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Mobil, Local Firm Begin Talks On Patent Right

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After a long delay, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited is now said to have entered into negotiation with Command Clem Nigeria Limited (CCNL) on how to begin payment on patent right accruing from the invention of the anti-corrosive chemical, invented by CCNL.

The Tide has reliably gathered that a meeting to that effect was held last December between the two companies on how to settle the outstanding sum of money to the patent owner.

Briefing The Tide in his office, the Rivers State Coordinator of Command Clem, Pastor Silas Manasseh, said that the meeting between the two companies, held in December 2010 was facilitated by Dr. Mike Uye; a Nigerian-born human rights activist based in Belgium.

According to the CCNL State Coordiantor, Uye had returned to Nigeria last December for the purpose of that meeting, which he said was the first of it’s kind since the two companies had been in legal battle for several years running, until 2009 when the Federal Appeal Court in Calabar gave judgment on the matter in favour of Command Clem.

He said that Mobil has finally agreed to pay for the patent right, and for which reason another meeting has been scheduled next month to fine-tune payment modalities.

Although the Chief Executive of Command Clem, Rev. (Dr.) Clement Uwemedimo was not in the first meeting due to a health problem, it was gathered that he will be expected to declare to Mobil Producing Unlimited how much they are expected to pay per barrel of oil, from where issues will be harmonized at the next meeting.

Pastor Silas therefore called on all patentees of CCNL to exercise patience on the on-going negotiation, and expressed hope that things will settle down in a short while, such that will make members smile to the bank.

It would be recalled that the CCNL had been in legal battle with Mobil Producing over the ownership of patent for over nine years running, until when in December 2009, the Federal Court of appeal sitting in Calabar declared in its judgement that CCNL owns the patent, and just last December, Mobil has shown interest to negotiate for payment.

Corlins Walter

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Oil & Energy

Buhari Thumbs Up For NLNG As NNPC Reviews Activities

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) held its head high as it commenced activities for the week following commendation from President Muhammadu Buhari for rallying shareholders to make Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) a company to reckon with.
Buhari who is also the Minister of Petroleum Resources gave the commendation at the ground breaking of the NLNG Train 7, recently.
He said that the NLNG had always been associated with success and had become a global company.
“The NLNG Train 7 represents another historic milestone in the history of NLNG. NLNG story has been associated with success,” he said.
The president also said that the NLNG had contributed 114billion dollars in taxes to Nigeria, and tthat with NLNG Train 7, there would be more jobs that would touch the lives of everyone particularly the host community.
He expressed joy how the NLNG had transformed from just a project to a very successful company in about 30 years.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, urged all shareholders to work hard to ensure the successful completion of the project which he said would boost government’s efforts to make Nigeria a fully industrialised nation.
Sylva also said the project would help the nation’s gas development aspiration.
NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari, that there was consensus among shareholders and board members to take the next step towards providing additional capacity which should be greater than what was on ground.
The NNPC GMD thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his quick intervention which ensured the eradication of all pre-existing stumbling blocks on the path of NLNG Train 7 project
Also in the week under review, Minister of State for Petroleum, Sylva commended President Buhari at a ceremony to mark the execution of Shareholders Agreement between the NNPC, the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and Zed Energy.

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Two Stocks That Play Pivotal Roles In America’s Infrastructure

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Rolling blackouts, freezing homes, and skyrocketing electricity prices. Back in February, Texas’ primary electric grid suffered a one-two punch wrought by the deep freeze and off-the-charts demand for power as power plants struggled to keep up with heating demand. Power outages such as the Texas one are not only becoming much more frequent compared to the situation two decades ago but are also increasing in severity mainly due to climate stresses and a power grid that’s increasingly unable to hold up. The Texas blackouts marked the third time the electric system failed to perform adequately in winter in recent years (1989, 2011, and 2021).
The devastating blackouts once again brought into sharp focus the fact that the United States is relying on an aging electrical grid that’s increasingly unstable, underfunded, and incapable of taking us to a new energy future. Despite being the wealthiest country in the world, the U.S. only ranks 13th in the quality of its infrastructure.
Indeed, our power grid is the weakest link in the ongoing energy transition.
Last year, a new study from UC Berkeley and GridLab found that it will be economically feasible for renewable energy to power 90% of a reliable grid by 2035, while only depending on natural gas for 10% of annual electricity production. 
Unfortunately, whereas renewable power sources have grown dramatically in recent years, our aging electrical grid is simply incapable of fully integrating them into our energy use, leading to so much potential power wasted.
Yet, therein lies a great investment opportunity.
A Wood Mackenzie analysis has estimated the cost of shifting the U.S. power grid to 100% renewable energy over the next 10 years at a staggering $4.5 trillion. That runs the gamut from constructing and operating new generation facilities, investing in transmission and distribution infrastructure, making capacity payments, delivering customer-facing grid edge technology, and more.
President Biden’s 10-year, $2 trillion American Jobs Plan seeks to re-energize the power grid, upgrade roads, bridges, and water systems and help make U.S. infrastructure more resilient to the impacts of climate change.
But that amount will hardly be enough to go the distance, and private investors will have to step up to the plate. Modernizing the power grid alone will require $300 billion per year spread out over 15 years, or double the current annual spending of $150 billion.
That’s why investing in companies working hard to build the next-generation grid could pay off big dividends for long-term investors.
Here are our top picks, with good dividend growth opportunities serving as a safety net.
Next Era Energy Inc. NEE (-1.74%) is a Florida-based clean energy company and America’s largest electric utility holding company by market cap. NEE (-1.74%) is the world’s largest producer of wind and solar energy, with more than 50,000 megawatts of generating capacity.  Next Era Energy is one of the largest utilities in the country, with two electric utilities in Florida. The company owns eight subsidiaries, with the largest, Next Era Energy Services, supplying 5 million homes in Florida with electricity. Next Era Energy Transmission integrates renewable energy and strengthens the electricity grid.  
Next Era is quickly establishing itself as a leader in building next-generation grids designed to handle increased loads from renewable energy. 
NextEra has been building its grid business both organically through development projects as well as inorganically through acquisitions. For example, earlier this year, NextEra acquired GridLiance for $660 million, adding 700 miles of high-voltage transmission lines across six states. Last year, NEE (-1.74%) won regulatory approval to build a new transmission line in Western New York that will ease grid congestion and facilitate the delivery of renewable energy from the region.
During the company’s latest earnings call, management reiterated its 30×30 goal to install more than 30 million solar panels, or roughly 10,000 megawatts of incremental solar capacity, in Florida by 2030 through one of its subsidiaries, Florida Power & Light (FPL).
Another of NEE (-1.74%)’s subsidiaries, Next Era Energy Partners LP(NYSE: NEP), is publicly listed and pays a 3.4% dividend one of the highest in the industry. NEP acquires, manages, and owns contracted clean energy projects with a preference for businesses with stable, long-term cash flows. NextEra Energy Partners owns interests in dozens of wind and solar projects in the United States, as well as natural gas infrastructure assets in Texas. These contracted projects use leading-edge technology to generate energy from the wind and the sun. The company’s management is shooting for 12-15% dividend growth through 2024, making this an ideal stock for income investors.
Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy Inc. XEL (-2.56%) is a leading electricity and natural gas utility serving 3.6 million customers in Minnesota, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Colorado, Texas, and New Mexico.
Xcel boasts nearly 9,000MW in operating capacity for its wind projects and another 1,600MW for solar. The company has increased solar generation by more than 4x since 2011 and plans to grow its wind generation capacity by 50% over the next couple of years.
Like NextEra, Xcel Energy operates one of the biggest and fastest-growing investor-owned transmission systems with more than 20,000 miles of transmission lines across 10 states. 
Xcel has a goal to invest $24.3 billion through 2025 to expand its operations, with 25% of that earmarked to expand its transmission business to help support increased renewable energy deployment. One of the company’s top projects is the proposed Colorado Pathway Transmission expansion that will see the company invest up to $1.7 billion to build 560 miles of new transmission lines to support 5.5 gigawatts of new renewable power generation.
As part of the company’s own investment thesis, Xcel shoots for consistent shareholder returns based on 5-7% annual EPS growth and similar dividend growth with a 60-70% payout ratio. The company aims to maintain a 3% dividend yield, meaning there’s room for improvement on the current yield of 2.63%.
Kimani writes for Oilprice.com

By:  Alex Kimani

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Oil & Energy

Total Nigeria Advocates Petroleum Subsidy Removal

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Managing Director Total Nigeria, Plc, Mr Imrane Barry, says removal of petrol subsidy will help government to redirect its earnings to support infrastructure development for economic growth and development.
Barry made this known when he featured on a roundtable on Downstream and midstream at the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) in Abuja.
He spoke on the topic “The down/midstreams: Paths to the future through holistic and integrated solution”.
He said that signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill would help to unbundle the oil and gas industry and encourage development, private investment and create jobs.
“The petrol subsidy regime costs the country approximately 2.6 billion dollars (N1 trillion) per year and the country can no longer afford it.
“The removal of the subsidy will allow government direct more of its earnings towards infrastructure and social development,” he said.
He said that since government had declared decade of gas, there was need for Investment in Natural Gas.
He added that government needed to continue to push policies that would favour private participation and investment in the gas value chain, production, storage and distribution.
“Also, government needs to give incentives for investors in the sector, tax rebates etc to encourage long term participation.
“In the B2C sector, the government should put in  place incentives for customers to switch from white fuels to gas powered machines for road transportation.
“They should continue investment in the nation’s critical infrastructure that aids trade and commerce,’’ he added.
He further called for the fixing of Apapa ports and other ports in Nigeria, development of interstate road network, fixing of rail lines for human and cargo transportation
Commenting on impact of COVID-19 pandemic to global oil market, he said that it made the market volume shrank by 30% while margins became weak(Losses) with aviation sector mostly affected for the following reasons.
He added that the global economy was badly affected generally due to airport closure, drop in international prices of jet fuel platts which , led to a huge loss in aviation business due to contractual agreement with international airlines coupled with large amount of “old stock” in tank.
“PMS is a regulated product, with the price fixed by the government; resulting in fixed margins.
“The devaluation of the Naira from N360 to N380 during the pandemic, coupled with rising inflation in the country further eroded this “fixed margin” for the players in the downstream sector,” he said
He urged government to ensure speedy passage of the PIB to help the sector play its part effectively.

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