lost its place to Angola and Libya as Africa’s top crude oil producer for two consecutive months, a position it later regained in November 2022 when production increased.

Between January and November 2022, Nigeria’s crude oil production shortfall was 6.9 million bpd.
The shortfall has been fingered on the activities of oil thieves and pipeline vandals. However, another update from the upstream regulator has linked some of the losses in the oil and gas sector to poor measurement systems.

By Ken Okoye

Head Of Libya Oil Corporation Assures That American Oil Firms Will Return

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Farhat Bengdara, the new chief of Libya's National Oil Corporation who was appointed by the Tripoli-based Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah, gives a press conference outside the corporation's headquarters in the capital Tripoli on July 14, 2022. - The new chief took office at Libya's National Oil Corporation on July 14 in place of veteran technocrat Sanalla, prompting the United States to warn against any "armed confrontation" over the vital sector. Oil is often at the heart of political rivalries in Libya, which has two governments, one in Tripoli led by Abdulhamid Dbeibah, appointed last year as part of a United Nations-backed peace process aimed to end more than a decade of violence in the North African country. (Photo by Mahmud Turkia / AFP)

The chairman of the Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC), Farhat Bingdara, has stressed the importance of American companies returning to work in the Libyan oil and gas sector.

Many oil workers from the American region were forced to leave Libya by the Moumar Gadaffi. Many others who remained vacated from the North African country when the push to overthrow Gadaffi peaked, whereas the troops loyal to Gadaffi said America was directly involved in the crisis.

Although the hostilities left the trenches for diplomacy and tolerance, the Libyan example became typical as it exists as one country with two governments, each controlling determined locations of the country.

Also Read: Africa’s Oil Industry Is Set To Flourish In 2023

Returning from the recently held CERAWeek conference, Bingdara who heads one of Libya’s governments, said confirmed meetings by the NOC delegation with business leaders, heads of energy business for various governments.

The CERAWeek Conference, which is considered the most important annual event for international oil, gas and energy companies and institutions, which is organized every year in Houston, USA

Bingdara confirmed the offline meetings and expressed the hope that soon the Americans will return to Libya.
Some of the important American personalities Bingdara and his delegation met include U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Geoffrey Pyatt, the Deputy Minister of Energy David Turk, and the Security of State for North Africa, Victoria Taylor.

Also Read: Nigeria’s Energy Transition In Focus At Middle East Energy Conference

The media office of the National Oil Corporation said the American side affirmed during the meetings “its support for NOC, and its keenness on the success of its efforts in implementing its strategy in capacity-building, raising oil and gas production, developing oil industries and refineries, and its efforts in protecting the environment, praising the increase in oil production and its stability under the new management of the Corporation.”

By Bosco Agba

Protests: LNG Import Terminals in France Grounded With Little Respite In Sight

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Reports from France says the strikes against a labor market reform have shut down the LNG import terminals, even as the impact continues this week.

French union representatives told Reuters on Monday that the massive protests and strikes in many sectors are in response to a proposal by French President Emmanuel Macron to raise the retirement age by two years to 64.

Media reports said the strikes and street protests against the pension reform have disrupted power supply, refining operations, fuel deliveries and other petroleum sector activities for more than a week.

Despite the strikes and protests, last weekend the French Senate voted in favor of the proposed reform. The bill has yet to clear other legislative hurdles, including votes in both houses and a committee of the Senate and the lower house, the National Assembly.
The disruption at France’s LNG terminals is expected to last beyond March 14, a union official told Reuters today.

Also Read: Council And EU Parliament Agree On Energy Efficiency Plan

“All the gas terminals and storages are in the hands of the strikers. Terminals are shut down. There is a decline in storage,” the union official added.

France has four LNG receiving terminals, Dunkirk, Montoir, Fos Cavaou, and Fos Tonkin. The Montoir, Fos Cavaou, and Fos Tonkin LNG import terminals have been offline since March 6, and will be out of operations until March 14, the operator of the facilities Elengy told Kpler last week.

Last week, deliveries to Europe and Turkey fell by nearly 19%, according to ship-tracking data by Kpler cited by Montel. Europe’s LNG imports could be the lowest since October 2022, according to Kpler.

Also Read: UK Residents Warned To Prepare For Tight Power Supply

The halted operations at the French LNG import terminals sent the European benchmark gas price at the TTF hub up by 25% over Thursday and Friday last week, also due to a cold snap in northwest Europe and renewed concerns about France’s nuclear power fleet availability. On Monday, prices were down in Amsterdam trade, due to higher wind power generation across northwest Europe and a weather outlook for milder temperatures.

By Bosco Agba

Ivory Coast Seals Solar Power Deal With Abu Dhabi’s Clean Energy Firm, Masdar

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Ivory Coast and Abu Dhabi’s clean energy company Masdar has signed an agreement to explore the development of a solar power plant.
The deal is a part of the UAE’s “Etihad 7″ programme, which seeks to finance renewable energy projects in Africa, with the aim of reaching a capacity of 20 gigawatts by 2035.

The West African country’s energy and mining ministry and Masdar are looking at the prospects of jointly developing solar photovoltaic plants in the West African country, starting with a project with a capacity that is between 50 megawatts and 70MW, the company said on Friday.

“With Africa’s massive projected development and growth, and low current clean energy penetration levels, we see enormous potential for the renewable energy sector across the continent,” said Masdar chief executive, Mohamed Al Ramahi.

“This agreement will support [the Ivory Coast’s] clean energy goals and help to drive sustainable economic development for the nation.”
Ivory Coast aims to produce 45% of electricity from clean energy sources by 2030. In January, Masdar signed agreements with three African countries to develop renewable energy projects with a combined capacity of up to five gigawatts.

Also Read: World Bank Advances $64m For Solar Energy And Electricity Storage In Togo

Last year, it signed an agreement with the Tanzania Electric Supply Company to develop renewable energy projects with a total capacity of up to two gigawatts.

Mamadou Coulibaly, the Ivory Coast’s minister of mining, petroleum and energy, said his country had drawn up a master plan for the development of its plants, which integrates solar, hydroelectric and biomass sources.

“The framework agreement [with Masdar] … will contribute, in addition to the other initiatives that the Ivorian government is undertaking, to achieving this ambitious objective,” he said.

Despite efforts to increase power generation in Africa, it remains the least electrified continent in the world, with about 600 million people lacking access.

The Covid-19 pandemic worsened the situation due to lockdowns, supply chain disruptions and the diversion of funds by governments.
The economic impact of the pandemic left more than 30 million people unable to pay for electricity in 2020, mainly in Africa, according to the International Energy Agency.

Between 2000 and 2013, eight million people in Africa gained access to electricity annually. That number tripled to 24 million in the years between 2014 and 2019, the agency has said.

Also Read: Burkina Faso Launches Africa UN-Led Minigrids Program For Rural Electrification

Last Thursday, Infinity Power Holding — a joint venture between Egypt’s Infinity and Masdar — and Conjuncta GmbH, a German project developer, signed an initial agreement with Mauritania to develop a green hydrogen project.
The project, which will be spread over four phases, is expected to produce up to eight million tonnes of green hydrogen or other renewable fuels of non-biological origins upon completion.

Masdar is currently active in more than 40 countries and has invested or committed to invest in projects worth more than $30 billion.
The company, which continues to boost its clean energy portfolio, has an ambitious target to grow its capacity to at least 100 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity globally by 2030.

40% Oil Loss Attributable To Measurement Inaccuracies

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That Nigeria has lost a lot of revenue from oil is a fact. However, unknown to many, 40 per cent of this is caused by measuring inaccuracies in the system. Determined to put a stop to this, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) says it will no longer be business as usual for operators in the upstream sector who are used to using their meters for the measurement. The NUPRC Chief Executive officer, Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, explains that the era where the International Oil Companies (IOCs) are judges in their case is over. Komolafe further says all hands are on deck to ensure that the country meets its OPEC allocated oil production quota of 1.8 mbpd. He talks on other industry issues in this interview with JOHN OFIKHENUA.‘

Ques: Assess the upstream sector of the petroleum industry?

Talking quite frankly, the oil industry is experiencing a very difficult moment. The situation is very challenging. The upstream sector is experiencing a very challenging moment. And I will illustrate this with a number of factors. Incidentally, in the last eight years, much attention has not been paid to certain factors. Of course, there has been so much concern about the incident of crude oil theft, which of course, has impacted negatively on the volume of national oil production as well as the federation revenue.

But, what I want to point out is that the problem in the upstream is far beyond the issue of crude oil theft. It has not only been compounded by crude oil theft alone, but also the issue of low investment. That aspect needs to be looked at.
As I said, an authoritative report by McKenzie showed that between 2014 and 2022 investment in the industry dropped by about 74%. Specifically, capital investment in the industry dropped from about $27billion to $6billion.

This is very depressing. So, the impact of that alone is devastating. So, when I started by saying the upstream is faced with a very challenging hurdle, looking at it, the next question is probably needed to be looked at is what would have happened just within eight years? Yes, there are a number of factors that the upstream has become very challenging for investment.
Of course, we have the negative impact of crude oil theft. We were equally waiting for the Industry Act to provide clarity and certainty to investors. And, of course, the issue of subsidy regime that has incapacitated the NNPC in meeting its JVC cash-call. So these combined to make the industry challenging

Ques: Recently, you said inaccurate measurement was accountable for 40 per cent of crude oil losses in the country. Can you expatiate on this I was explaining from the ambit of the question you earlier raised as to our achievements. Of course as part of our regulatory focus and what we call achievements are concerned about strengthening hydrocarbon accounting in the country.

While we are putting our efforts in ensuring increasing production, increased production cannot translate to optimal revenue where you have leakages. You have to mitigate or curb leakages, sustain increased production for you to have optimised hydrocarbon revenue to the government’s federation account.

So, in the process of doing this we set up an expert committee of consultants and the commission to, actually, try to establish forensically the volume of crude oil losses just for over a period of two years – 2020 to 2022. And that, again, arose from the background of the conflicting figures that were being bandied around.

We felt duty bound owing to our statutory responsibility under the Act to avail the public with the actual figure of crude oil losses as a responsible regulator.

And again drawing from the fact that for us the figure that were being bandied were not mere data but revenue because those figures should lead to federation revenue as the oil and gas royalty is derived from the net crude.
If we are talking in terms of losses we need to actually establish it so that we know as a regulator, which is responsible to the nation that this is the exact amount of revenue that are attributable to these losses.

For us, it is not mere statistics. We set out to establish that and by the time the report was presented we found it very shocking that 39.9% which is roughly 40% of the adjudged losses were attributable to Measurement Inaccuracies (MI).
When we looked at that figure it further reinforces one of our regulatory area of focus that there is need to strengthen transparency in our hydrocarbon accounting because 40% is staggering.

As we speak, we have put in place a draft of measurement regulation that is in the process of being gazetted; it has passed through the regulation making the process as prescribed in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA). With that the time we begin to implement the measurement regulation seamlessly, the net effect is that we will be able to reduce that number (40% MI) to what we call industry allowable errors in the best practice.
Obviously, it is not the best practice that you are losing 40% attributable to measurement error.

Ques: Who provides the measurement devices? Is it the regulator or the operator?

Yes, incidentally since oil was discovered in Nigeria in 1956 and the production commenced from 1958, it has been the operators that have been providing the metering devices. It has been the operators.
What our past experience as an oil producing nation has been is that we accept the figures from the operators’ device the way they display it to us. The regulatory position that we have impacted upon is aimed at reversing this trend in a manner that these operators and licensees will no longer be a judge in their own case.
It is fundamental principle of justice that they cannot continue to be a judge in their own case. That is not transparent. That is the trust and philosophy behind the measurement regulation and I have been able to explain to the operators that it is not in the interest of transparency that this should continue. We are going to work the measurement regulation which will become effective in the weeks ahead.

Ques: Last year, there were issues that some of the oil fields that were awarded were also allocated or licensed by the Mining Cadastre Office (MCO) as mining titles. Have the two organisations, NUPRC and the MCO, reconciled these conflicts?

Yes, we are aware of the issue. As I said, both offices are working to resolve the issue. And we are working in harmony with the office of the Surveyor-General.

Ques: You also concluded the 2020 marginal field bid round last year. How far have they gone in terms of production?

As I said, increasing national oil and gas production remains our core focus. Of course we inherited the marginal bid in an inconclusive manner and we quickly put measures in place to bring the exercise into conclusion. Primarily, it was to ensure that the awardees hit their first oil and begin to add to the national oil production.

The truth of the matter is that we have succeeded in issuing PPL that is Petroleum Prospective Licenses to those successful awardees in line with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act. That is a success and in terms of status, some of them have forwarded their Field Development Programmes (FDP) and some of the FDPs have been approved.

And we are aware that some of the awardees, happily enough, are in the process of recording their first oil. We are engaging with the others to follow suite and bring these awards of the marginal fields into production.

These are efforts towards ensuring that the brown fields contribute into increased national oil production. And aside that, is part of our efforts to enhance national production for our robust oil reserve of, as at now of about 38 billions of oil, very large oil reserve.
We have equally commenced a bid for seven deep offshore virgin blocks. And this is a process that has not happened for almost 15 years. We are very committed to ensure that the exercise is concluded in a transparent and competitive manner successfully so we are almost midway through with that exercise which by the calendar we have put to the public is supposed to round off in the life of this administration.

Ques: Has Nigeria increased its crude oil production to surpass the OPEC quota?

Well, we are very optimistic about attaining and surpassing our OPEC quota. Nigeria’s OPEC quota is about 1.8 million barrels of oil per day. Currently, with the kinetic effort being deployed by the joint security forces, the NNPC and the regulator, as at now, we have been able to attain 1.6mb/d in terms of our crude oil production.

But having said that, we are very optimistic as a commission that we have the capacity to attain and surpass our OPEC quota of the figures through the intentional efforts that the commission is making, engaging the investors.

The commission, as part of its efforts and achievements, set up a committee that identifies the candidates that were shut-in wells that could quickly be re-streamed to bring supplementary volumes to enhance the national oil production.

That effort is yielding expected success. But our core focus is how we can get the mega projects like the Prowe, Bonga North, the Bonga South West Aparo, the Owowo to major projects with combined volume of about 400,000 barrels per day.

We are engaging the operators to ensure that these projects come into fruition in real-time. With this happening and the FDPs that have been approved, we are very much optimistic that we will achieve and surpass our OPEC quota.

Ques: How safe is the Nigerian crude oil?

In terms of safety, I can say as a nation we have recorded so much success with the collaborative efforts that is being made in terms of curbing the crude oil theft menace. Of course, you could see at the last quota of 2022, we were operating near 1.1million barrels a day and from what we are seeing, the crude oil and condensate, we are operating around 1.6million barrels a day.
So, to me, that is the best measure of how safe the Nigerian crude oil is.

Ques: Which aspect of the upstream will you advise the incoming administration to focus on to jump-start the economy?

For us, as a commission, apart from our regulatory mediatory roles, we also offer advisory roles to governments and investments and the activities of the industry generally. Part of what we set out to do is, we are going to really conduct inquest. We are going to engage the operators and consultant like Mckenzie to dig into how within eight years as nation we have lost 74% of investments in a manner unacceptable compared to what is happening in some other African regions like Angola, Garbon, even Ivory Coast, Ghana not to talk of other OPEC nations.

Why have we lost such staggering investments while other nations are recording net gain in terms of investment? This is a critical issue that the commission will focus its mind because we really need to do a root-cause analysis to know how we suddenly got here.
And we will be engaging the government with our findings, believing addressing the root-cause analysis will be able to change the narrative for the better.

Russia Now Use Ship-To-Ship Transfers To Boost Diesel Exports To S/Arabia

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Russia is accelerating its exports of diesel to Saudi Arabia by both direct shipments and ship-to-ship transfers, international news agencies have reported.

Reuters reported last Friday, quoting trade sources and shipping data from Refinitiv, that using STS loadings, Russia is shortening the routes for tankers headed to Africa and Asia after Moscow is now banned from exporting fuels to the EU.

Two cargoes of diesel loaded in the Primorsk port on the Baltic Sea in Russia have been transferred on another tanker heading to Saudi Arabia’s port of Ras Tanura, per shipping data from Refinitiv.

Also Read: Russia Insists That Price Cap Against Its Oil Is Not Working

The data also showed that another cargo loaded from the Black Sea port of Tuapse used ship-to-ship loading to another tanker that had already discharged the fuel at the Jizan port in Saudi Arabia.

Both STS loadings took place near the Greek port of Kalamata, according to Refinitiv’s data. Russia started exporting diesel to Saudi Arabia—its ally in the OPEC+ group—in February, after Moscow’s key fuel export outlet, the EU, enacted an embargo on seaborne imports of Russian oil products on February 5.

According to traders who spoke to Reuters, the Saudis could export part of the Russian diesel to other countries after some refining.
Ahead of the EU ban on Russian petroleum products, Russia began to divert its oil product cargoes to North Africa and Asia, while Europe ramps up imports of diesel from the Middle East and Asia to offset the loss of Russian barrels, of which it imported around 600,000 barrels per day (bpd) before the February 5 embargo took effect.

Also Read: Russia Will Keep Selling Cheap Oil At Bumped-Up Levels To India, Even After Ukraine War

According to JP Morgan, Russian fuel exports could slip by 300,000 bpd as a result of the EU embargo, but the bank added that Russia could maintain its production of crude oil at pre-war levels. But it would be harder for Russia to return to pre-pandemic levels of crude production, JP Morgan added.

By Ken Okoye

Libya Looks Forward To First Oil And Gas Licensing Round In 20years

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Embattled North African country, Libya, is hoping to conduct oil and gas licensing round by next year, Libya’s state-run oil company chief said at just concluded CERAWeek.

It would be its first in nearly two decades, Argus said, adding that it the licensing round would help Libya reach its production goal of 2 million barrels per day within the next three years.

OPEC data showed in its latest Monthly Oil Market Report showed that Libya’s crude oil production in January fell to 1.148 million bpd, after averaging 1.153 million bpd in the fourth quarter of last year.

Also Read: Africa’s Oil Industry Is Set To Flourish In 2023

The African Energy Chamber said in a recent report that if political stability is restored and the multiple government is reduced to one, in the North African country, Libya’s crude oil production capacity could reach a maximum of 1.8 million bpd by 2024.

Still, the Libyan Government of National Unity insists that the country could produce as much as 3 million bpd within two to three years.
Libya has made some progress in paving the way for boosting gas production, including signing an $8 billion offshore gas deal with Eni, and Eni’s and BP’s exploration drilling plans in the Ghadames and Sirte basins—with offshore drilling planned for next year.

Libya’s NOC chief Ben Guadara is adamant that the Eni deal is “just the first step in a long way for more and more investment.”
Guadara also spoke of a possible LNG liquefaction plant and a gas pipeline to Egypt with tie-ins to the Idku facility and Damietta terminals, Argus said.

Also Read: Petitioners Drag Kenya’s Government To Court Over Plan To Nationalize All Oil Imports

Libya’s gas output is currently at 1.3 billion cubic feet per day, with just 250 million cubic feet per day of it able to be exported through the 775 million cubic feet per day Greenstream pipeline, as much of the gas must go to fulfill Libya’s own domestic gas needs.

By Ken Okoye

EU Parliament, Council Agree To Cut 2030 Energy Consumption By 11.7%

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Last weekend, the European Parliament and the Council presidency reached a provisional political agreement to reduce final energy consumption at EU level by 11.7% in 2030 compared to the forecast consumption.

The EU Council said member states will benefit from flexibility in reaching the target. In line with the provisional agreement, the EU would collectively see its final energy consumption drop by at least 11.7% in 2030, as against with the energy consumption forecasts for 2030 made in 2020.

The consequence of this is that the EU’s final energy consumption would have an upper limit of 763 million tons of oil equivalent and primary consumption of 993 million tons of oil equivalent.

Also Read: Court Bars Seplat Energy CEO From Management Activities

“The consumption limit for final consumption will be binding for member states collectively, whereas the primary energy consumption target will be indicative,” the Council said.

All EU member states will contribute to the efforts to reduce energy consumption by indicative national targets, which are expected to be updated and unveiled this year and next.

The agreement reached on Friday needs to be approved by committees at the European Parliament and Council and to be formally adopted to come into effect.

As part of its ambition to become a net-zero bloc by 2050, the EU aims to reduce its energy consumption and accelerate the rollout of renewable energy in order to cut dependence on fossil fuels. Limiting reliance on fossil fuel imports became especially important for the EU after the Russian invasion of Ukraine prompted Europe to ban seaborne imports of Russian oil and work to ditch imports of Russian gas.\

Also Read: Russia Insists That Price Cap Against Its Oil Is Not Working

Eurostat data last month showed that the the EU managed to beat its target for cutting gas demand this winter. According to the data, the EU’s winter demand had so far dropped by 19.3% compared to the five-year average, beating the 15% goal it set for itself to help it survive the winter.

Natural gas consumption in OECD Europe fell by an estimated 13% in 2022, its steepest decline in absolute terms in history, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its quarterly gas report last week.

By Bosco Agba

Nigeria Urges UK Court To Overturn P&ID $11bn Judgement Debt

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Nigerian government has hopes that the judgment by a London Court asking the country to pay $11billion as debt over the controversial Process and Industrial Development [P&ID] gas deal will be upturned.

The company claimed Nigeria contracted it to supply gas to deliver gas but reneged in the contract. The Nigeria government in closing arguments at a trial earlier in the week urged the court to overturn an arbitration award in favour of P&ID which has now accrued interest worth $11 billion.

The company claimed it entered into an agreement with Nigeria to build a gas processing plant but the deal collapsed because the Nigerian government did not fulfil its end of the bargain.

But Nigeria’s lawyer, Mark Howard, told the court that P&ID obtained its contract “by telling repeated lies and paying bribes to officials.”
Mr Howard alleged that the company financially induced top Nigerian government officials including those who chaired the government technical committee that reviewed the gas plant contract and several others.

Also Read: Africa’s Oil Industry Is Set To Flourish In 2023

He alleged also that lawyers in the Nigerian team during the arbitration proceedings were bribed.
The P&ID controversy dates back to January 2010 when the company signed a gas supply and processing agreement with the ministry of petroleum resources on behalf of the Nigerian government.

Under the terms of the agreement, P&ID was to build and operate an accelerated gas development project to be located at Adiabo in the Odukpani local government area of Cross River state.

The Nigerian government was to source natural gas from oil mining leases (OMLs) 123 and 67 operated by Addax Petroleum and supply to P&ID to refine into fuel suitable for power generation in the country.

However, P&ID alleged that after signing the agreement, the Nigerian government reneged on its obligation after negotiations were opened with the Cross River state government for the allocation of land for the project.

Also Read: Kenyan Government Discusses Decarbonization Initiatives, Others With Eni

The company said effort to settle out of court has failed the litigation process was activated.
The Nigerian government said it has substantial evidence to show that there was corruption behind the deal. There was a “picture of industrial-scale bribery and corruption” with regard to the contract, the Nigerian officials said.

“This was not some incidental, minor contract on the side. It was fundamental to P&ID’s way of doing business,” Nigeria’s lawyer argued.
He added that the firm had real-time access to Nigeria’s “privileged materials”, many of which were obtained through “back-channels”. The Nigerian government accused the firm of suppressing vital evidence, bribery, and perjury among others to win the arbitration.

The two lawyers who acted for P&ID in the arbitration proceedings, Trevor Burke and Seamus Andrew, were also accused of breaching their obligations to the court by ignoring evidence of their client’s corruption.

“As with the corrupted officials and legal advisors of FRN, so too was the integrity of Mr. Andrew and Mr. Burke compromised,” Mr. Howard submitted.

Also Read: Nigeria’s Energy Transition In Focus At Middle East Energy Conference

“They were offered life-changing sums of money, contingent upon success in the claim, which induced them to look past evidence of blatant corruption (most obviously in the form of the FRN privileged documents) in the hope of reaching their promised pots of gold. They did so at the expense of their professional obligations.”

By Bosco Agba

Nigeria’s Crude Oil Output Increases To 1.3mbpd In February

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The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has confirmed that the country’s average crude oil production witnessed an increased output in February 2023 with the production of 1,306,304.3mbpd 
The increase in February reveals a 3.8% increase when compared with the figure recorded a month earlier, in January 2023, which stood at 1,258,150bpd.

The figures further showed that although the volume of crude oil produced during the period was 1,306,304 bpd, the total volume of production output was increased to 1,547,719bpd, when the blended condensates of 51,664bpd, and unblended condensates of 189,751bpd, were added.

Also Read: Africa’s Oil Industry Is Set To Flourish In 2023

Observers say the increasing crude oil production in January and February comes as good news to the country’s oil sector as Nigeria has been trying to meet its OPEC quota in oil production for some months.

Nigeria’s production share by OPEC has been set at 1.8 millionbpd but the country has over time, fallen short of delivering this volume of production due to the myriad of challenges facing the oil sector.

After failing to meet this production target, Nigeria lost its place to Angola and Libya as Africa’s top crude oil producer for two consecutive months, a position it later regained in November 2022 when production increased.

Also Read: Petitioners Drag Kenya’s Government To Court Over Plan To Nationalize All Oil Imports

Between January and November 2022, Nigeria’s crude oil production shortfall was 6.9 million bpd.
The shortfall has been fingered on the activities of oil thieves and pipeline vandals. However, another update from the upstream regulator has linked some of the losses in the oil and gas sector to poor measurement systems.

by Ken Okoye

Court Bars Seplat Energy CEO From Management Activities

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A Federal High Court in Lagos Wednesday issued an interim order restricting the Chief Executive of Seplat Energy, Roger Brown, from everyday running and management of the company.

The court also restricted Mr Brown’s proxies, agents and privies from managing the company until a decision is reached on a motion by some stakeholders on notice for interlocutory injunction.

The petitioners involved are Moses Igbrude, Ajani Abidoye, Sarat Kudaisi, Robert Ibekwe and Kenneth Nnabike who prayed the court to grant an order restraining the chair of the directors’ board, Basil Omiyi, and all independent non-executive directors of Seplat Energy from running the company’s affairs “in an illegal, unfairly, prejudicial and oppressive manner pending the hearing and determination of the petitioners’ motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.”\

Also Read: Court Bars Seplat Energy CEO From Management Activities

The plea was granted, according to copies of court documents obtained by PREMIUM TIMES.
Justice Chukwuejekwu Aneke, the presiding judge, adjourned the lawsuit to 23 March, 2023, when the hearing of the pending application is due to commence.

Meanwhile, the petitioners made a separate request for an order forbidding Seplat Energy and its chairman from retaining Mr Brown as the company’s CEO or allowing him to serve in any other role within the firm.

The petitioners presented to the court exhibits including a letter directed to the minister of interior, stating allegations of racism, discrimination, favouritism and breach of corporate governance against the Seplat CEO.

Another letter from Rauf Aregbesola, Nigeria’s minister of interior, showing the ministry’s resolution of the petition, was also part of the exhibits.

Also Read: Africa’s Oil Industry Is Set To Flourish In 2023

Mr Aregbesola had on 3 March written Mr Omiyi, apprising him of the revocation of Mr Brown’s work permit, visa and residence permit as well as of a petition from a lawyer to some aggrieved Seplat Energy employees, bringing some allegations against Mr Brown.
“These accusations include racism, favouring foreign workers, and discriminating against Nigerian employees. Testimony was received from several witnesses, which supported the allegations,” the letter said.

“Mr. Roger T. Brown declined to attend despite two invitations, claiming to be unavailable even though we learnt he was in Abuja for other purposes at the time,” it added.

Seplat Reacts
Seplat Energy Plc in its reaction Thursday debunked reports that the work, visa and residence permit of Mr Brown was withdrawn by the Ministry of Interior.

“Seplat Energy wishes to refute the false allegations against Mr. Brown, which have been presented to the Ministry of Interior and the public by certain petitioners, and which have not been brought to the attention of Mr. Roger Brown or Seplat Energy for a reaction,” the oil and gas company said in a Thursday notification to the Nigerian Exchange.

Also Read: Kenyan Government Discusses Decarbonization Initiatives, Others With Eni

It stated further it plans to contact the ministry with a view to rejecting the perceptions the reports have created, noting that the claims are a malicious response to the implementation of corporate governance standards in the company by the board.

The statement issued on the authorisation of the chair of the directors’ board, Mr Omiyi, disclosed that the CEO has earned for himself over the last ten years an unsullied reputation for leadership and service in the company.

Premium Times

Council And EU Parliament Agree On Energy Efficiency Plan

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The Council presidency and the European Parliament negotiators have reached a provisional political agreement to reduce final energy consumption at EU level by 11.7% in 2030.

Member states will benefit from flexibilities in reaching the target. In the headline target, member states would collectively ensure a reduction of final energy consumption of at least 11.7% in 2030, compared with the energy consumption forecasts for 2030 made in 2020.
This translates into an upper limit to the EU’s final energy consumption of 763 million tonnes of oil equivalent and of 993 million tonnes of oil equivalent for primary consumption.

The Council said consumption limit for final consumption will be binding for member states collectively, whereas the primary energy consumption target will be indicative.

Final energy consumption represents energy consumed by end-users, while primary energy consumption also includes what is used for the production and supply of energy.

Also Read: Court Bars Seplat Energy CEO From Management Activities

The Council and Parliament also agreed that all member states will contribute to achieving the overall EU target through indicative national contributions and trajectories, set by the member states in their integrated national energy and climate plans (NECPs). Updated NECPs are due in 2023 and 2024.

The formula for calculating national contributions towards the target (defined in Annex I to the proposal) will be indicative, with the possibility of deviating from it by 2.5%.

The Commission will calculate whether all the contributions add up to the 11.7% target and, if not, issue corrections to the national contributions that are lower than what they would have been if using the formula (the so-called gap-filling mechanism).

The formula is based on, among other things, energy intensity, GDP per capita, development of renewables and energy savings potential.
The Council and Parliament agreed to a gradual increase of the annual energy savings target for final energy consumption from 2024 to 2030. Member states will ensure new annual savings of 1.49% of final energy consumption on average during this period, gradually reaching 1.9% on 31 December 2030.

Also Read: Nigeria’s Energy Transition In Focus At Middle East Energy Conference

The co-legislators agreed that member states could count in the calculation towards the target, energy savings realised through policy measures under the current and the revised energy performance of buildings directive; measures stemming from the EU ETS (for installations and for buildings and transport); emergency energy measures.

The Council and the Parliament equally agreed to a specific obligation for the public sector to achieve an annual energy consumption reduction of 1.9% that can exclude public transport and armed forces.

In addition to this, member states would be required to renovate each year at least 3% of the total floor area of buildings owned by public bodies.

The Council said the provisional political agreement will first be submitted to the Committee of Permanent Representatives in the Council and the Parliament’s ITRE committee for approval. The directive will then need to be formally adopted by the Parliament and then the Council, before it can be published in the EU’s Official Journal and enter into force.

By Bosco Agba

Africa’s Oil Industry Is Set To Flourish In 2023

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Several energy firms have developed oil and gas projects in Africa and the Caribbean in recent years as they shift to focus on low-carbon oil and future-proofing their operations.

With mounting pressure to decarbonize, many oil and gas majors have moved away from aging, carbon-intensive operating sites in favor of developing new projects in non-traditional oil regions.

Meanwhile, African countries are determined to claim their piece of the global energy pie, unwilling to give up valuable natural resources without taking a stake in operations. So, as several states across Africa continue to develop their oil industries, what’s expected for 2023?
As the demand for oil and natural gas continued to rise in the post-pandemic period, we saw governments turn to alternative oil powers for their supply, as countries across the world imposed sanctions on Russian oil.

Also Read: Nigeria’s Energy Transition In Focus At Middle East Energy Conference

As well as boosting oil production from traditional sites, many countries began to foster relationships with new oil powers, in the hope of ensuring a low-carbon oil supply while the global demand for fossil fuels remains high.

Most of these low-carbon operations are being developed in regions with recent discoveries of huge reserves, such as the Caribbean and Africa, where oil majors are using low-carbon production methods and carbon capture technology to ensure crude output is less harmful to the environment.

At the COP27 climate summit, held in November, in Egypt, African government representatives made it clear that countries across Africa should be allowed to develop their fossil fuel resources to help lift their people out of poverty.

As the strong global demand for oil and gas became clear after the U.S. and Europe moved away from Russian energy, African leaders spotted the opportunity to promote the development of low-carbon oil across the continent. Namibia’s petroleum commissioner, Maggy Shino, stated “There are a lot of oil and gas companies present at COP because Africa wants to send a message that we are going to develop all of our energy resources for the benefit of our people because our issue is energy poverty.”

This has helped spur the development of the oil and gas industry, with several projects planned for the continent in 2023. In addition, the annual Africa Oil Week will be held again in October, to promote opportunities in the continent’s oil industry.

Also Read: Nigeria’s, Others’ Energy Demand To Grow By 50%, Says Afreximbank

More than 70 oil and gas projects are slated to come online by 2025, which could provide as much as 2.3 million bpd of crude, according to analysts.

TotalEnergies announced it would be investing in Angola’s Begonia field last year, which adds to its other projects in the region. This could boost its production in the area by 30,000 bpd. Operations are expected to commence towards the end of 2024, following an investment of $850 million.

One of Africa’s biggest oil producers, Nigeria, also has big plans to diversify its oil operations by developing new projects outside the Niger Delta in the north of the country.

After years of delays, Shell is going ahead with its Bonga North Project this year, to be followed by the $10-billion Bonga South West field in 2024. Bonga North is believed to hold as much as 525 million barrels of crude, which could support Nigeria’s goal of boosting production to pre-pandemic levels, having repeatedly failed to achieve OPEC quotas in recent months.

Uganda has plans to continue expanding its oil industry through its TotalEnergies-operated Lake Albert Development. The project has seen an investment of $10 billion to date.

Also Read: Kenyan Government Discusses Decarbonization Initiatives, Others With Eni

Uganda has major plans for the development of the Tilenga and Kingfisher upstream oil projects, and the construction of the long-anticipated 1,500-km East African Crude Oil Pipeline, which have seen years of delays.
If completed, Uganda could see an output of 230,000 bpd from Lake Albert.

And Ghana is focusing on its domestic production, which it hopes to double by the end of the year, from under 200,000 bpd to around 420,000 bpd.

Recent discoveries in the Tano Cape Three Points Block have attracted greater foreign investment in the region, with Norway’s Aker Energy running operations.

And new oil powers are emerging in Africa, as Africa Oil Corp (AOC) announced two production-sharing contracts with the Republic of Equatorial Guinea in February.

AOC is expected to hold 80% of operated interests in the offshore Blocks EG-18 and EG-31 if government approval is achieved, with state-owned GEPetrol holding the remaining 20%.

Also Read: Petitioners Drag Kenya’s Government To Court Over Plan To Nationalize All Oil Imports

The companies plan to spend $7 million on the initial exploration period. AOC expects the developments to offer “low-cost, low-risk gas development opportunities.”

After identifying a clear space for Africa in the international oil arena, thanks to the strong global demand for low-carbon oil and gas, countries across the continent are acting quickly to ensure their seat at the gtable. While long-established oil powers, like Nigeria, are expanding their industries, newcomers, like Ghana and Equatorial Guinea, are encouraging greater exploration for the development of new projects that could provide low-carbon oil and gas to fill the gap in the green transition.

Felicity Bradstock [Oilprice.com]

Nigeria Content Development Management Board Emerges Best MDA in Efficiency, Transparency In Nigeria

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The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has emerged as top performer in business efficiency and transparency in federal government’s ranking of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) for the year 2022. 
This magnificent scorecard is reminiscent of the Board’s 81.46% score in Ease of Doing Business, which placed it top of all other MDAs for the period January – June 2022.

In the Executive Order 001 (EO1) Compliance Report released in Abuja by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), the NCDMB achieved a score of 81.11% to beat 52 other MDAs captured in the evaluative ranking.

Issued on 18 May, 2017, by President Muhammadu Buhari, the EO1 on the Promotion of Transparency and Efficiency in the business environment seeks to facilitate entrenchment of policies and practices that would foster an environment conducive to business, particularly start-ups, by eliminating bottlenecks.   

Also Read: NCDMB, BOI Launch $50m Fund For Oil Sector Manufacturers

PEBEC explains that an “MDA’s EOI overall performance is a combination of scores on the Efficiency and Transparency measures weighted at 70% and 30% of the overall score respectively. The top performing MDAs differentiate themselves by achieving a balanced performance on both the Efficiency and Transparency scales….”

Under Efficiency, the agency’s adherence to its service delivery timelines is key. For Transparency, the chief consideration is existence and functionality of websites, as well as availability of detailed information on timelines, costs, statutory requirements and customer service contact channels.

In combination, these would eliminate abuses in the system, including rent-seeking activities. PEBEC has been consistent in publishing the EO1 Compliance Report since 2017, from monthly reports submitted by MDAs.

This latest award follows NCDMB’s emergence as “a Level 5 Platinum Level organization” in a summary report of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) Self-assessment Tool (SAT) released in January, a rating which translates as “Exceptional Performance with a performance level of 90.5%.”

Also Read: Buhari Urges Contractors To Apply Local Content In Oloibiri Museum Project Construction

The BPSR had at a presentation ceremony held at the NCDMB Conference in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State noted that NCDMB is structured to achieve its vision, mission and strategic objectives, which have been effectively communicated to relevant stakeholders and well understood by staff.

Another accolade that came the way of the Board recently was the selection of the executive secretary, NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote as the recipient of the Leadership Local Content Champion of the Year Award by the board of editors of the Leadership Group Limited.
The award was conferred on the executive secretary at the 14th edition of the Leadership Conference and Awards held on January 31, 2023, in Abuja.

In October 2022, the executive secretary was conferred the Distinguished Capacity Development Award by President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) at the Nigeria Excellence in Public Service Awards, reconfirming the Board’s excellent delivery of its mandate.

NCDMB, BOI Launch $50m Fund For Oil Sector Manufacturers

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Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote and Managing Director, BOI, Mr. Pitan Olukayode in a group photograph with some management and staff of the Board after launching the $50m fund for NOGAPS Manufacturing Product Line in Lagos on Wednesday

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and Bank of Industry on Wednesday in Lagos launched a $50 million dollars fund for NOGAPS Manufacturing Product Line.

The fund is to incentivize companies that would operate in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Parks and engage in the manufacturing of equipment components used in the oil and gas industry and linkage sectors.

Speaking at the signing, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote mentioned that the fund would support oil and gas companies that would operate in the oil and gas parks developed by the Board in Bayelsa and Cross River State.

WhatsApp Image 2023 03 10 at 5.37.12 AM 2
L-R: Executive Director, Large Enterprise, BOI, Mr. Simon Aranonu, Managing Director, BOI, Mr. Pitan Olukayode; Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote and Director, Finance & Personnel Management, NCDMB, Mr. Isaac Yalah in a group photograph after launching a $50m fund for NOGAPS Manufacturing Product Line in Lagos on Wednesday.

He reiterated that the fund will only be accessed by companies that take up spaces in the park to procure equipment or build their manufacturing shopfloor within the park.

Wabote pointed that the NOGAPs Manufacturing Fund is different from the initial $300m fund being managed by BOI with five product lines which aims at supporting Nigerian businesses that contribute their one percent to the Nigerian Content Development Fund.

Also Read: Oloibiri: Reminiscing On Shell’s Pioneer Oilfield

The new fund would be a stand-alone product line with distinct fund allocation and special eligibility criteria and collateral structure.

According to Wabote, ”the decision of the Board to establish the product was informed by the peculiarities of the manufacturing sector, which include infrastructure challenges, long gestation, long lead time before returns, and low margins on products.

Others are high risk attached to the endeavor, in addition to the reluctance of commercial banks to lend to the sector and application of stiff collateral and eligibility criteria where loans are extended.”

On the criteria for accessing the NOGAPS manufacturing funds, the Executive Secretary hinted that unlike that Nigerian Content Intervention Funds which requires companies to be contributors before they can benefit, the NOGAPS fund can be accessed by companies that will be domiciled and will manufacture their products within the parks.

He said: “The Fund will provide loans to Nigerian companies that meets the criteria to operate in any of the designated NOGAPS Industrial Park for the purpose of financing manufacturing activities, purchase of fixed assets, working capitals and logistic.

Beneficiaries will get a maximum single obligor of $3m and minimum of single obligor of $250,000.00 with one year moratorium repayable within five years at five percent interest per annum.”

Also Read: Buhari Urges Contractors To Apply Local Content In Oloibiri Museum Project Construction

On the incentives available in the NOGAPS park, Wabote disclosed that the rate for accommodation is reduced, power is guaranteed, and the rent will only begin to count when the company commences manufacturing.

In his remarks, the Managing Director, Bank of Industry, Mr. Olukayode Pitan applauded the Board for being a partner in progress. He noted that the fund will further help promote in-country manaufacturing as well as creation of employment.

Pitan pointed that the interest rate will help companies to easily access the product and payback. “The interest rates are very good just like the initial fund which is less than ten percent and the same thing will apply to this one. All we are looking for are Nigerians who want to manufacture in Nigeria.”

He charged Nigerian companies to harness the opportunity to pick up space within the park to produce locally.

The Board established the NCI Fund in 2018 with the purpose of financing Oil and Gas companies to increase capacity and grow Nigerian Content in the Industry Presently, the NCI Fund has five product lines which are being managed by the Bank of Industry.

Also Read: SAIPEC 2023: NCDMB Seals National Content Deal With Senegal

They include – Manufacturing Finance -$10m; Asset Acquisition Finance -$10m; Contract Finance -$5m; Loan Refinance -$10m and Community Contractor Finance – N20 million.

The Board also has a US$30 million Working Capital Fund for oil and gas service companies and US$20m Fund for Women in Oil and Gas Intervention Fund. The last two facilities are administered by the Nexim Nigerian Export-Import Bank and the agreements were signed in mid-2021.

On the sideline of the event, the two chief Executives signed a supplementary memorandum of understanding for the $300m Nigerian Content Intervention Fund for extension of the agreement.

Nigeria’s Energy Transition In Focus At Middle East Energy Conference

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Ade Yesufu, Exhibition Director, Energy Portfolio – MEA, Informa Markets, has said that the persisting energy crisis in Nigeria was in focus at the just concluded Middle East Energy Conference in Dubai, UAE.

He also said that Nigeria the Nigerian delegation was able to get the world to appreciate potential solutions to the blockages, and routes to the energy transformation in Africa.

The conference became a potent center to advocate for Nigeria and the African energy transition issues. While emphasizing the importance of the appropriate political will and policies in winning over investors and making the industry bankable, he stated that the occasion gave answers to metering problems, enhanced current infrastructure, link Nigeria to vital investors, and exposed the nation to ideas that would enhance the sector.

Also Read: Nigeria Positioned For Over $200bn In Deep Water New Investments – NUPRC

The 48th edition of the event, which renowned international exhibitors attended, brought together buyers and sellers from many nations to examine the most recent developments in energy goods and solutions.

It will offer unrivaled chances to network with international energy suppliers, find goods and services that are reshaping the energy industry, and established strong commercial ties.

In a release, Afrah Packirsaibo, the conference director for Informa Markets’ Energy Portfolio for the MEA region, announced that the event would prioritize innovation and technology toward net-zero, particularly energy solutions like solar and hydrogen.

She listed issues including security, digital technology, mini-grid technology, and gas to electricity in addition to obstacles like access to finance, better infrastructure, and these.

Also Read: Nigeria’s, Others’ Energy Demand To Grow By 50%, Says Afreximbank

She mentioned the Nigerian delegation include representatives from the Nigerian ministry of power, the Transmission Company of Nigeria [TCN], the Rural Electrification Agency [REA], as well as other players from Nigeria and other countries in Africa.

The goal of the event is to lead the MEA area through the energy transition and create resilient energy infrastructures and systems. With renewable energy and other growing sectors offering significant growth potential, the global energy revolution holds new promise for Nigeria’s economic and social development.

Petitioners Drag Kenya’s Government To Court Over Plan To Nationalize All Oil Imports

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Petitioners have challenged in court Kenya government’s plan to take over all imports of petroleum products from private companies
Reports yesterday said the petitioners are seeking a ruling that will nullify the nationalization program by Kenyan government referencing imports of petroleum products   

Kenya decided to go with the plan to have all oil imports nationalized after a severe foreign exchange reserves crunch left the African country with just four months worth of foreign currency to cover imports.

 The government plan, through the ministry of energy is to take over all imports and pay for the supplies after at least six months, compared to payments due within a week per the current imports scheme.

Bloomberg said already four petitioners are in court with government over the matter. The news agency said on Thursday, that the filing in court was made by Ndegwa & Ndegwa Advocates on behalf of the petitioners.

Also Read: Kenyan Government Discusses Decarbonization Initiatives, Others With Eni

The nationalization of oil imports “amounts to unfair practice as an unconscionable representation that is excessively one sided” and favors the supplier rather than the consumer, the court documents say.

The Kenyan government should have thought of better ways to stabilize the bleeding of U.S. dollars instead of kicking private oil marketing firms out of business, according to the filing carried by Bloomberg.

If could be recalled that earlier this week, Kenya issued the first tender for oil imports under the new plan, with 180 days between product delivery and payment settlement.

Kenya is now seeking government-to-government contracts to procure oil products following the crash of the Kenyan currency and the acute shortage of foreign exchange reserves.

Also Read: Mauritania Seals $34bn Hydrogen Deal With German, UAE, Egypt Consortium

The winner in this first tender will supply oil to Kenya for nine months and will be paid every six months, Daniel Kiptoo, director general of energy industry regulator EPRA told Reuters.

“By doing that we alleviate the pressure by removing a third of the demand for dollars in the market,” Kiptoo added.

By Ken Okafor

Kenyan Government Discusses Decarbonization Initiatives, Others With Eni

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The Kenyan President, Samoei Ruto, has met with the chief executive officer of Italian oil giant, Claudio Descalzi, in Nairobi to discuss the company’s exploration activities in the country.

Reports said discussions centered on Eni’s agribusiness activities and the company’s decarbonization initiatives in Kenya. The meeting was also attended by Kenya cabinet secretary for energy and oil, Davis Chirchir.

In a statement after the meeting, Eni said its boss and his delegation illustrated to President Ruto the project results for producing vegetable oil for biorefining, which the company launched in the country in 2022.

Also Read: Mauritania Seals $34bn Hydrogen Deal With German, UAE, Egypt Consortium

The social impacts are particularly relevant, Eni said, noting that 40,000 farmers have been involved to date in the production of oilseeds, to which another 40,000 will be added by the end of the year, with a projection of around 200,000 by 2026.

The agri-hub currently employs more than 100 resources directly, which will exceed 500 when the other agri-hubs are completed. Furthermore, the statement reads that 2,000 tons of animal feed for local consumption were obtained as a by-product of the oilseeds.
Descalzi also shared with President Ruto the waste & residue initiatives to provide feedstock for biorefining.

According to the Italian oil major, the collection and export of used cooking oil began in 2022 and today involves over 400 suppliers. The model has already been extended to other African countries, contributing to integrating the continent into the sustainable mobility value chain.

Also Read: Tanzania Seals $30bn LNG Project Deal With Super Majors, Shell And Equinor

The statement said the Kenyan president and Eni’s chief executive officer equally discussed further initiatives in e-mobility and renewable energy.

Specific focus was given to solar, wind and geothermal energy, while there was also talk about waste to power. Eni says these programs will be finalized in the next few months.

By Ken Okoye 

Nigerian National Petroleum Company is Set To List On The Stock Exchange

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The repackaged Nigerian National Petroleum Company [NNPC] Limited is set to make its initial public offer [IPO] in 2024.
Chief financial officer (CFO), Umar Ajiya, who dropped the hint revealed that the company would soon determine where it intends to list, whether a listing locally or internationally.

Speaking during a panel discussion at the CERAWEEK Energy Conference in Houston, Ajiya stated that internal preparation to get the company ready for an IPO will be finalized by the middle of 2023.

Also Read: Nigeria’s, Others’ Energy Demand To Grow By 50%, Says Afreximbank

“This supports our prior prediction that the national company’s transition process is still in progress and that it would not be ready for an initial public offering this year.

“We believe that the NNPCL’s listing in 2024 would be advantageous for the company, providing it with visibility on a global scale, brand marketing, price discovery, and the ability to draw in investors who would unavoidably demand efficiency and sound corporate governance.
“We reckon that the company’s dual listing would increase visibility and access to capital, diversify the investor base, enhance liquidity, and improve valuations,” he said.

By Bosco Agba