Friday, 14 December 2012

Akpabio Warns against Reintroducing Onshore/Offshore Laws

Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Godswill Akpabio, has warned that the plan to reintroduce the onshore and offshore oil laws in the country will break Nigeria, stating that the law is obnoxious, outdated and can cause hatred within the country.
Speaking on the issue, Akpabio said: “The planned re-introduction of the on and off shore laws is an evil wind that will not blow the country any good. The 19 Northern states are using the opportunity of the constitution review to champion the cause for the abrogation of the on and off shore oil laws that were abolished in Nigeria during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo. The Northern governors have gone to the extent of setting up a committee of state attorneys-general to come up with a bill that would be sent to National Assembly.”
According to him, “the planned re-introduction of the off and on shore laws will introduce a heightened vandalism of oil pipelines and militancy as well as hatred.  I don’t know why we should be contemplating the introduction of laws that will divide us as Nigerians.”
The governor said: “Nigeria is blessed with numerous natural resources”, citing the example of Australia that was dependent on mining, asking why states like Nasarawa State that is blessed with natural resources will not concentrate in the development of its natural resources.

Fuel Subsidy: Senate Passes N162bn Supplementary Budget

Amidst mixed feelings amongst some of its members, Senate has passed into an Act the request by President Goodluck Jonathan for an additional N161,617,364,911 as fuel subsidy payment in the 2012 budget framework.
The approval came from the upper chamber after the second reading of the bill for an Act to authorize the issue of appropriation of the request from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation to provide for the supplementary payment of fuel subsidy.
The Senate eventually passed it in view of its emergency nature, as observed by Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Abdul Ningi.

Oil producing firms owe FG N336bn

The Federal Government has been able to recover only N68.94bn out of the $2.6bn (N404.98bn) underpayments by operators in the oil and gas sector, leaving a balance of N336.03bn yet to be recovered. The underpayments were revealed in three audit reports for 1999-2004, 2005, and 2006-2008 conducted by the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative.
The Executive Secretary, NEITI, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said at the release of the Solid Minerals Sector Audit Report 2007-2010 in Abuja that measures put in place by the organization in collaboration with other government agencies had led to some recovery amounting to N68.94bn. The Chairman, NEITI, Mr. Ledum Mitee, also said the nation lost N4.04bn in the solid mineral sector between 2007 and 2010 due the use of outdated rates in the calculation of royalty payments.
Ahmed said the three audit reports showed that the Federation Account was boosted by $269bn (N41.89tn) between 1999 and 2008 through revenues from the oil and gas sector.
On the solid minerals sector, Mitee said the audit commissioned by NEITI earlier in the year revealed a discrepancy between what companies claimed they paid to the government and what government agencies claimed they received.

OPEC does not see increased US oil output as a threat

OPEC does not see increased U.S. oil output as a threat to its interests but is skeptical about current forecasts on the boom of American shale oil production.
OPEC Secretary General Abdullah Al-Badri also said that figures supplied by Iran show it producing around 3.7 million barrels a day. That is the same amount as Tehran pumped before international embargos on its crude that took effect this year and is estimated to have cost it hundreds of thousands of barrels a day in sales.
Al-Badri spoke to reporters a day after OPEC ministers agreed to keep their daily crude production target unchanged at 30 million barrels. They also extended his term for a year after failing to agree on a successor for the post because of rivalries among Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq, which nominated candidates.
OPEC, which accounts for about a third of the world's oil production, is projecting a slight fall in demand for its crude next year, and world inventories are well stocked, in part because of resurgent production by the United State, which is tapping into oil extraction from shale.

Kazakhstan gets $1.8 bn Chinese loan for gas pipeline

China's state-owned China Development Bank (CDB) will provide a $1.8 billion loan to finance a gas pipeline project in Kazakhstan. The loan will be allocated to Beineu-Shymkent Gas Pipeline LLP, controlled 50-50 by KazTransGas and the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).
The project to build the Beineu-Shymkent gas pipeline, which will connect all major Kazakh pipelines into a single network, is being implemented jointly by Kazakhstan's national oil and gas company KazMunayGas and the CNPC. The project was agreed by Kazakhstan and China in a bilateral agreement.
The 1,475-km Beineu-Shymkent pipeline, which will link gas-rich western Kazakhstan to consumers in the south, is the second stage of the planned Kazakhstan-China Gas Pipeline.The first leg of the pipeline, Beineu-Bozoy, is set for completion in October 2013.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Texas judge halts TransCanada oil pipeline work

A Texas judge has ordered TransCanada to temporarily halt work on a private property where it is building part of an oil pipeline designed to carry tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast, the latest legal battle to plague a project that has encountered numerous obstacles nationwide.
Texas landowner Michael Bishop, who is defending himself in his legal battle against the oil giant, filed his lawsuit in the Nacogdoches County courthouse, arguing that TransCanada lied to Texans when it said it would be using the Keystone XL pipeline to transport crude oil.
Texas County Court at Law Judge Jack Sinz signed a temporary restraining order and injunction saying there was sufficient cause to halt work until further hearing.
Environmentalists are concerned that if the pipeline leaks or a spill occurs, the heavy tar sands will contaminate water and land. The tar sands, they argue, are more difficult to clean than regular crude, and U.S. pipeline regulations are not suited to transport the product. They also say refining the product will further pollute the air in the Texas Gulf Coast. The state already leads the nation in greenhouse gas emissions and industrial pollution.