Visions of a Post-Oil Nigerian Apocalypse: Stories From Down South

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In 1998, a group of veterans from Zimbabwe’s Chimurenga (Independence) war grew tired of the snail-paced land redistribution program and took matters into their own hands. When word got to Harare about farm seizures and sit-ins targeting the descendants of white settlers, President Robert Mugabe’s response became a defining moment for Zimbabwe. Rather than immediately do something to end the crisis, Mugabe instructed his security forces to stand down, and thus commenced the most chaotic and unplanned land reform process in modern history.

Twenty years later, as Zimbabwe still struggles with the disastrous economic effects of trade losses and economic sanctions that followed that episode, Nigeria is in the early stages of its own “1998” moment. Public finances are worse than they have ever been, with debt servicing now taking up 70 percent of all of Nigeria’s income. Of the remaining 30 percent, the majority goes to maintaining the country’s humongous political and civil service structure, and barely anything is left. The clear message is that crude oil is no longer enough to run the country, and that particular resource is a decade and a half away from becoming a worthless antique as alternative energy gains more prominence. At the moment though, nobody is listening. Maybe we need to look at Zimbabwe’s story to understand what is in the offing.

Government Fiat Fixes Nothing

Like present-day Venezuela, Zimbabwe was noted for its ridiculous hyperinflation that famously saw it print a fifty trillion Zim dollar note in 2008. As the country’s economy progressively broke down due to lack of liquidity, the government tried to artificially create liquidity through quantitative easing – printing money for the uninitiated. Of course, that only resulted in the Zim dollar becoming worthless as there was no corresponding income in hard currency to … Read More...

Enhancing energy security in Africa – the time is NOW

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The African Energy Chamber calls on African governments and oil companies to do more to protect the security of energy infrastructure in Africa.

Oil and gas infrastructure is quickly becoming a principal target for terrorists, rogue organizations, hostile state and non-state actors, and criminal enterprises. The recent attacks in the Middle East – the drone attack on the Saudi Aramco pipelines and the attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman – validate a precedent (and unfortunately techniques, tactics, and procedures for those with malicious intent) of using non-complex attack methods to create complex problems for owners/operators of energy and natural resource assets.

As is the case in the Middle East, Africa is seeing an increase in attacks on critical energy infrastructure and natural resource assets: assaults on a gas processing plant, pipeline vandalism, rebel attacks on oil fields and refineries, and ransomware attacks.

One of the major concerns generated by attacks on energy and natural resource assets is the catastrophic impact on the supply of energy products and services across Africa. “The local, regional, and global demand for the energy and natural resource assets owned by African nations is constantly growing. Most nations in Africa depend on the availability of supply of their Natural Resource Assets to generate economic value for their respective societies.

The same is true for the power supply they generate from their critical energy infrastructure assets which create off-take opportunities – locally, regionally, and globally”. Said Derek Campbell, CEO of Energy & Natural Resource Security, Inc., who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, with distinction, earning the Bronze Star in Afghanistan. He served as the US Marine & Naval Attaché to Nigeria. “If this availability of supply is attacked and disrupted, secondary and tertiary negative effects … Read More...

Inside details on 6 oil bloc licences revoked by DPR

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More reasons have emerged as to why Nigeria’s Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) decided to revoke five oil mining licences (OML) and one oil prospecting licence (OPL) belonging to five companies. The DPR, in a public notice issued on Thursday, said the revocation was based on a presidential directive to “recover legacy debts” owed by…

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Oil, global stocks suffer gruelling month as investors reach for safety

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Global stock markets were on track to suffer their worst month of the year in May, as a steady drip of negative headlines over the relationship between the US and China amplified growth concerns and sent investors out of equities and piling into the government bond market.

Oil prices have also collapsed touching a low of $64 for Brent.

Investors are now weighing how the tensions over trade and technology between the world’s two largest economies will develop at the G20 summit in June, as political disruption coincides with worries over whether the economic cycle has peaked.

“Populism and its close cousin protectionism are rearing their heads, and have already taken a toll on global growth,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton.

Brent crude lost more than 10 per cent in May to fall back below $65 a barrel, as fears over the worsening US-China trade war rattled investors and put oil on course for its worst month this year.

But traders are warning that the spot price is not telling the full story. Instead, some are pointing at the way oil prices are moving for contracts on different delivery dates to tell a more nuanced tale. Brent contracts for the next few months are trading at large premiums versus those for delivery later this year — a classic sign of tightness in the market.

This could trigger a rebound in oil, should tensions between the US and China begin to ease.

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Nigerian content drive in oil, gas upstream targets 300,000 jobs

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Nine years after it was passed into law, the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act has recorded some significant achievements and its regulator, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), has set ambitious targets, among them to create 300,000 jobs by 2027. But gaps in skills and infrastructure in the industry remain….

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