Friday, 25 January 2013

Libya to maintain silence on oil deals

Libya will not reveal the details of its oil sales this year stepping back from pledges to deliver greater transparency after the corruption of the pre-revolutionary regime.
Oil producers commonly keep the details of crude deals secret, yet Libyan officials promised to publish the details of oil deals after over 40 years of secrecy under deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi.
The state firm revealed who would buy Libya's oil in 2012 and began releasing information on prices and volumes of oil shipments on its website - but this lasted just two months, ending in 2011. Libya's NOC chairman, Nuri Berruien, said any secrecy clauses were introduced at the request of clients, not the NOC, and that most of last year's buyers would continue to purchase its oil. The state firm would resume publishing details on its yearly activities, he said.
Details on the identities of Libya's oil buyers this year have emerged through a survey of traders who were customers last year, but many are reluctant to disclose the volumes they have been allocated, or say that details are still being finalized.
Last year, the NOC provided a breakdown on allocations, revealing that trading houses had won around 9 percent of Libya's full pre-war exports of 1.3 million barrels per day.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Chevron hits Moroccan deep-water blocks

US supermajor Chevron has been awarded three new deep-water blocks off Morocco on 75% stakes. Moroccan hydrocarbon regulators ONHYM will retain a 25% stake in the block trio.
Chevron’s exploration president for Africa and Latin America Ali Moshiri said that the awards offered “promising geology in an emerging area”. The company’s vice chairman George Kirkland said entering Morocco was another step advancing Chevron’s frontier basin growth strategy.
The San Ramon, California-headquartered giant said that it would start with acquiring seismic data and conducting field studies on the deep-water trio, known as Cap Rhir Deep, Cap Cantin Deep and Cap Walidia Deep.
The blocks are located between 60 and 120 miles west and northwest of Agadir in the country's southwest. Totalling around 11,300 square miles in area, the blocks lie in average water depths ranging from between 330 feet and 14,700 feet.

South Sudan may resort to trucking oil if talks fail

Landlocked South Sudan may rely on trucks to export its crude oil if talks with Sudan aimed at re-starting exports through a pipeline fail, a South Sudanese deputy minister said.
The African neighbours came close to war last April in the worst border clashes since South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011 under a 2005 deal which ended decades of civil war.
Talks failed to agree on how to withdraw troops from their disputed border after a round of talks in Ethiopia last week, delaying again the resumption of the crucial oil exports.
Mary Jervase Yak, South Sudan's deputy minister of finance and economic planning, told reporters in the Ugandan capital Kampala they were exploring the possibility of exporting crude using other means.
She did not offer further details about the plan. South Sudan's economy has suffered, mainly though a shortage of dollars to finance imports, ever since exports were stopped. South Sudan mainly imports goods through neighbouring Uganda but an underdeveloped road network connecting the two countries is a major obstacle to the trade between the two nations. South Sudan has just 300 kilometres of paved roads. It plans to spend $4 billion over the next decade to improve its road network, the government said last August.

PPPRA lists terms for oil marketers in subsidy regime

The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has listed fresh regulations for marketers participating in the scheme.
At a meeting with oil marketers and other stakeholders in the downstream sector in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of the PPPRA, Mr. Reginald Stanley, said the agency would not issue the Sovereign Debt Statement (SDS) to any marketer that failed to show evidence of participation in the truck-out policy. The truck-out policy refers to a system whereby fuel is taken from a farm and distributed to filling stations.
To facilitate robust operation, which would further consolidate the gains of the 2012 policy intervention in the downstream, Reginald reiterated that the PPPRA would take all necessary steps to ensure that oil marketers provide unhindered access to inspectors nominated by the agency, in addition to providing access for inspectors to undertake opening and closing tanks dips, as well as opening and closing meter readings at the depots. This, he added, was to curb sharp practices by some marketers.
However, he was not oblivious to the inability to redeem SDS, immediately after the stipulated 45 days, which impaired marketers’ capacity to import.

Pirates hijack Nigerian ship, 16 crew-members in Cote d’ Ivoire

A Tank ship, belonging to Brila Energy, a Nigerian company, which specializes in trading on petroleum products and other derivatives, carrying 5,000 tonnes of jet fuel has been seized in the Cote d‘ Ivoire port of Abidjan.
The vessel, with 16 Nigerian crew-members on board was seized as it was preparing to deposit the fuel at the port, according to a statement from the Ivory Coast’s government.
Port officials said the tanker’s last known position was off the coast of neighbouring Ghana, but Ghanaian authorities said they had been unable to locate the ITRI.
The ship initially had trouble docking because a sand storm reduced visibility, an Ivorien government statement said. Later, the ship’s captain radioed the port manager to report difficulty manoeuvring. Shortly afterwards, contact was lost with the vessel. Then ship consignee Koda Maritime informed port officials that armed men had taken control of the tanker.
Most hijackings in the region occur near oil-rich Nigeria, but analysts say co-ordinated efforts by authorities and neighbouring countries have forced Nigerian pirates to seek easier targets outside their home waters.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

India to explore oil and gas in Niger

India will soon send oil and gas experts to Niger to explore hydrocarbon resources in the West African nation.
India's Minister of State for Petroleum P. Lakshmi told the visiting Minister of Energy and Petroleum of Niger, Foumakore Gado, that Indian companies are interested in exploring oil and gas blocks and investing in the country's oil marketing infrastructure.
According to an official release, Gado welcomed Indian companies to invest in the country. He also sought Indian technical expertise in the sector.
In response, Lakshmi said Indian state-owned units like ONGC, GAIL and IOC could provide technical training to the Niger's hydrocarbon sector personnel.
Gado is leading a high-level delegation, which includes Niger's ministers of agriculture and transport, and chairman of the country's finance commission.
Bilateral relations between India and Niger, a member of the Economic Community of West African states (ECOWAS), earlier mainly limited to multilateral fora, have picked up momentum with the opening of the Indian mission in capital Niamey in 2009.
India's trade with Niger stood at $57.34 million during 2010-11. India's exports to Niger was worth $46.88 million.