FEC approves 2 pilot cutters for Western Ports at N1.2bn

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…As OPEC warns on imminent Return to oil production cuts in 2019***

Pilotage in the Apapa and Tin Can Island Port is set for a significant boost, as the Federal Government o Wednesday approved the purchase of two pilot cutters at the cost of N1.2bn, for the two pilotage districts.

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi indicated this Wednesday after the Federal Executive Council  (FEC) meeting in Abuja, noting that Ministry went to the meeting with two memoranda.

“We have what we refer to as Pilot cutters; these are vessels that convey pilots, who move ships or vessels form point A to point B and currently we have Pilot Cutters everywhere, excluding Tincan and Apapa, which constitute the Western Ports.

“So, we came to Cabinet to request that they award the contract to enable us purchase the two pilot quarters to serve both Tincan and Apapa.

“That was approved; it was awarded at N1,210,385,255. 37’’, the Minister stated.

 

“The Ministry of Transportation had two memoranda approved at the meeting. One of them had to do with the variation of cost for the Abuja runway which came earlier in April but was stepped down for the ministry to liaise in terms of pricing with the Ministry of Works.

“That was done and brought back to cabinet. The work was reviewed and the cabinet approved the increase of N628,123,590 as variation on the job.

“Actually what we refer to as variation is an additional work that we ran into in the cause of the construction or repair of the runway,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries  (OPEC) on Wednesday warned that a return to oil production cuts by OPEC and its allies in 2019 cannot be ruled out.

A senior OPEC source indicated this on Wednesday saying the warning was to avert a possible supply glut that could weigh on prices.

The source was responding to a report by Russia’s TASS news agency that Russia and Saudi Arabia had started bilateral discussions over possible curbs to output in 2019.

Saudi-led OPEC and its allies including Russia decided in June to relax output curbs in place since 2017, after pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to reduce oil prices and make up for supply losses from Iran.

A second delegate from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries asked whether discussions pointed to a return to supply cuts in 2019, said: “certainly not the other way around.”

Oil prices have come under downward pressure from rising supplies, even though Iranian exports are expected to fall because of new U.S. sanctions.

Forecasts of a 2019 supply surplus and slowing demand have also dented the market.

Brent crude LCOc1 had dropped from a four-year high in October above 86 dollars a barrel to 71 dollars on Tuesday.

Prices rallied back above 73 dollars on Wednesday, supported by the TASS report.

A ministerial committee of some OPEC members and allies meets on Sunday in Abu Dhabi to discuss the market and outlook for 2019.

This group, called the JMMC, could make a recommendation on 2019 output policy to the next decision-making meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC oil ministers, a third OPEC source said. That meeting takes place on Dec. 6 to Dec 7 in Vienna.

“Any serious discussion will be toward the December meeting,” this source said.