Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Natural Resources

Buhari inaugurates modular refinery in Imo

Tanko Mohammed

The 5,000 barrels per day Waltersmith modular refinery in Ibigwe, Imo State, has been inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari who said the establishment of modular refineries would make petroleum products available and eliminate importation.

The President spoke on Tuesday at the virtual inauguration as well as the Ground-Breaking Ceremony for the Phase-2 works to expand the capacity of the refinery to 50,000 barrels/day.

President Buhari said the deployment of modular refineries was one of the four key elements of his administration’s Refinery Roadmap rolled out in 2018, adding that its implementation will make Nigeria a net exporter of petroleum products.

He expressed delight that Waltersmith refinery in Ohaji Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State was coming on stream within two years of the commencement of the Roadmap, after many years of granting licenses for the establishment of modular refineries with nothing to show for it.

”Furthermore, there is increased momentum in the other three focus areas under the Roadmap covering the Rehabilitation of existing refineries, Co-location of new refineries, and Construction of greenfield refineries.

”The realization of the Refinery Roadmap will ultimately lead us to becoming a net exporter of petroleum products not only to our neighbouring countries but to the worldwide market.

 ”This modular refinery is the largest commissioned modular refinery in the country today.

”The role played by the Federal Government through the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in going into collaboration with Waltersmith Refining and Petrochemical Company is novel in concept and superb in delivery,” he said.

The President described plans to commence the expansion of the capacity of the refinery to 50,000 barrels per day to refine crude oil and condensates as an important part of economic reforms the country is undergoing.

”I look forward to seeing this new phase completed within the target timeframe,” he said.

President Buhari, therefore, directed the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), NNPC, as well as all relevant Government Agencies to provide Waltersmith Company all the necessary support to access crude oil and condensate feedstock for the timely delivery of the additional capacity.

In line with his administration’s agenda on jobs creation, the President said he was pleased to note that hundreds of direct and indirect jobs were created during the construction of the first phase of the project in addition to the various business opportunities.

Equally, he expressed hope that the construction of the second phase of the project will create bigger additional employment opportunities.

President Buhari thanked the local community and the people of Imo State for hosting the refinery, which, he stressed, will bring prosperity and economic development to the area.

The President commended the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, the Chairman and members of the Governing Council, and the management and staff of the Nigerian Content Development Board for making the public-private partnership a success.

He also commended the Chairman, Board, Management and Staff of Waltersmith Refining and Petrochemical Limited for their professionalism and focus in getting the project completed.

Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State and the Minister of State, Petroleum, cut the tape on behalf of the President at the event which was also attended by the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote and the Chairman of WalterSmith, Abdulrazaq Isa.

OPEC projects 6.2mbpd growth in oil demand in 2021

By Chris Ndibe

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has projected 6.2 million barrel per day (bpd) growth in oil demand in 2021.

The OPEC Secretary General, Mohammad Barkindo, disclosed this in his address at the Crescent Ideas Forum on Monday via video conference.

“Our OPEC outlook for 2020 oil demand is now slightly above 90 million bpd.

“This represents a sharp decline of nearly 10 million b/d from where we started the year, and almost an 11million b/d contraction compared to what we forecast in January.

“In 2021, we expect growths to bounce back to 6.2 millionb/d to just over 96 million b/d, compared to our pre-Coronavirus (COVID-19) expectations for demand reaching almost 102 million b/d next year.

“The recent revisions are due to the easing pace of the economic recovery and recent COVID-19 containment measures, which are assumed to impact transportation and industrial fuel demand well into next year,” Barkindo said.

He said that the crucial market rebalancing efforts were

further complicated by high stock levels.

He said that preliminary data for October, showed that total Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) commercial oil stocks were 208 million barrels above the latest five-year average.

This, he said, was compared to 13 million barrels below the five-year average in January.

The OPEC scribe noted that the total global inventories have surged by more than one billion barrels since the beginning of 2020.

“These figures would have been  dramatically higher and clearly unsustainable had it not been for the unprecedented cooperative efforts taken to address the imbalance in fundamentals and stabilise the

market,” he said.

Barkindo further said that in spite the current outlook, crude oil would continue to be relevant in the foreseeable future, up to 2045.

He said that oil demand was expected to rise by almost 10 million bpd from 2019’s levels to around 109 million bpd in 2040, and then begin to plateau.

”Non-member countries of the OECD will be the growth powerhouse and  members will  account  for around 68 per cent of overall oil demand by 2045, with the economic tigers of India and China leading this growth.

“In absolute terms, we expect oil demand in the developing and emerging economies rising by 22.5 million bpd to around 74 million bpd in 2045.

“The outlook for crude oil may look anemic now, but we anticipate a gradual normalisation of demand growth as the world recovers from the COVID-19 shock.

” Our analysts foresee global oil demand returning to relatively robust annual growth and reaching nearly 104 million bpd by 2025,” he said.

The OPEC scribe said that in the longer term, there are a number of factors that would drive consumption, such as population and economic growth, especially in developing and emerging economies.

” We expect the global economy to be more than double from 2019 to 2045, to 258 trillion dollars and the population to grow by at least 20 per cent, to 9.5 billion.

“Simply put, our world will continue to thirst for energy. The World Oil Outlook anticipates that oil will remain the dominant fuel in the global energy mix for the foreseeable future, accounting for a nearly 28 per cent share in 2045, followed by gas at around 25 per cent.

“It is important to point out that it is the mainstream consensus of the leading reporting agencies that oil and gas will retain their prominence in the energy mix for the foreseeable future.” Barkindo said.

He expressed optimism that the promising vaccine developments, apart from the hope that they could quickly be brought to market to save lives, could also help reboot the global economy.

“Nonetheless, the oil market today is over shadowed by the resurgence of COVID-19 and a slower pace of economic recovery than we had envisioned in the second half of the year.

”In this respect, our OPEC outlook for 2020 oil demand is now slightly above 90 million bpd,” he stated.

Barkindo added that OPEC’s outlook showed that petrochemicals and transportation would drive demand for crude oil going forward.

Commodity Confab targets unlocking economic potential

By Anthony Areh

The Global Commodity Conference (GCC2020) is aimed at creating opportunities for investments and innovation to unlock economic potential in commodity markets, its convener, JODOR Asset Management (J.A.M) Ltd, has said.

Mr Nduka Ofulue, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of J.A.M Ltd, made this known in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.

The expert emphasised the need for the conference as economies around the world grappled with the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on commodity prices and jobs policy.

GCC2020 is scheduled to hold in Abuja from Dec. 1 to Dec. 2, 2020 with the theme “Unlocking Value in Africa’s Commodity Markets.”

“The Central Bank of Nigeria, including policy experts rethink of strategy on monetary policy and fiscal stimulus, while government departments faced with dwindling revenue and rising unemployment ponder on sustainable strategies to deal with the pandemic effect.

“The GCC2020 summit aims to bring African policymakers, decision-makers, stakeholders, Analysts, Researchers, Private Equity, Global Investors and Fund Managers to identify with the 2020 drivers and key indicators of the African Commodity Markets.

“It aims at proffering solutions to unlocking its intrinsic and relative time value, thus creating 20-40 million jobs for emerging African market economies,” Ofolue said.

He said that the event would also provide opportunity for networking with industry leaders and professionals in the investment value chain, Policy, Health, Manufacturing, Technology, Commodity, Metals and Mining, Energy and Agricultural sectors.

The conference, which will feature inspirational business speakers with a 21st century perspective to Africa’s challenges, has as its sub-theme “Commodity Trading Revenue (CTR) as a sub-driver for macroeconomic growth”.

NNPC to declare dividends in 2020

By Tanko Mohammed

Mr Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has said he is optimistic that the corporation will declare dividends in 2020 in spite of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kyari spoke at an interactive session with the National Association of Energy Correspondents (NAEC) in Abuja on Friday.

He said: “Our vision is that NNPC will become a company of excellence and declare dividends to Nigerians and shareholders.

“We are optimistic that at the end of 2020, NNPC will declare dividends to Nigerians in spite of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Kyari said that accountability and transparency were key to turning NNPC into an efficient and profit-oriented enterprise.

He said this was what informed the decision of the corporation to publish its operational and financial reports monthly.

Kyari said: “NNPC has never published its audited financial statement in 43 years. We came and started doing that and released the 2018 financial statement which showed that NNPC lost N803 billion.

“We were not afraid of doing that and there were a lot of criticisms that we lost money in refinery operations and pipeline business.

“We went ahead and published the 2019 audited report and was able to learn and cut cost and became more efficient.

“There is no company in the country which has cut its losses within one financial year by N800 billion.

“That means we reduced 97 per cent of our losses by cutting our cost and improving our efficiency.”

Stakeholders in extractive industry stress need for contract transparency

By Moses Uwagbale 

Stakeholders in the oil and gas sector have stressed the need for contract transparency in the extractive industry to ensure growth and development in the country. 

Some of the stakeholders spoke at a capacity building workshop on implementation of contract transparency in the extractive sector in Owerri. 

Mr Nduka Ikeyi, a lead partner with Ikeyi-Shitu and company, a law firm said the opacity of contracts engagement in the sector had affected development of the country. 

He said that government had engage in various contracts in the oil and gas sector that had not translated to expected value to the growth of the nation. 

He named some of the contracts to include joint venture and operational agreement, production sharing contracts, Service contracts, among others. 

According to him, most of the contracts involves allocation and sharing risks which requires a lot of monitoring. 

He said that with transparency in the contract, monitoring implementation process and holding parties involved accountable would be easy. 

“Citizens needs to know what government is doing and also their spending in such contracts to ensure value for the money, 

“Government needs to be transparent enough by making the contract portal accessible to ordinary people to understand the terms and conditions of the contract,” he said. 

Mrs Charity Odili, the immediate past President National Council of Women Society said that contract transparency was key to development of oil host communities in the country. 

She said that the need for contract transparency in the extractive industry “cannot be over emphasised’’. 

“Most host communities do not know what is happening, most of the contracts are done in secrecy and memorandum of understanding are not signed by the communities. 

“In my community Ndukwa in Delta, the local government is complaining that most international oil companies operating are no longer paying tenements rate, royalties as required, ” she said.