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Brent Oil Rises To 108 Dollars

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Brent crude was 108 dol
lars a barrel last Thursday with most of the gains from the previous session as Chinese customs data showed crude imports jumped to a record high.
China’s crude imports rose 22.4 per cent in April from March. Oil data also showed that total exports rose against forecasts for a decline, offering some rare good news for the nation’s slowing economy.
“People are bearish on China, so any good news out of China it should at least provide some support,” said oil risk manager at Mitsubishi Corp in Tokyo.
Brent crude was down 23 cents at 107.90 dollars per barrel, after settling 1.07dollars  higher on Wednesday. U.S. crude was 22 cents lower at 100.55 dollars per barrel. The contract had gained 1.27 dollars in the previous session.
China’s crude oil imports rose to a record of  6.78 million barrels per day (bpd) in April, after slipping below six million bpd in March for the first time since November last year.
China’s imports for the first four months of the year were up 11.5 per cent from the same period in 2013. The sharp rise in April was likely due to builds in China’s strategic oil reserves, according to a Barclays research note.
China is to add 39 million barrels of strategic reserves , first half of the year , at two new storage facilities in Tianjin and Huangdao, Barclays analyst Sijin Cheng said. China’s total exports rose 0.9 per cent in April, while imports rose 0.8 per cent.
The country was left with a trade surplus of 18.5 billion dollars for the month, against expectations of a trade surplus of 13.9 billion dollars.
“We’ve seen a lot of negative headlines about China, but as long they can show a decent growth … it’s supportive for the oil market,” Nunan said.
Oil benchmarks rose by more than one dollar on both sides of the Atlantic on Wednesday. The rise occurred after data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed an unexpected drop in U.S. inventories in the week ended May 2.
Total stocks fell 1.8 million barrels last week, according to the EIA, compared with analyst’s forecasts for a 1.4-million-barrel build.
Stocks fell 1.4 million barrels at Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point for the U.S. futures contract, their lowest since 2008. Decline in stock negates efforts to restore vital oil exports from Libya .
Rebels occupying major oil ports in the east said on Wednesday they would boycott Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq and keep two major export terminals shut for now.
Optimism about higher Libyan exports had helped to put pressure on oil prices since the end of last month when oil ports shut since last year were reopened.
But Libyan oil production remains at just over 250,000 bpd, less than a fifth of output around 1.4 million bpd in mid-2013.
Russian President Vladimir Putin called on pro-Moscow separatists in Ukraine to postpone a vote on secession just five days before it was to be held. This move could remove some of the geopolitical heat from Brent.

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DPR Shuts 11 Gas Plants, Petrol Stations In Abuja

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has sealed 11 illegal gas plants as well as seven filling stations over various sharp practices in Abuja, Nigeria’s seat of government.
The raided plants selling mainly Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) also known as cooking gas and the filling stations visited were located in Karimo, Gwagwa, Games Village, Kuje and Gwagwalada in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The petroleum industry regulator stated that the LPG plant owners were operating illegally while the affected petrol stations were carrying out their businesses without valid licences.
Some of the illegal gas plants affected were: Macco Synergy, Mr T&M cooking gas, Trinity cooking gas, Meter Smile Gas ltd, Sunny Sun cooking gas, among others.
In her remarks, during the operation, the DPR Abuja Zonal Operations Controller, Mrs Roselyn Wilkie, said that previous efforts to get the illegal operators to regularise their businesses failed to yield the needed results.
She said: “During today’s exercise, 11 illegal LPG plants were raided in collaboration with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). Some personnel of these illegal facilities were arrested and they have been handed over to security operatives for prosecution.
She said, “All our efforts to get the attention of the illegal facility operators with the view to regularising their businesses failed to yield the desired result.”
DPR cannot sit back and watch the danger the existence of these illegal facilities portends to the lives and properties of citizens.
“This necessitated our going out as the situation arose to enforce provisions of the relevant laws and regulations for construction and operation of petroleum products facilities in the downstream sector.”
She added that the DPR as an opportunity house and business enabler had been engaging illegal petroleum product facility owners to get the best advice on how to regularise their businesses and operate legally in a safe environment.
Wilkie further called on all illegal facilities’ operators to come forward and regularise their operation by obtaining the necessary licence to operate from the organisation.
According to her, this would ensure the protection of investors’ assets and the safety of lives and properties within the sector.
During the raid, seven filling stations were visited while 18 petrol pumps were sealed for sharp practices, including for suspected cases of diversion of six trucks containing products.

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IPMAN Suspends Strike, Directs Members To Resume Operation

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The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has directed its members in Enugu State depot to resume supplies of petroleum products.
The National President of IPMAN, Alhaji Sanusi Fari disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists last Saturday.
According to the statement, the national leadership of IPMAN had last Thursday directed the withdrawal of their services at the Enugu loading depot of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with effect from Friday.
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of IPMAN attributed the directive to an alleged attack on their secretariat in NNPC, Enugu depot on Thursday by men of the Nigeria Police Force.
The foregoing halted the supply of petroleum products to Enugu, Ebonyi and Anambra, a situation which caused a significant hike in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in the affected states.
Meanwhile, Fari said that the NEC of IPMAN had reviewed the situation and directed their members to resume their services and operations.
“As a result of the intervention of higher authorities in the unwarranted and unprovoked invasion of our secretariat at Enugu depot, the NEC of IPMAN has called off our strike actions.
“Normal services and operations will immediately resume in the affected states of Enugu, Ebonyi and Anambra to allow for fruitful discussions,” he said

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Why PIA Should Be Reviewed Every Five Years – ICSAN

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The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) has recommended that the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) should be subject to review at least every five years.
Its Registrar, Taiwo Olusesi, made the recommendation in the Institute’s position paper on the PIA on Saturday in Lagos.
The Institute said that such periodic review would help to consolidate on the gains of the epoch-making legislation. “This is to accommodate the genuine yearnings of the stakeholders as well as other requisite exigencies that might come to light during usage of the law,” she said.
The Tide source reports that the PIA provides for the establishment of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) within six months after the enactment of the Act. She enjoined government to build a proper governance structure around the NNPCL.
Olusesi urged that the appointment of the directors to its board must be based purely on merit with emphasis on issues of relevance, board requirements, and diversity in the board composition.
She added that there must be strict adherence to the notions of disclosure and transparency while ethical observances must be ingrained in the template of the company’s operations. “There must be an adequate framework of risk management and control system which should incorporate well-articulated whistleblowing policy.
“Furthermore, proper checks and balances must be built into the system to ensure that no individual, unit, or department can undermine or dis-apply the control system at his or her whims and caprices.
“We request that NNPCL should always have board to oversee and guide the management to achieve the expected objectives.
“There should be an annual board appraisal with the corporate governance evaluation of NNPCL, which should be published,” she said.
She said that without putting in place all these governance mechanisms, the envisaged metamorphosis of the moribund NNPC into a more efficient and dynamic NNPCL would not be realised.
According to her, the exercise will simply be a mere change of name without a change of anything else, with all its concomitant business-as-usual tendencies.
The corporate governance professional added that as a public interest entity, the NNPCL must have a qualified and experienced company secretary to oversee its secretariat.
She said this would enable the secretariat also play its role as the compliance officer responsible for the entrenchment of good corporate governance in the company.
“The qualification and experience must not be less than that of a company secretary of a public interest entity and the recruitment process must be competitive.
“The status of this management staff, duties, functional and administrative roles, responsibilities, reporting lines and mode of determination must be clearly stated in writing by the Board,” she said.
Olusesi also called for the proper and adequate monitoring of activities in the downstream sector to discourage all manner of sharp practices including hoarding of products to create artificial scarcity for price increment.
“The Federal Government should be proactive in devising ways and measures to counter the unscrupulous elements who may attempt to sabotage the interplay of demand and supply in a deregulated market,” she said.
She urged government, through the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, parastatals and regulators to embark on massive stakeholders’ enlightenment campaign to dispel the confusion by illuminating the provisions of the Act and revealing their implications.
“Much of the controversies trailing the PIA 2021 emanate from many of its grey areas and provisions which are capable of many interpretations.
“This lack of preciseness and clarity of many provisions in the Act is breeding mistrust and apprehensions among many stakeholders.
“For example, the provisions on the Thirty per cent Frontiers Exploration Fund require elucidation.
“The Institute, in consonance with its tradition of guiding on issues of Corporate Governance and Public Administration, hereby undertakes to convene a stakeholders’ webinar for the sake of mass enlightenment on this new PIA 2021,” she said.

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