Shell, Seplat in hunt for land rigs signals possible oil recovery

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The hunt for land rigs by Anglo-Dutch super major Shell, and Nigerian independent Seplat Petroleum, probably shows exploration and production activities are about to pick-up again after active rig count in Nigeria fell by half last year.


Shell is getting ready for a major drilling programme and has gone to the market for two jack-ups and a pair of land rigs, one of which will have to handle high-pressure, high-temperature wells. Seplat Petroleum is also searching for a land drilling rig for work on Oil Mining Licence (OML) 53.

As of June 2018, Africa’s largest crude producer had 32 oil rigs according to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR). But this has fallen to 14 rigs as of June 2019, according to the oil cartel’s latest July MOMR. This is more than a 50 percent decrease.


Rig count is a function of the level of exploration, development and production activities occurring in the oil and gas sector. A drop in active rig count means oil exploration and production activities in have decreased year-on-year.


“Both elements correlate. To replace oil reserves, you need to intensify exploration and production activities. This means more active rigs. It also means more investment inflows into Nigeria’s oil and gas sector,” one major contractor told BusinessDay in confidence. “Falling active rig count and reserves mean there have been no fresh investments in the sector.”

Nigeria’s oil reserve decreased to 36.247 billion in 2011 from 37.200 billion recorded in 2010, while in 2012 there was relative improvement to 37.139 billion but went down again to 37.071 billion in 2013. In 2014, it stood at 37.448 billion before sliding down to 37.062 in 2015 while in 2016 it stood at 37.453 billion.

However, at …

NNPC records N174.62bn petroleum products’ sales in March

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Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) recorded N174.62 billion sales of white products in March 2019, the corporation’s Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR) for March 2019 has noted.

NNPC group general manager, group public affairs division, Ndu Ughamadu, disclosed that the March sales figure were higher than the N168.65 billion recorded in February 2019.
The corporation explained in a statement on Sunday that the total revenue generated from the sale of white products from the period March 2018 to March 2019 stood at N2,780.79 billion, with petrol contributing about 91.09 percent or N2,533 billion.

In terms of volume of the total sales by the NNPC Subsidiary, the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), in March 2019, the report said a total supply and distribution of 1.36 billion litres of white products were made, compared with 1.33 billion litres of February 2019.
A further products breakdown indicated that the March volume comprised 1.29 billion litres of petrol, 0.023 billion litres of Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK), and 0.047 billion litres for the diesel component.

Total sale of white products distributed for the period, March 2018 to March 2019, stood at 21.99 billion litres, with petrol accounting for 20.63 billion litres or 93.8 percent. The report stated that 6.4 billion litres of special products were sold during the period.
Within the period, 111 pipeline points were vandalised, indicating a 19 percent drop from the 137 points recorded in February 2019. Ibadan –Ilorin and Benin – Ore axis accounted for 46 percent of total pulverised points, while breaks in other locations made up the balance.

In the Gas sector, the report disclosed that gas production increased by 15.4 percent at 263.48 billion cubic feet compared to the output in proceeding period of February 2019. This translated to an average daily … Read More...

Sahara Energy, Brooge Petroleum target 250,000 bpd refinery in Fujairah

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Sahara Energy Resources DMCC Dubai and Brooge Petroleum and Gas Investment Co (BPGIC) and have signed a partnership agreement to set up an oil refinery capable of producing bunker fuel with a capacity of up to 250,000 barrel per day (bpd) in the Emirate of Fujairah.

Sahara Energy and BPGIC said the facility will be one of the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa to comply with the new regulations of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) 2020 by capping sulfur content in shipping fuels. The first phase of the planned refinery is expected to be completed by Q1 2020.

Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary General of OPEC, attended the signing ceremony in Abu Dhabi and said the deal “evolved through the drive of the UAE’s leadership in promoting and supporting such private initiatives and expediting the diversification of their economies.” He underlined the “unique role of the private sector as a critical engine for economic vision and strategies.”

Commenting on the signing, Nicolaas Paardenkooper, BPGIC CEO, said, “The new facility will contribute to bolstering the growing status of the Emirate of Fujairah in the Oil & Gas industry and help meet the growing demand for shipping fuel that complies with the new international laws on capping sulfur content in shipping fuels, as most of the current shipping fuel contains up to 3,5 percent sulphur.” New regulations of IMO will require ships to use fuels with a sulphur content below 0.5 percent beginning in 2020. “It falls in line with the company’s expansion strategy and its growing contribution to the development of the Oil & Gas industry in the UAE by injecting more investments into this essential sector,” he noted.

Executive Director, Sahara Group, Wale Ajibade, said the Refinery Unit would … Read More...