Market Report: Cote d’Ivoire Unveils Fresh Blocks for Oil and Gas Exploration

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NIGERIA

The Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva outlined the 5 major critical areas that the Country is to focus on in the Oil and Gas sector in 2020. He expressed optimism that both the Petroleum Industry Governance, Administration & Host Communities Bill and the Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill will be passed within a year to effect these changes in the industry.

The 5 areas to be focused on are: Midstream and Downstream sectors; Addressing security challenges around oil and gas installations to curtail theft of crude and petroleum products; Enable the operations of the National Oil company as a responsive commercial enterprise; Settle dispute with existing partners and pave the way for FID on major capital projects; and Deepen domestic gas utilization and overall monetization of gas resources. This was stated at his first major press conference of the year.

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has stated that Nigeria’s Natural Gas Reserves which has been on the incline since 2013 is projected to grow at 1/0% annually. This is attributed to growing commitments on gas projects. Domestic Supply Obligation (DSO) performance was about 48% and the national gas capacity performance for 2018 was around 80% with an average 1.3 Billion Standard Cubic Feet of gas per day (Bscf/d).

DPR reported that its zero routine gas flaring target in 2020 is vigorously being pursued. The Department also continues to drive on-going implementation of the Nigerian Gas Transportation Network Code (NGTNC) in its bid to allow the country to focus more on gas in the coming years.

COTE D’IVOIRE

Cote d’Ivoire is the new hotspot catching the interest of IOCs and mining operators. The country is poised for growth with a pro-investment government having recently unveiled fresh blocks for oil and gas exploration in a mini-licensing round.

Cote d’Ivoire is looking to license 13 more vacant offshore blocks, kicking-off with three newly demarcated license areas and two existing blocks. Currently, the country produces 38,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) of oil from four blocks and 213 million cubic-feet-per-day of gas.

On mining, Cote d’Ivoire has the largest area of Birimian geology in West Africa – coupled with its being the least-explored in the region – makes the country the most prospective mining destination in West Africa. The Cote d’Ivoire Oil, Gas & Mining Investment Summit & Expo 2020 scheduled to hold from 18th-19th of March, in Abidjan is a strategic gathering to discuss these exciting developments and opportunities, not only in Cote d’Ivoire but also around the neighbouring West African economies.

The Summit’s theme – Energy and Mining for Growth and Development: New Horizons, New Partnerships will feature the latest petroleum and mining insights along with most-pressing issues from administrators and industry leaders. The Summit’s Expo will showcase a wide range of technology, services, and solutions developed for the energy and mining sectors.

Global

On Thursday 7th January, oil prices turned lower, giving up earlier gains after officials from a group of major producers failed to agree on deeper production cuts in the face of a sharp drop in global demand growth. The U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were 0.5% lower at $50.48 a barrel at 9:00 AM ET (14:00 GMT), while Brent crude futures were 1.2% lower at $55.61 a barrel.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its weekly report for Wednesday 5th January showed a rise in crude inventories by 3.35 million barrels for the week ending January 31, against analysts’ expectations for a build of 2.8 million barrels.

Technical experts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) have recommended a production cut of 600,000 barrels a day(bpd) to offset the demand impact from the coronavirus outbreak. This would likely be on top of the existing accord to cut 1.7 million bpd in output, which began in January and expires at the end of March.

However, the group didn’t decide on the holding of an emergency meeting to ratify its recommendation this month, as Russia asked for more time to assess the impact of the outbreak. This lack of agreement undermined the positive sentiment generated earlier by China’s move to halve tariffs on $75 billion of U.S. imports from February 14.

The tariff reductions come as China struggles to mitigate the economic damage caused by the coronavirus outbreak, which has so far claimed more than 560 lives. In China, short-term sales of crude oil and liquefied natural gas almost ground to a halt this week as the coronavirus slowed economic activity and cut demand.