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India, Netherlands, Spain emerge top export destinations for Nigeria’s crude oil

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India, Netherlands and Spain have now filled the vacuum left by the United States as top buyers of Nigeria’s crude oil, according to a document obtained from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The countries were part of about 56 countries, cutting across Western Europe, Oceania/Pacific, South America, North America, Middle East, Asia and Far East as well as Africa, which were favourite destinations for the commodity.

The latest Annual Statistical Bulletin (ASB) produced by the national oil company showed that India led the pack of buyers of Nigeria’s crude for the 2020 trading year with 107.89 million barrels, followed by Netherlands with 73 million barrels, and Spain with 70.4 million barrels.

As some buyers turned their backs on Nigeria’s crude because it was more expensive due to its top quality, India and other countries had upped their hydrocarbons trade with Nigeria, the data showed.

Although successive Nigerian governments had expressed their desire to diversify the country’s economy, the oil sector still accounted for about 90 per cent of total exports, over 86 per cent of foreign exchange earnings and a paltry 9.61 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The data from NNPC further showed that apart from the top three consumers of Nigeria’s oil, South Africa came a close fourth with 68.3 million barrels, Italy purchased 32.5 million barrels, while China bought a total 29.6 million barrels from the country during the period under review.

Other countries listed as consumers of Nigeria’s crude are United Kingdom with 24.3 million barrels, Cote d’Ivoire with 20.4 million barrels, France with 19.7 million barrels, Singapore which bought 19.4 million barrels and United States Gulf Coast with a cumulative purchase of 19.4 million barrels.

Togo bought 17.3 million barrels, Portugal purchased 14.8 million barrels, Turkey’s total transaction for the year was 18.1 million barrels, followed by Indonesia’s 17.1 million barrels.

Included also on the list of buyers were Germany, Sweden, Norway, Poland, Australia, Peru, Uruguay, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and Myanmar.

Brazil, a top oil producer, bought the least quantity of 266,264 barrels. Other Nigerian crude oil customers included Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Ghana and Senegal.

In the year under consideration, 648.5 million barrels of oil were lifted with the highest percentage of 42 per cent going to Western Europe, 31.2 per cent going to Asia, 18.28 retained in Africa while 5.7 per cent went to North America.

Furthermore, an analysis of Nigeria’s 10-year crude oil production revealed that the country produced about 8.425 billion barrels during the period 2010-2020.

A breakdown of the figures indicated that in 2010, 896 million barrels, the highest for the period, was produced, 866.2 million barrels was produced in 2011, 852.7 million barrels in 2012, 800 million barrels in 2013, 798 million barrels in 2014, and 773 million barrels in 2015.

In addition, 2016 saw the production of 666.7 million barrels, in 2017 it was 689.7 million barrels, it was 701.4 million barrels in 2018, 735.24 million barrels in 2019, while in 2020 Nigeria produced the lowest quantity of oil estimated at 644.36 million barrels.

In terms of exploration activities, a total of 81 wells were drilled, including 76 development wells and five exploratory wells. But the activity was negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged the world last year.

Total crude oil and condensate production for the year was 644.3 barrels, giving a daily average of 1.76 million bpd, lower than the 2019 production by 12.36 per cent.

Production by fiscal regime showed that Joint Ventures (JVs) contributed 208 million barrels, Alternative Financing (AF) contributed 68.8 million barrels, Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) contributed 254.7 million barrels, Independents and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) contributed 93.4 million barrels while marginal fields added 19.3 million barrels.

In the gas sector, a total of 2,729.1 Billion Cubic Feet (BCF) of natural gas was produced in 2020, indicating a decrease of 4.74 per cent when compared with 2019 production 2,864.93 BCF.

The estimated average daily consumption for 2020 was 60 million litres of petrol, 14.1 million litres of diesel and 740,316 litres of household kerosene per day.

Whereas Nigeria’s crude oil still remains quite competitive in the international market because of its low sulphur content, the current push for renewable sources of energy and the net-zero push by developed countries by 2050 remains a major challenge to the future of oil business in the country.

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BUSINESS

External reserves sustains downward trend, sheds $337m in 2wks

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Nigeria’s external reserves fell by $337 million in the first two weeks of August, maintaining its declining trend since the middle of last month.

Data from the Central Bank of Nigeria showed that the external reserves fell to $38.882 billion on Thursday August 11th, 2022, from $39.219 billion at the end of July 2022.

This indicates that the external reserves has lost $563 million since July 18, when it commenced the latest downward trend.

Prior to July 18, the external reserves had maintained a 40 days upward trend, rising by $976 million to $39.445 billion from $38.421 billion on June 6th, buoyed by rise in the price of crude oil, which accounts for over 80 per cent of the nation’s foreign exchange  earnings.

However, analysts at Financial Derivatives Company Limited, FDC, attributed the declining fortunes of the reserves since July 18 to increased dollar sales by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, in its bid to stabilise the exchange rate.

While projecting further decline in the external reserves, they however maintained that the increased dollar supply by the apex bank will lead to appreciation of the naira at the official and parallel market.

Making this projection in the FDC Bi-Monthly Economic Bulletin, they said: “The depletion on the reserves was majorly due to CBN’s supply of foreign exchange to stabilise the currency.

“The external reserves is expected to continue its downward trend as the CBN intensifies its efforts to stabilise the currency by supplying foreign exchange to the I & E (Investors and Exporters) window.

“Because of the country’s low oil production levels, high oil prices may have less of an impact on the country’s external reserves.

“A constant depletion of the external reserves is likely to discourage the CBN from supplying foreign exchange in the foreign exchange market. This could further stoke currency depreciation as demand outpaces supply.”

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Nigeria loses N101bn worth of oil, says OPEC

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Nigeria’s crude oil production plunged by 2.3 million barrels in July 2022 when compared to what the country produced in the preceding month of June, data from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries showed on Thursday.

In its latest Monthly Oil Market Report for August 2022, OPEC stated that crude oil production figures based on direct communication indicated that Nigeria’s output dropped by an average of 74,000 barrels per day in July.

This implies that for the 31 days in July, the country lost about 2.3 million barrels of crude oil. The organisation further stated that the average cost of Brent crude, the global benchmark for oil, during the month under review was $105.12/barrel.

By losing 2.3 million barrels in July this year, it means Nigeria’s oil earnings fell by about $241.1m or N101.13bn (at the official exchange rate of N419.37/$) in the month under review.

Data from OPEC showed that Nigeria’s oil production in June 2022 was 1.158 million barrels per day, but this dropped to 1.084 million barrels per day in July.

The country had produced 1.024 million barrels per day in May this year, according to figures released by OPEC on Thursday.

The Federal Government, operators and experts have consistently fingered crude oil theft in the Niger Delta as the major reason for Nigeria’s poor output and its continued failure to meet the monthly oil production quota approved by OPEC.

The Chief Executive Officer, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, Dr. Muda Yusuf, blamed the challenges in the oil sector on the high level of insecurity across the country.

This, he said, had continued to discourage investors in the sector, leading to lower production of crude oil and lower earnings for Nigeria despite the increased cost of crude.

He said, “Investors in the oil and gas sector continue to lament the challenges posed by insecurity, oil theft, unstable policies and inappropriate fiscal regimes.

“The downstream sector has continued to be weighed down by the pricing regimes and the regulatory environments which have continued to dim the growth prospects in the sector.”

Meanwhile OPEC stated that crude oil prices dipped in July, as against their costs in June, adding that crude in OPEC Reference Basket fell by $9.17 or 7.8 per cent month-on-month in July to average $108.55/barrel.

“Oil futures prices remained highly volatile in July, amid a sharp drop in liquidity. The ICE Brent front month declined $12.38 or 10.5 per cent in July to average $105.12/barrel and NYMEX WTI declined by $14.96 or 13.1 per cent to average $99.38/barrel,” the global oil cartel stated.

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BUSINESS

Elon Musk says Twitter hiding key witnesses in bot battle

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Elon Musk got another $7 billion from friends and investors to buy Twitter

Elon Musk is accusing Twitter Inc. of hiding key witnesses in their legal battle over whether he must consummate a $44 billion buyout of the company, according to people familiar with the allegations.

Musk contends the social media company isn’t producing the names of employees specifically responsible for evaluating how much of Twitter’s customer base is made up of spam and robot accounts, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

Musk’s lawyers have asked the judge in the case to force Twitter to identify the workers so the defense can get their records and question them, the people said.

A letter asking Delaware Chancery Court Judge Kathaleen St. J. McCormick to compel Twitter to hand over the names was filed Tuesday under seal. Under the court’s rules, Twitter’s attorneys have five business days to decide what should be redacted from the filing as proprietary information.

A Twitter spokesman declined to comment on the filing.

Tesla Share Sale
The letter comes as the Tesla Inc. co-founder said Tuesday he is selling $6.9 billion of Tesla shares to avoid a sudden sale in the event he is forced to go ahead with the deal to acquire Twitter. That has prompted some analysts to predict the billionaire may settle the case.

So far Twitter has handed over the names of “records custodians,” who aren’t as familiar with the data at issue, the people said. Musk wants McCormick to force Twitter to come up with the names of the employees charged with monitoring those accounts, they said.

Both sides have issued a torrent of subpoenas to banks, investors and lawyers involved in the teetering transaction as they seek ammunition for an Oct. 17 trial.

“It’s another salvo in the discovery wars that are common in this kind of litigation,” said Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor who specializes in securities and merger and acquisition law. “Both sides are jockeying for position by targeting different information.”

War of the Bots

Twitter’s lawyers say they’ll need only four days in court to prove Musk is using questions about spam and bot accounts as a pretext to walk away from the deal. The company said it has turned over all its information about those accounts and that it intends to make Musk pay the $54.20 per share he originally agreed to.

Musk counters in court filings that Twitter’s handover of the that material hasn’t been robust and that the company has failed to produce evidence that spam bots account for fewer than 5% of its active users, as it has said in regulatory filings. He argues this gives him a legitimate basis for canceling the buyout.

He alleges Twitter’s disclosures show that the actual number of monetizable daily active users, or mDAU as the industry calls it, is 65 million less than the 238 million Twitter has claimed. He says Twitter also misrepresents how many of those users view advertising, the company’s main source of revenue. By his estimate, fewer than 16 million users see the majority of ads and should be counted as monetizable.

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