Market Report: Chevron to Sell its Stakes in Three Oil and Gas Fields in Equatorial Guinea

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The weekly Market Report is provided by Gladius Commodities of Lagos, Nigeria. Learn more about Gladius Commodities at www.gladiuscommodities.com.

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Equatorial Guinea

Oil and gas supermajor, Chevron, is looking to sell its stakes in three oil and gas fields in Equatorial Guinea, with hopes that a recent rally in energy prices will help attract buyers. The U.S. company acquired assets in Equatorial Guinea as part of a $13 billion acquisition of hydrocarbon exploration company Noble Energy in 2020. Chevron has hired investment bank Jefferies to oversee the sale process in order to raise as much as $1 billion. According to international news and financial organization Reuters, the decision to sell the Equatorial Guinean assets comes as Chevron focuses on its more profitable production hubs, such as those in the U.S. Permian shale basin and its hubs in Kazakhstan. With oil prices at their highest levels in seven years, and a strong outlook for increased demand, the world’s top oil and gas companies hope to attract smaller buyers – such as private equity-backed producers – to aging and non-core assets. Chevron holds a 38% interest in the Alen Gas and Condensate Field in Block O, approximately 32km off the east coast of Bioko Island in Equatorial Guinea. The company operates on all three fields and expanded its presence in Equatorial Guinea in December 2021, when it signed a production sharing agreement for an offshore block in the Douala Basin. According to its annual report, the Equatorial Guinean assets added 441 billion cubic feet of natural gas to Chevron’s reserves in 2020.

Nigeria

Group Managing Director for Nigeria’s national oil company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, Alhaji Mele Kyari, noted that the country is set to move away from its recent fuel scarcity, which has been compounded in recent weeks due to the importation of substandard fuel into the country. He stated that in many parts of Nigeria, petroleum products marketing companies, under the umbrella of the Major Marketing Association of Nigeria, have extended the opening hours of their jetties, depots, and filling stations to a maximum of 18 hours per day. Furthermore, Kyari noted that there are at least 2.1 billion liters of petrol in stock in the country, which will be adequately distributed to end fuel disparity.

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum, H.E. Chief Timipre Sylva, revealed during an interview with Bloomberg, that the country currently has plans to meet European demands for natural gas, warning however, that it will take time to build the infrastructure necessary to build up capacity. H.E. Minister Sylva added that Nigeria is working on two plans to transport gas to Europe through Algeria and Morocco. The Minister also said that Nigeria has signed an MoU with Algeria and the Republic of the Niger to accelerate this plan, highlighting that the Morocco Pipeline is currently undergoing its research phase.

Global

On 24 February, crude prices tripled, surpassing the $100 mark as the situation in Ukraine continued to deteriorate. The U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures settled 71 cents at $92.81. Earlier, the WTI hit a seven-year high of $100.54, while the Brent contract futures settled $2.24 at $99.08 a barrel. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s weekly report showed that crude inventories increased by 4.5 million barrels from the week ending 18 February compared with analysts’ expectations for a build of 0.442 million barrels. At 419 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are approximately 9% below the five-year average for this time of year. The data was released a day later than usual because of a U.S. market holiday. The last time Brent traded at, or above, $100 a barrel was on 9 September 2014.

The global benchmark for oil rose to as high as $102.23 due to tensions between Russia and Ukraine, with fears over possible supply disruptions resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine having limited losses this week. The U.S.-Iranian deal to revive Iran’s 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers was close, but the deal taking shape presents several phases of mutual beneficiation to bring both sides back into full compliance, with the first phase excluding waivers on oil sanctions. Consequently, there is little chance of Iranian crude returning to the market in the immediate future to ease the current supply crunch, analysts said. OPEC+, which comprises the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting countries and allies including Russia, will work to integrate Iran into a pact for oil output should Tehran and the U.S. reach an agreement on reviving their nuclear deal.

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