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On Tuesday 20th March, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said four oil and gas wells were being planned for drilling in the Gongola Basin to further test the prospects identified around the Kolmani River-1, Nasara-1, and Kuzari-1 in 2018. Dr. Maikanti Baru, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC disclosed that the corporation planned to drill four wells in areas they have acquired 1,961km2 3D seismic data out of 3,550 square km. Baru said NNPC would be going into the deeper Maiduguri sub-basin to acquire more 3D seismic data as soon as normalcy returns to the Chad basin.
Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, said the Federal Government has deferred the award of new acreages until the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) is signed into law. Kachikwu also said the Federal Government is expecting investments worth $40 billion in the upstream segment of the oil and gas industry over the next five years. These investments would come through three major deep-water oil fields – Total’s Egina field located in oil mining lease (OML) 130, which will give the country 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) and an investment worth $16 billion. Eni’s Zabazaba field, which will be operated by the Nigerian subsidiary, Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), located in oil prospecting lease (OPL) 245, will bring in $12 billion. Shell’s Bonga South West/Aparo (BSWAP), located in OML 118, will bring in $10 billion. The rehabilitation of the refineries will bring in about $2.5 billion to $3 billion and pipeline contracts will attract investments of about $3 billion. Kachikwu stated that these projects are important to Nigerian content development, adding that the government targeted $100 billion of investments will grow the industry and make a maximum contribution to the economy. Kachikwu said the government has concluded plans on private investments that will come into the downstream for rehabilitation of existing refineries. The announcement of the deals and commencement of the rehabilitation will be in April.
Petrogress, Inc. announced that its Petrogress Co. Limited (PGL) subsidiary entered into a Partnership Agreement with Platon Gas Oil Ghana Limited (PGO), pursuant to which PGL will supply crude oil for storage, refining, marketing and distribution in Ghana by PGO. Under the Partnership Agreement, PGL is expected to deliver 3,000-5,000 metric tons of crude oil on a monthly basis for storage and processing by PGO into various petroleum products, including crude oil, blendstocks, cutter stock and other feedstock. PGO will also be expected to market and distribute the refined petroleum products. Net profits from the sale of the petroleum products will be split evenly between PGL and PGO. Christos P. Traios, Petrogress Chief Executive Officer said: “We are excited about our partnership with PGO and believe it is an excellent opportunity for Petrogress to expand its supply operations into Ghana. Our companies’ combined facilities, assets and services are not only expected to provide for enhanced revenue streams, but also strengthen our footprint in West Africa”.
On Thursday 22nd March, oil prices dropped from a 7-week high amid rising U.S. output. The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude May contract fell by 40 cents at $64.78 a barrel at 6:35 AM ET (10:35 GMT), the ICE Futures Exchange in London Brent oil for May delivery was down 52 cents at $68.94 a barrel. The U.S Energy Information Administration weekly report for Wednesday 21st March showed a fall in crude oil inventories by 2.6 million barrels in the week ending March 16.
U.S. crude oil production increased by 0.3% from the previous week to a fresh all-time high of 10.40 million bpd, keeping it above Saudi Arabia’s output levels and within reach of Russia, the world’s biggest crude producer. Analysts and traders have recently warned that booming U.S. shale oil production could potentially derail OPEC’s effort to end a supply glut. The producer group, along with some non-OPEC members led by Russia, agreed in December to extend oil output cuts until the end of 2018.