Thursday, 9 August 2012

OPEC to cut oil demand growth forecast for 2013

Citing a vague and turbulent outlook for the global economy, OPEC has said that it may have to reduce its forecast for growth in world oil demand for 2013 by 20%. OPEC forecast that demand will expand by 810,000 barrels per day (bpd) next year, although the odds suggest oil use could undershoot that figure.
OPEC expects world economic growth to slow to 3.2% next year from 3.3% in 2012, hindered by a slightly slower expansion in the United States and China, the world's two largest oil consumers, and weakness in the euro zone.
OPEC trimmed the forecast of demand for its own oil this year and in 2013 by 80,000 bpd and 100,000 bpd, respectively, due to higher supply from producers outside the 12-member group. The United States, Canada and South Sudan are among the non-OPEC producers expected to provide more oil than previously expected this year. South Sudan said this week it hoped to resume production in September after ending a dispute with Sudan. OPEC now expects demand for its crude to average 29.9 million bpd in 2012 – significantly less than it is pumping at present even after a drop in output last month due to sanctions on Iran and a cutback by Saudi Arabia.
OPEC's demand outlook is, as usual, more cautious than that of the U.S. government which raised its forecast for 2013 growth in oil consumption. 

Clean-up of Ogoniland: MOSOP Accepts HYPREP

Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) said it accepts the Hydro-carbon Pollution Restoration Programme (HYPREP) for the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report for the clean-up of Ogoniland. However, MOSOP expressed dissatisfaction that it took the government one year to commence the implementation of the UNEP report despite the urgency of the situation.
In a statement which was jointly signed by the Chairman of MOSOP Provisional Council, Professor Ben Naanen, and a member of the Council and Bishop of the Ogoni Diocese of Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Rev. Solomon Gberegbara, MOSOP said the decision to accept HYPREP was taken at the congress of the Ogoni people held at the Peace and Freedom Centre, Bori, to mark one year of the release of UNEP Report.
The Federal Government had announced the setting up of HYPREP for the restoration of areas devastated by oil pollution in the Niger Delta.

PIB Delay: Reps blame Presidency

House of Representatives, has accused the Presidency of frustrating timely passage of Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB. The bill was tabled before the House when members held last plenary before proceeding on vacation. The leadership of the House had indicated before going on recess that it would start consideration of the PIB when it resumed from the long break.
Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, Mr Albert Sam-Tsokwa, said it was disturbing that it took the executive over one year to re-work the bill. He said the delay in consideration of the bill was occasioned by the inexplicable delay by the executive in drafting the new bill. He said that if the executive was genuinely committed to the PIB, it would have been more proactive in handling the bill, arguing that the House had proved several times that it placed national interest above other issues.

South Korea firms set to resume Iran oil imports

South Korean oil refiners are in talks with Iran to resume oil imports by using Iranian tankers as a way to circumvent European Union sanctions. Negotiations are currently underway between Tehran and officials of Hyundai Oilbank, SK Energy. A spokesman for SK Energy, one of the South Korean refiners which previously bought Iranian oil, confirmed the ongoing talks but refused to elaborate. An official of the Seoul's knowledge economy ministry said Seoul refiners were discussing with Tehran ways to resume imports, including letting the Middle Eastern nation provide tankers or cover insurance for shipments.
South Korea bought 9.4 percent of its crude oil from Iran last year. It had been sharply reducing purchases this year in return for a waiver from separate US sanctions on Tehran. Imports stopped entirely in July when an EU oil embargo on Iran over its nuclear programme took effect, banning European firms from insuring Iranian oil shipments.
South Korea is a close ally of the United States, which stations 28,500 troops in the country to deter any North Korean attack. But Iran is the South Korea's third-largest trade market in the Middle East. Tehran warned in June it would reconsider ties with Seoul if it stopped importing oil from Iran.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Nigeria: Power Supply hit 4,237mw

Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji has announced that power supply in the country has reached a peak capacity of 4,237megawatts.  Nnaji in a statement from his media aide, Mr. Ogbuagu Anikwe, in Abuja stated that the increase however excludes national spinning reserves pointing out that this is the highest power output ever to be generated in the country.
Disclosing this development to Directors in the ministry, Nnaji attributed the sharp increase to gas availability, praising the efforts of the Nigeria Gas Company (NGC) and the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke in delivering on the promise to supply gas to thermal plants in the country.
The minister also said in the statement that although water levels have also improved at the dams, hydro power plant managers at Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro are operating a management system designed to ensure that there is water for power all year round. Nnaji stressed that the transmission backbone has been able to wheel the power produced effortlessly, adding that when President Goodluck Jonathan assumed office in May 2010, the quantum of power generated in Nigeria was about 2,800mw. He explained that the figure spiked by 1000mw within one year, mostly through recoveries from existing plant capacities and that by January 2012, the generation capacity had peaked to about 4,100mw.

NNPC sign MoU with Genesis Electricity on Power Supply to Refinery

Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Genesis Electricity Limited to bolster power supply to one of its refineries, the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) in order to strengthen its production capacity.
According to a statement from the acting Group General Manager, Public Affairs of the Corporation, Mr. Fidel Pepple, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, was quoted to have said at the signing ceremony that the MoU would give PHRC a new lease of life and curb unstable power supply to the facility. While applauding the Federal Government for its commitment in addressing the power situation in PHRC, Yakubu assured government of its readiness to meet the ambitious target given to the corporation in the petroleum sector.
Yakubu expressed optimism that such new model with the company would help the Corporation re-evaluate how to address power and utility challenges to the oil installations of the NNPC. According to him: “We hope that this arrangement will be a win-win situation and it will be a test case that will add value to our installations.” On his own part, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Genesis Electricity Ltd, Mr. Akinwole Omoboriowo, assured the management of the NNPC of its preparedness to deploy the best power technology in the world to PHRC and provide qualitative electric power supply to the plant.

Crude oil pumping resumes in Iraq's Kurdish region

Pumping of crude oil earmarked for export has resumed in the Iraq's self-ruled northern Kurdish region through the central government's pipeline after halting it for four months over a payment row. The region's Natural Resources Minister Ashti Hawrami said the pumping has started and it is projected to reach 100,000 barrels a day within two days.
In 2011, a tentative deal was reached between the two administrations to allow the Kurds to send crude to Baghdad, which then sells it. Each side takes 50 percent of the revenues. But pumping was stopped in April by the Kurds who claimed that Baghdad failed to send them the money.
The Kurds and Baghdad are in a long-running dispute over the right to develop the region's resources.

IMF: $98 per barrel oil benchmark needed to balance Saudi budget by 2016

International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that Saudi Arabia's government should watch it’s spending if it wants to preserve the country's oil wealth for future generations. IMF said the country’s government is spending more than it should but did not specify an appropriate level of spending. However, it advised the government to be flexible in providing social welfare benefits and broaden its tax base so as to ensure its expenditure was efficient.
In an annual assessment of the Saudi’s economy, IMF said that "while the government has built significant policy buffers, fiscal spending is above the level consistent with an inter-generationally equitable drawdown of oil wealth."
Saudi Arabia, in response to unrest in the Arab world, had boosted spending to a record 804 billion riyals ($214 billion) in 2011, 39 percent more than initially planned and 23 percent higher than in 2010, its fastest growth in a decade. In May, Finance Minister Ibrahim Alassaf said there might be a bit of extra spending this year, adding that the kingdom's fiscal position was comfortable.
The OPEC member, who overshot its annual budget plans by an average 23 percent in the past decade, outlined spending of 690 billion riyals in its 2012 budget. Due to heavy spending, the Gulf country's dependency on oil has risen notably. The price of crude that is needed to balance the government budget is projected to rise to $98 per barrel by 2016 from an estimated $80 in 2011, the IMF said in April. However, robust oil prices, currently above $110 per barrel, have been helping to boost Saudi Arabia's fiscal cushion.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Asia turns to Nigeria, Angola for crude oil as sanctions on Iran intensify

Asia is set to import record volumes of oil from Nigeria and Angola this year as increasing supplies of high quality crude drive down its export prices and some buyers shun their traditional supplier, Iran.  A Reuters survey of trade and shipping sources monitored by Nigeria Energy Intelligence shows that end-consumers in China, India, Indonesia and other Asian countries have bought around 1.74 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude for loading in the first nine months of this year, up around 8 percent from the same period in 2011.
Strong economic growth in China and other industrial economies across Asia is driving a rapid increase in demand for crude oil. African crude oil is typically "sweet", containing low levels of corrosive sulphur compounds, and much of it is also relatively heavy, meeting Asian demand for heavy industrial fuel oil and distillates such as kerosene.  Africa's two biggest oil producers, Nigeria and Angola, have been well placed to meet this extra consumption and exports from the West African region to Asia have risen by more than 50 percent over the last five years.
In the last year, this trend has been accelerated by a big jump in U.S. output of light, high quality crudes. This new domestic production has supplanted oil that used to be imported from Africa and also forced down global spot prices of some grades of West African crude oil.  At the same time, many oil refiners that used to take Iranian oil have been scared off by the U.S. and European Union campaign against the Islamic Republic and have instead taken attractively priced oil from Africa.
Asian buyers, who usually negotiate their spot and term import contracts at least a month before loading, have committed to take an average of around 1.64 million bpd of West African crude in the third quarter of this year, up from around 1.46 million bpd in the third quarter of 2011.  August has been a particularly strong month for imports into Asia with 60 cargoes carrying around 1.84 million bpd heading east. China, the world's top energy consumer, has taken around 28 cargoes, while Indian refiners have bought 21 cargoes.
September looks like a slower month for imports into Asia with price pressures taking their toll on volumes. West African crude oil is priced against North Sea Brent crude, which has been strong relative to Dubai crude, eroding some of the price advantages enjoyed by Nigerian, Angolan and other West African grades. The flow of crude oil to Asia from West Africa is likely to keep moving up going into the fourth quarter as Chinese refiners start to restock again, traders say, ensuring total volumes in 2012 exceed previous years.

Nigeria target an increase in oil production by 1million BPD

Nigeria is targeting an increase in crude oil production by 1 million barrels per day.  This was made public by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke, who was represented by the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Andrew Yakubu, at the 36th annual conference and exhibition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) in Lagos.
The Minister through her representative said that the Nigerian deep water and shallow water had the capacity to increase crude oil production to almost one million barrels per day in the next few years, and increase total reserve to about 40 billion barrels by 2020. She highlighted the reform embarked by the government to reposition the oil and gas industry and the new Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). According to her, “critically, the Nigerian crude oil reserve is over 36 billion barrels and a current production capacity of about 2.5 billion per day, which has made Nigeria the highest supplier of crude oil in the continent.”
Nigeria currently produces 2.5 million barrels of crude oil per day and has a total reserve of about 36 billion barrels.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Quest for Nigerian Oil assets: Heritage Oil launches $370m rights issue

Heritage Oil has launched a $370m (£237m) rights issue to raise finance for its entry into the Nigerian oil industry. The fully underwritten rights issue will provide the backing for Heritage and its Nigerian partner, Shoreline Power, to buy a 45pc share of an onshore oil producing block called OML 30 from oil majors Shell, Total and ENI for $850m. The remaining stake is owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. The rest of the deal will be funded by $550m in bridge finance loans from Standard Bank of South Africa and JP Morgan. The FTSE 250 group also said it could raise additional capital via a bond or placing of ordinary shares.
The acquisition will see Heritage, which is led by chief executive Tony Buckingham radically increase its net production from 567 barrels of oil per day (bpd) to 11,320 bpd. It will also provide a more than five-fold increase in its "proven and probable" reserves to 408m barrels. OML 30 has proved and probable reserves of 1.1bn barrels of oil, worth up to $3.8bn. It is producing 35,000 bpd, but there is the potential to increase production in the short term by improving the existing infrastructure.
News of the rights issue came as Heritage unveiled a net loss of $52.2m in the six months to June 30, compared with a loss of $11.4m in the same period last year, as costs jumped. Heritage - which has interests in Russia, Kurdistan and Tanzania - said operating costs rose 21pc to $1.6m and production tax climbed from $1.5m to $2.2m, while acquisition costs of $18.1m and an $18.4m write-down of assets in Mali all hurt the bottom line. This offset a 35pc rise in oil production to 567 bpd at a 4pc higher average price of $39.9 per barrel. Petroleum revenues rose to $2.85m in the first half from $2.85m.
 Heritage ended the half with a cash balance of $34.6m, down from $310.9m at the start of the year. This excludes costs of $407m related to a tax dispute in Uganda. The company remains in dispute over tax claims for $435m by Uganda’s government following the sale of oil blocks in the African country in 2010.

PENGASSAN: PIB must address labor & other issues

Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, has vowed that it will not support the Petroleum Industrial Bill, PIB unless it addresses labor issues, among others. In a 10-point position paper, the umbrella body for senior workers in the oil and gas industry insisted that transparency and accountability in the petroleum industry must take priority.
Specifically, PENGASSAN  in line with transparency and accountability stance said “PIB must ensure a competitive, non-discretionary licensing and tender processes, publish all licenses, tenders and contracts online,  void confidentiality clauses for oil revenue and payment information, publish quarterly comprehensive production, export and import figures and publish NNPC annual reports and audits online as the case with the multi-nationals.”
There should be community participation through Petroleum Host Communities Fund and clearer definition of community participation and ownership to foster enduring harmony and co-existence with the host communities.
PENGASSAN also said “there must be simple and transparent technical licensing, elimination of the downstream allocation process, end to the Minister’s role in issuing licenses and all discretionary power of the Minister with regards to licenses of all kinds”, arguing that approval processes should be simplified. It called for a single regulatory authority for upstream, midstream and downstream, capitalization and unbundling of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
On refinery, PENGASSAN demanded “the adoption of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, model of 49%/51% Equity Shares and ensure that the management of each refining company is autonomous and fully responsible for its success and failure. Effective incentives should be granted to allow for the development of private refineries alongside the existing refineries.
PENGASSAN canvassed that “the PIB should ensure mandatory recognition of the right to freedom of association and effective collective bargaining by all companies operating or doing business in the Nigeria oil and gas industry, irrespective of where they are located. The position of the 2008 original PIB position on this should be strengthened. In addition, the PIB must ensure that all companies operating in the Nigerian oil and gas industry comply with all international labour conventions that have been ratified by Nigeria; the collective agreements with the labour unions and the extant labour laws as a minimum in all their dealings with the Nigerian workers and their representatives. Workers shall transit to the new companies on same terms and conditions.”
“There should be one representative each of PENGASSAN, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC and Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, in all boards and committees set up in the PIB.

TSKJ to pay $35m tax liability to FIRS

TSKJ, the construction contractors to the Nigeria LNG Limited, NLNG, has been ordered to pay N5.14 billion ($35,938,087) as tax liabilities to the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS. by the Abuja division of the Tax Appeal Tribunal. The order specifically concerns TSKJ II, a multinational company and parent firm to TSKJ Nigeria Limited.
It follows an appeal by TSKJ II, challenging the FIRS Tax assessments in a contract for the construction of the Nigeria liquefied natural gas project. The assessment is for the period, 2006 to 2008. Acting Chairman of the Tribunal, Hon. Nnamdi Ibegbu (SAN), who issued the order, also awarded N300, 000 against TSKJ II as cost of the three appeals decided in favor of FIRS.
The company (TSKJ II) had filed three separate appeals with suits No TAT/ABJ/APP1010/2008, TAT/ABJ/APP/006/2006 and TAT/ABJ/APP/017/2010 before the tribunal.
In the appeal to the Tax Appeal Tribunal by TSKJ II against the FIRS assessment, the company challenged FIRS refusal to amend its assessments for 1997-2002 and additional assessment raised by the Service and 550, 556.74 dollars tax liabilities for 2008 and 2009 tax years, among others.
In the first ruling on the appeal of FIRS assessment for 1997-2002, the Tax Appeal Tribunal upheld FIRS assessment that TSKJN is to pay $ 16,688,267 dollars as tax. Also, in the ruling, the court upheld FIRS assessment of $ 19,249,820 million dollars. In trying to fulfill its tax obligations for the years in question, TSKJ II filed its tax returns, under Section 26 of Companies Income Tax, CITA, but made deductions on expenses incurred by its subsidiary, TSKJ Nigeria Limited, but, the FIRS scoffed at that. FIRS maintained that since TSKJ II did not file its audited accounts, but filed under Section 26 of CITA, deductions in favor of TSKJ Nigeria Limited were not allowable.

Kuwait Oil Minister: Iran, regional tension pushing oil price up

Kuwait Oil Minister, Hani Hussein, has said that drop in Iranian production coupled with regional tensions were pushing oil prices higher.  According to Hussein, "Iranian production has dropped which has contributed to raising prices and fears from regional tensions and economic issues have also pushed prices higher”.
Hussein said that despite geopolitical tensions, "oil supplies are going well and there is enough production to meet market demand which is a positive signal to the market." Iranian oil production has dropped sharply following European and US sanctions on the Islamic republic over its nuclear programme, according to OPEC.
Global oil prices rebounded sharply after better-than-expected jobs data in the United States and ongoing tensions over key producer Iran.  New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for September, jumped $4.27 to $91.40 a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for delivery in September soared $3.04 to $108.94 a barrel in London deals.
US President Barack Obama imposed new economic sanctions on Iran's oil export sector and on a pair of Chinese and Iraqi banks accused of doing business with Tehran.

Crude Oil Theft: NNPC, Inter-Agency C’ttee seek co-operation

 Following President Goodluck Jonathan’s directive and inauguration of the committee to initiate measures that will bring an end to illegal crude oil business in the country, the NNPC has expressed its determination to collaborate with other government agencies to achieve same, stating that as an indispensable player in maritime business, it must rise to the occasion in such a time as this.
 According to a statement from the acting Group General Manager, Public Affairs of the Corporation, Fidel Pepple, the Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu was quoted to have said this when the inter-agency maritime operation committee paid him a courtesy call in his office.
Yakubu noted that NNPC as a corporate entity takes part in the maritime business both locally and internationally must rise-up to the occasion along with other government agencies to confront and bring to book unscrupulous individuals that have deprived and depleted the nation’s economy as a result of their illegal maritime business.
Yakubu said that “the maritime industry significantly impacts on our industry and we really do appreciate efforts of Mr. President to address particularly issues that border on crude oil theft. We are ready to support the various initiatives of the Federal Government so as to stem the embarrassing trend of illegal bunkering in the maritime industry. We know the impact of bunkering and crude oil theft on our economy and our environment. These are vices that we must collectively stamp out of our nation. We cannot claim that we are helpless.”
Members of the inter-agency maritime operation committee are drawn from the NNPC, Nigerian Navy, Air Force, Customs, Police, SSS and the judiciary.

Nigeria, Jamaica to boost bilateral ties with Oil & Gas trade

One of the outcomes of the two-day visit of President Goodluck Jonathan’s state visit to Jamaica, which coincided with the celebration of the country’s Golden Jubilee is the resolve for Nigeria and Jamaica to re-visit their interests in the multi-million dollars oil and gas trade with a view to boosting bilateral ties in the trade of the commodities which was first suspended in 1993 by the military regime of the late General Sani Abacha.
Both Jonathan and Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Simpson Miller  were worried about the suspension of the two countries technical cooperation in oil and agreed on a bilateral talks to start exploring possibilities of cooperation in this area. According to a communiqué issued in Jamaica at the end of the talks, the two leaders “expressed concern over the status of Jamaica-Nigeria technical cooperation in oil, as the Jamaica-Nigeria oil facility had been suspended.
 In May 2012, at the Global African Diaspora Summit in Johannesburg, the two leaders had co-chaired similar high-powered bilateral meetings on matters of mutual interest between the two countries including energy, trade, air services, sports, cultural and technical cooperation. Security concerns and the desire by Jamaica to get a steady supply of crude oil from a favourable partner were said to have motivated the first oil deal between the two countries in 1978 when President Olusegun Obasanjo was the military leader of Nigeria. The then prime minister, Michael Manley of Jamaica, who was seeking to partner friendly countries signed the deal which fetched the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), via the instrumentality of Vitol SA and Trafigura Limited, a net income of some US$4.6 million before it was cancelled in 1993.
 It was decided by the Abacha government that Jamaica and other benefactors would have to re-negotiate new agreements with Nigeria. This prompted the PCJ to try the renegotiation of the deal for seven years without success, until Obasanjo returned to power in 1999.
 A new deal was concluded a year later and PCJ immediately sought a new trader, settling with Trafigura for a US7.5 cents per barrel commission. This was later increased to US12 cents, which profit was used by PCJ to finance research on oil exploration, renewable energy, conservation and the possibilities of LNG. However, the contract with the Dutch firm, Trafigura, ended in controversy in 2007 over a $31 million payment made to the then ruling People’s National Party (PNP) of Jamaica.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Subsidy Scam: Activist disagree with Police on Lawan’s Trial

A human rights activist, Mr. Kayode Ajulo has disagreed with an alleged decision of the police authorities to put on hold trial of the former Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy, Hon. Farouk Lawan, over the $620,000 bribery scandal.  Ajulo who is legal practitioner, described the reports of police to wait for the legal advice of the Attorney-General as tantamount to double standard. The activist said by the nature and form of the bribery case, it is quite clear that the police and even the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) have constitutional powers to prosecute the matter.
According Ajulo, “the alleged report that the police was waiting for the Attorney-General’s legal advice on Lawan’s bribery scandal is rather unfortunate as it has no basis in the Nigerian jurisprudence. As a lawyer, I saw the police position on this as double standard based on the personalities involved, The matter nevertheless is common criminal offence provided for in our penal/criminal code.  One therefore wondered if every common case of graft is sent to the AGF for legal advice, how many of such cases will be prosecuted.”

Arab OPEC reaped $624 billion from crude oil in 2011

Members of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) reaped $624.8 billion in 2011 from crude oil exports, according to the latest data. The data also reveal that the oil income for OAPEC in the year 2010 was announced as $450bn.
In real terms, the combined Arab income stood at $479bn in 2011 taking into account the real dollar value and global inflation. While the nominal price of OPEC's basket of crudes stood at around $107 per barrel in 2011 its real value averaged about $88 in 1995 prices. The oil price in 2010 also averaged nearly $60 far below the level in current prices.
In 2010, Saudi Arabia earned $184.4bn from oil exports, which jumped to $289bn in 2011, the report said. Bahrain's 2011 income stood at $6.3bn.
In 2009, current oil prices averaged around $61 but in 1995 prices they were about $48.1. Prices were as high as $94.4 in 2008 while they were only around $75 in 1995 prices. In 2007, they averaged $69.1 in current prices but were $56 in real terms.
Kuwait-based OAPEC is a multi-governmental organization which coordinates energy policies between oil-producing Arab nations, and whose main purpose is developmental. The members are: Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Qatar, Tunisia and Syria.

Two naval guards killed, four foreigners kidnapped by pirates off Nigeria waters

Two Nigerian naval guards were killed while four foreigners were kidnapped by pirates when they attacked a ship being used by an oil servicing company in the waters off Niger delta, Nigeria. According to the Navy spokesman Commodore Kabir Aliyu, the foreigners are one Malaysian, one Iranian, a Thai and an Indonesian.
The attack took place around 33 nautical miles off the coast of Bonny, Nigeria's main oil export terminal. Netherlands-based Sea Trucks Group, whose boat Jascon was attacked, confirmed that four of its staff had been seized and that two other security guards were also wounded in the attack. The two remaining injured security personnel are now in Port Harcourt hospital for treatment. Sea Trucks Group is making every effort to find out where the kidnappers.

Oil Wells: Cross River turns down N250m monthly largesse from Akwa Ibom

The Cross River state government has rejected the N250 million monthly payments from akwa Ibom state saying that it was a degrading offer which portrayed the leadership of Cross River as opportunistic and irresponsible. This was made public by the Cross River state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Mr Attah Ochinke at a press conference. Ochinke said it was not correct to say that Cross River rejected overtures for amicable settlement with Akwa Ibom rather the Cross River government went to court to enforce the settlement that had already been reached.
According to him, "The matter had been settled and agreement written and it was implemented for three years, so what has happened for the parties to now withdraw from that agreement?
The government of Akwa Ibom said they offered us when the matter was in court, N250 million a month as a peaceful settlement on the matter. I do not know when the matter will be settled but I am very certain of one thing, if we do not recover the territory it is not because it does not belong to us, but because we are unable to recover the territory”.
It would be recalled that the Supreme Court had in recent judgement ceded 76 oil wells which Cross River laid claims to Akwa Ibom. In the aftermath of the judgment, Gov. Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom had offered to pay Cross River N250 million as grant to cushion the pains of the loss.