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Cautious Optimism Greets Oil Discovery In Gongola Basin

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Exciting as the news of the discovery of hydrocarbon deposits in the Kolmani River II Well on the Upper Benue Trough, Gongola Basin may be, stakeholders, yesterday, insisted that the development would only be meaningful after the volumetric of the hydrocarbon is determined.
They equally noted that festering insecurity, environmental issues, dearth of infrastructure and cost of production were major factors that must also be taken into account, just as economically viable farmlands, as well as communities may be affected and relocated.
Exploring the many implications of the development, some industry players noted that the development is also capable of dousing agitations of the Niger Delta region, hoping that it would balance resource locations in the country.
Exciting as the news of the discovery of hydrocarbon deposits in the Kolmani River II Well on the Upper Benue Trough, Gongola Basin may be, stakeholders, yesterday, insisted that the development would only be meaningful after the volumetric of the hydrocarbon is determined.
They equally noted that festering insecurity, environmental issues, dearth of infrastructure and cost of production were major factors that must also be taken into account, just as economically viable farmlands, as well as communities may be affected and relocated.
Exploring the many implications of the development, some industry players noted that the development is also capable of dousing agitations of the Niger Delta region, hoping that it would balance resource locations in the country.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which announced, on Friday, the discovery of crude oil and gas in the Gongola Basin, northern Nigeria, noted that the commercial viability of the discovery coming from the drilling of a total depth of 13, 701ft before hitting oil and gas in several levels is yet to be ascertained.

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Micro-Grids, Solution To Africa’s Power Problems – Expert

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The incorporation of micro-grids into a hybrid system of electrification is the best solution for Africa’s power supply problems, an international energy consultant based in Johannesburg, Anastasia Walsh, has said.
Walsh, who described electrification as an ongoing and foundational investment necessary to realise all modern-day development objectives, urged governments in Africa to explore the use of mini and micro-grids as they strive to provide power.
She said, “Despite bullish policies, the fact remains that over 640 million Africans lack access to electricity. The effect of this is apparent.
“It impedes economic growth, it inhibits the advancements of self-reliant local communities and it threatens national security. African governments are beginning to rethink their electrification plans.
“Grid modernisation, specifically the deployment of micro-grids in rural areas, provides a promising strategy.”
She noted that attempting to replicate the centralised utility models implemented in the United States and Europe had not succeeded in improving energy access across the continent.
Walsh said despite this, it was as if many governments and utilities wrongly maintain the position that the expansion of the traditional grid infrastructure was the solution.
She said, “In areas where communities have access to the central grid, they still have to supplement the intermittency of the power with diesel generators.
“On the flip side, the utilities are financially strained because they are unable to collect revenues from their customers.
“The low rate of revenue collection is due to the unsustainable tariffs the providers impose on customers as a result of the political pressure exerted on them. This results in the utilities being unable to finance upgrades in infrastructure, further exacerbating the issues.”

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PANDEF Applauds OML 25’s Peaceful Resolution

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The Pan Niger Delta Forum(PANDEF) has applauded the peaceful resolution of conflict arising from the Oil Mining Licence (OML) 25 between the multinationals and host communities in Rivers State.
Leader of PANDEF, Chief Edwin Clark, gave the commendation at the official reopening of the flow station by host communities, including, Koko Ama, Offoin Ama, Belema Ama, and Ngeje in Kula Kingdom in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State, at the weekend.
Clark, who spoke through a former Nigerian Ambassador, Godknows Igali, stated that the approach could be used to address similar issues in other oil bearing communities within and outside Rivers State.
He pledged his commitment towards working with the Federal Government in ensuring that the OML community engagement model is replicated in other oil bearing communities in the Niger Delta region.
Clerk commended Belema oil, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) for their spirit of negotiation and peaceful resolution of conflicts.
“He (Clark) asked me to let you know that he would continue to work with you, work with the Federal Government and work with all stakeholders and ensure that this type of synergy is replicated not only in and around Kula OML area, but around the oil producing communities so that there can be peace”, Igali said.
In his address, the spokesman of PANDEF, Mr Anabs Sara-Igbe, thanked the Federal Government for moving the construction of the 85 km Degema-Kula Express Way away from the Ministry of Niger Delta to the Niger Delta Development Commission.
He said, “I thank the Federal Government particularly for moving the 85 km Kula road to Degema from the Ministry Niger Delta Affairs to NDDC, who will work with Belema Oil and SPDC”.

 

Tonye Nria-Dappa

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FG To Refund Yola Disco Investors N26.9bn

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The Federal Government is planning to refund the core investors in Yola Electricity Distribution Company the sum of N26.9bn.
The refund is expected to be made in the 2020 fiscal year.
The N26.9bn is part of the amount captured under the N10.9tn 2020 budget estimates submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari to the joint session of the National Assembly.
The YEDC is one of the 11 electricity distribution companies sold to private sector operators as part of reform of the nation’s power industry that unbundled the defunct monopoly, Power Holding Company of Nigeria.
Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Company had acquired 60 per cent equity in the YEDC after paying $146.8m.
The Yola Disco was successfully privatised and handed over to the core investor in 2013.
However, a force majeure was declared in 2015 by the core investor citing insecurity in the North-East region of the country where the company covers.
Following this, the company was repossessed by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Power.
However, it had not been possible for the core investor to be refunded since it could no longer continue running the electricity distribution company to realise its investment.
It was learnt that the investor had made demand beyond what the government was ready to pay. This was said to be one of the reasons that the reimbursement had dragged for a long time.
Findings revealed that the matter had to go for arbitration before the Federal Government, represented by the Bureau of Public Enterprises, and the core investor arrived at a mutually agreed amount.
However, after the arbitration, the money was not paid owing to revenue challenges.
While steps are already being taken by the privatisation agency to resell the electricity distribution company to a new core investor, the process has yet to be concluded.
At a recent bid opening ceremony, Quest Electricity Nigeria Limited, which was the sole bidder for Yola Disco submitted an initial bid of N17.67bn.

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