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Oil prices rise over Nigeria’s supply crisis

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  • As Report indicates NNPC lost N19.43bn in April

Oil prices climbed to fresh peaks for 2016 for the third day in a row yesterday due to supply disruptions in Nigeria and data showing lower (United States) US petroleum inventories.

The Niger Delta Avengers, a rebel group that has attacked numerous oil facilities in Nigeria, rejected a truce offer with officials and claimed they hit a new target.

The disruptions have slashed output in OPEC member Nigeria from 2.2 million barrels a day to 1.6 million barrels a day.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for July delivery advanced 87 cents to US$51.23 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent North Sea oil for August delivery gained US$1.07 to US$52.51 a barrel in London.

US inventory data on Wednesday confirmed a tightening market picture, with US commercial stocks dropping by 3.2 million barrels for the week ending Jun 3, according to the Department of Energy.

In the meantime, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation lost N19.43bn in the month of April, as the country’s crude oil production dropped from 59.27 million barrels recorded in February to 57.43 million barrels in March.

In its latest financial and operations report released on Wednesday, the NNPC also revealed that over 1,500 megawatts of electricity were lost as a result of the destruction of oil and gas facilities, adding that the capacity utilisation of the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company plummeted from 25.65 per cent in March to 6.36 per cent in April.

The report stated, “The NNPC’s monthly financial and operations report indicate an operational loss of 19.43bn in April 2016 as against 18.89bn in the month of March 2016. The deficit increased by 2.83 per cent in the month of April 2016 due to slight decline in revenue generation, which is attributed to the decrease in petroleum product sales by 7.11 per cent.

“The NPDC’s crude sale for the month is still hampered by Forcados pipeline vandalism, which continued to deny the NPDC of monthly crude oil revenue of about 20.0bn.”

The oil firm stated that global crude oil spot prices increased by $3.41 per barrel in April to a monthly average of $40.75 per barrel, up from $37.34 in March and down from $57.54 in April 2015.

This, it said, represented an increase of 9.13 per cent from March 2016 and -29.18 per cent from April 2015, adding that the increase in the crude oil spot prices by $3.41 per barrel in April this year to a monthly average of $40.75 per barrel was the highest monthly average so far this year.

It stated, “Nigerian crude oil production for the month of March 2016 stood at 57.43 million barrels, which is 3.1 per cent lower than February 2016 production, and so far, the lowest recorded in the 12-month review period. Recent upsurge in vandalism has negatively impacted on the Nigerian crude oil production output, losing its African top crude oil producer to Angola.

“About 380,000barrels per day remained shut-in due to vandalism of the 48-inch subsea export line on 15th of February, 2016. Hence, all March cargoes were deferred until the repair is completed. Also, the nation has lost over 1,500MW of power supply to the damage as gas supply from Forcados, which is Nigeria’s major artery, accounts for 40 to 50 per cent of gas production. Incessant pipeline vandalism poses the greatest threat to the industry.”

The NNPC, however, noted that its leadership was already diligently addressing the corporation’s key business and operational challenges.

“For the first time, the NNPC was able to get the buy-in of the upstream companies operating in Nigeria to enhance domestic supply of refined petroleum products by indicating readiness to make available additional funding to support import of products,” it said.

Nation with additional report from Upshot

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WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners

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…Stresses the need for timely disbursement of N44.6billion CVFF***

Highly revered Nigerian Maritime Lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Igbokwe has urged the Nigeria Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA) to partner with ship owners and relevant association in the industry to evolving a more vibrant merchant shipping and cabotage trade regime.

Igbokwe gave the counsel during his paper presentation at the just concluded two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Cabotage waiver restrictions, organized by NIMASA.

“NIMASA and shipowners should develop merchant shipping including cabotage trade. A good start is to partner with the relevant associations in this field, such as the Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Oil Trade Group & Maritime Trade Group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

“A cursory look at their vision, mission and objectives, show that they are willing to improve the maritime sector, not just for their members but for stakeholders in the maritime economy and the country”.

Adding that it is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a through briefing and regular consultation with ships owners, in other to have insight on the challenges facing the ship owners.

“It is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a thorough briefing and regular consultations with shipowners, to receive insight on the challenges they face, and how the Agency can assist in solving them and encouraging them to invest and participate in the maritime sector, for its development. 

“NIMASA should see them as partners in progress because, if they do not invest in buying ships and registering them in Nigeria, there would be no Nigerian-owned ships in its Register and NIMASA would be unable to discharge its main objective.

The Maritime lawyer also urged NIMASA  to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)that currently stands at about N44.6 billion.

“Lest it be forgotten, what is on the lips of almost every shipowner, is the need to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (the CVFF’), which was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003. It was established to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity, by providing financial assistance to Nigerian citizens and shipping companies wholly owned by Nigerian operating in the domestic coastal shipping, to purchase and maintain vessels and build shipping capacity. 

“Research shows that this fund has grown to about N44.6billion; and that due to its non-disbursement, financial institutions have repossessed some vessels, resulting in a 43% reduction of the number of operational indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria, in the past few years. 

“Without beating around the bush, to promote indigenous maritime development, prompt action must be taken by NIMASA to commence the disbursement of this Fund to qualified shipowners pursuant to the extant Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (“CVFF”) Regulations.

Mike Igbokwe (SAN)

“Indeed, as part of its statutory functions, NIMASA is to enforce and administer the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003 and develop and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ships and other maritime infrastructure. Disbursing the CVFF is one of the ways NIMASA can fulfill this mandate.

“To assist in this task, there must be collaboration between NIMASA, financial institutions, the Minister of Transportation, as contained in the CVFF Regulations that are yet to be implemented”, the legal guru highlighted further. 

He urged the agency to create the right environment for its stakeholders to build on and engender the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders.

“Lastly, which is the main reason why we are all here, cessation of ministerial waivers on some cabotage requirements, which I believe is worth applause in favour of NIMASA. 

“This is because it appears that the readiness to obtain/grant waivers had made some of the vessels and their owners engaged in cabotage trade, to become complacent and indifferent in quickly ensuring that they updated their capacities, so as not to require the waivers. 

“The cessation of waivers is a way of forcing the relevant stakeholders of the maritime sector, to find workable solutions within, for maritime development and fill the gaps in the local capacities in 100% Nigerian crewing, ship ownership, and ship building, that had necessitated the existence of the waivers since about 15 years ago, when the Cabotage Act came into being. 

“However, NIMASA must ensure that the right environment is provided for its stakeholders to build and possess the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders. Or better still, that they are solved within the next 5 years of its intention to stop granting waivers”, he further explained. 

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Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live

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The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: www.maritimefirstnewspaper.com and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

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Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured

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…As Valles Steamship Orders 112,000 dwt Tanker from South Korea***

A wind farm supply vessel and a cargo ship collided in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday leaving 15 injured.

The Cyprus-flagged 80-meter general cargo ship Raba collided with Denmark-flagged 31-meter wind farm supply vessel World Bora near Rügen Island, about three nautical miles off the coast of Hamburg. 

Many of those injured were service engineers on the wind farm vessel, and 10 were seriously hurt. 

They were headed to Iberdrola’s 350MW Wikinger wind farm. Nine of the people on board the World Bora were employees of Siemens Gamesa, two were employees of Iberdrola and four were crew.

The cause of the incident is not yet known, and no pollution has been reported.

After the collision, the two ships were able to proceed to Rügen under their own power, and the injured were then taken to hospital. 

Lifeboat crews from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service tended to them prior to their transport to hospital via ambulance and helicopter.

“Iberdrola wishes to thank the rescue services for their diligence and professionalism,” the company said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong-based shipowner Valles Steamship has ordered a new 112,000 dwt crude oil tanker from South Korea’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering.

Sumitomo is to deliver the Aframax to Valles Steamship by the end of 2020, according to data provided by Asiasis.

The newbuild Aframax will join seven other Aframaxes in Valles Steamship’s fleet. Other ships operated by the company include Panamax bulkers and medium and long range product tankers.

The company’s most-recently delivered unit is the 114,426 dwt Aframax tanker Seagalaxy. The naming and delivery of the tanker took place in February 2019, at Namura Shipbuilding’s yard in Japan.

Maritime Executive with additional report from World Maritime News

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