Dr Maikanti Baru, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), while receiving the national leadership of Host Communities of Nigeria (HOSTCOM), reiterated the commitment to a zero-gas flare regime for all new gas projects, even as NNPC seeks to commercialize existing gas flare projects for the benefits of the host communities and the country at large. He also commended HOSTCOM for restoring sanity to the Niger Delta region, stating the relative peace had given operators the leverage to concentrate on production for the benefit of the nation’s economy.
Dr Baru urged HOSTCOM, as a pan-cultural organization, to partner with NNPC in stemming the incessant pipeline vandalism, illegal refineries and illegal crude oil bunkering in the Niger Delta, adding that the elimination of those vices would reduce to the barest level, incidences of environmental pollutions. He also noted that the clean-up of Ogoniland had commenced in earnest with the release of the first tranche of the funding for the project since 2018, adding that HOSTCOM should ensure that the environment, water and aquatic animals of the region are not impacted negatively by illegal bunkering and breaking of petroleum product pipelines. Dr. Baru pledged the commitment of oil and gas operators to abide by the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMOUs) entered into with the communities and noted that GMOUs should not be seen as a replacement for government interventions in communities.
Vitol has signed a Contract of Affreightment (COA) with NIDAS Shipping Services to ship petrol to Nigeria during the second quarter as part of its crude-for-product swap deal with NNPC. NIDAS, a London-based subsidiary of NNPC, said the contract would run from April to June 2019 in parallel with the swap deal.
This is the third COA NIDAS has won since it resumed charter operation in October 2018 after a seven-year hiatus. Previously, BP and the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic, also sealed their respective COAs with NIDAS to ship clean petroleum products to Nigeria in swap deals. NNPC has been selling crude in exchange for petroleum products in various swap deals, also known as direct-sale-direct purchase (DSDP) agreements in Nigeria.
The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea (EG) has signed agreements with multiple companies to monetize gas from the Alen field operated by Noble Energy.
Under the terms of the agreements, natural gas from the field will be processed through Alba Plant’s Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) processing plant and EG Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) production facility, both located in Punta Europa, Bioko Island.
The Alen field contains a total estimated gross recoverable resources of about 600 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent. The Alen Unit joint venture project, located in Blocks O and I, will install a 70km (44-mile) pipeline from its platform to the LNG plant, operated by Marathon Oil, and the gas will then be processed for export.
The pipeline will have a capacity of about 950 million cubic feet a day, with first gas expected in the first quarter of 2021. Marathon operates the Alba gas/condensate field offshore Equatorial Guinea. Through wholly owned subsidiaries, the company is the majority shareholder and operator of the integrated gas business at Punta Europa.
Along with Noble Energy Inc. and Sociedad Nacional de Gas de Guinea Equatorial (Sonagas), Marathon owns the LPG processor Alba Plant LLC. It also owns the EG LNG production facility with Sonagas, Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and Marubeni Gas Development UK Limited. State-owned Sonagas will increase its stake in the project from 25% to 30%, while Marathon Oil will retain the majority stake.
Equatorial Guinea’s economy largely depends on its oil and gas industry, which has seen a sustained decline in production. Exporting gas from the blocks could deliver $1.5-$2 billion in additional revenue for the country over the life of the project.
The country was in talks with international companies to invest in its oil sector and expects international oil companies to spend about $2.4 billion on the nation’s oil and gas industry by the end of 2019.
On Thursday April, 4 oil prices steadied in back-and-forth trade as expectations of tight global supply offset pressure from rising U.S. inventories and production. The West Texas Intermediate crude futures slipped 5 cents at $62.41 a barrel at 9:23 AM ET (13:23 GMT), while Brent crude futures slipped 4 cents at $68.97.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) weekly report for April 3 showed a rise in crude oil inventories by 7.24 million barrels in the week ending March 29, compared to forecasts for a stockpile draw of 0.43 million barrels.
The West Texas Intermediate oil struggled to erase losses sustained in the prior session from a surge in U.S. crude inventories and continue 2019’s bullish trend.
Sentiments were positive ahead of the meeting between the U.S. and China, which some hoped would unlock a trade deal between the two countries and banish doubts about the trajectory of Chinese oil demand.
Analysts believe that aggressive production cuts from OPEC and Russian-led allies have convinced traders that the global supply glut is on track to dry up in 2019. U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela, along with power outages in the latter, are also contributing to a reduction in supply.
Thursday’s data were also affected to some degree by the closure of the Houston Ship Channel, which has affected import and export loadings and refinery runs.