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Are NOCs Risking $400Billion in Oil Projects incompatible With the Energy..

PARTNER CONTENT/NRGI

Governments’ plans for oil sector endanger economies of resource-rich developing countries

One fifth of anticipated investments in the oil and gas sector by state-owned oil companies are economically unviable if global warming is to be kept within 2 degrees Centigrade, a new research has shown.

With the United States rejoining the global coalition to meet the objectives of the Paris climate agreement, oil producers face a moment of reckoning. Research published by the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) has identified that state-owned national oil companies (NOCs)—many in developing countries—are on a trajectory to spend billions on oil and gas projects that will only break even if the world fails to meet the Paris goals.

While the climate approaches of such multinational oil firms as BP and ExxonMobil are routinely scrutinized, “this is the first report quantifying the incompatibility of NOCs’ investment plans with the Paris agreement”, NRGI claims.

NOCs produce half of the world’s oil and gas and are responsible for 40 percent of the capital invested in the industry worldwide. Using market data, NRGI’s report, Risky Bet: National Oil Companies in the Energy Transition, estimates that NOCs could invest about $1.9 Trillion in the next ten years. Of this, about one fifth, or $400Billion, would not result in a profit if the energy transition proceeds in line with current climate commitments. If widespread carbon capture and storage technologies are not deployed, this figure would climb even higher.

“A huge amount of state investments in oil projects will likely only yield returns if global oil consumption is so high that the world exceeds its carbon emission targets,” says Patrick Heller, an NRGI advisor and one of the report’s co-authors.

“This risky spending has major implications for the economic futures of national oil companies’ home countries. State-owned oil companies in developing and emerging countries including Algeria, Mexico and Nigeria might collectively invest more than $365 billion in such high-cost projects—expenditures that could instead help alleviate poverty or diversify their oil-dependent economies.”

As an example, the researchers highlight the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation. Almost half of the Nigerian NOC’s upcoming oil project spending—an amount that exceeds the government’s expenditures on education and health care—may fail to break even if the world makes rapid progress toward climate goals. Similarly, Colombia’s Ecopetrol could invest the equivalent of a fifth of its government’s total expenditures into oil and gas projects that will break even only if the world fails to meet its climate commitments.

“State oil companies’ expenditures are a highly uncertain gamble,” says David Manley, NRGI senior economic analyst and report co-author. “They could pay off, or they could pave the way for economic crises across the emerging and developing world and necessitate future bailouts that cost the public dearly.” The report notes that the governments of countries including Algeria, Angola and Azerbaijan are making particularly risky bets with public money.

“National oil companies will have a major influence on the success of the push for a managed decline in fossil fuel production worldwide,” says Heller. “Authorities in many producing countries risk pushing ahead with new investment regardless of what is economically and ecologically feasible, and the outcomes could be dire. If international oil companies and private investors make good on their stated ambitions to move away from hydrocarbons, state actors may be even more tempted to step in and fill the gap in oil production.”

The Risky Bet report is accompanied by a briefing that details the specific challenges facing NOCs in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Researchers found that while some MENA NOCs have access to large, cheaply developed reserves that will help them withstand a long-term decline, others face uncertainty in maintaining the production on which their economies have come to depend. The briefing suggests that NOCs and their governments across the region should adapt their strategies, become more efficient and accountable to citizens, and adopt fiscal practices that lead to economic resilience in a low-carbon future.


Polarcus Struggles to Breathe

Polarcus, the marine seismic exploration firm, is in provisional liquidation.

It is not having an easy time of it.

The Oslo listed company has spoken out recently about addressing long term financing structure following financial default, and has talked of lenders withdrawing support of ongoing vessel operations, which Is the heart of its business.

“The Board has continued to have regard to the developing financial position of the Company, including the events of default that have occurred, the enforcement action which resulted in the Vessel-owning companies being transferred to a company controlled by the Lenders, and the Lenders confirming their withdrawal of continuing support of the Vessels’ operations”, Polarcus says in the latest release.

The Board “remains focused on pursuing a restructuring of its indebtedness and maintaining the underlying business as a going concern. Discussions between the Company and its creditors, including the Secured Creditors, remain ongoing”.

Polarcus says that in order to “effect a restructuring and to maximize value for all creditors, the Company filed an application with the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands seeking the appointment of Soft Touch Provisional Liquidators over the Company, with a specific mandate to work alongside the Board to pursue a restructuring in the interests of all creditors”

On 8 February 2021, David Griffin and Andrew Morrison of Suite 3212, 53 Market Street, Camana Bay, Grand Cayman KY1-1203, Cayman Islands and Lisa Rickelton of 200 Aldersgate St, Barbican, London EC1A 4HD were appointed as Joint Provisional Liquidators by an order of the Court.

The Joint Provisional Liquidators are specifically authorized by the Court to take all necessary steps to develop and propose a restructuring of the Company’s financial indebtedness with a view to making a compromise or arrangement with the Company’s creditors or any class thereof. The JPLs intend to discuss and consult with the Board wherever practicable throughout their tenure acting as agent for and on behalf of the Company, and to work alongside the Board in pursuing a restructuring and in ensuring that returns to creditors are maximized.

“The Board retains all powers of management conferred on it by the Order, subject to the appropriate and necessary oversight and monitoring of the Joint Provisional Liquidators as regards the exercise of such powers. The Board and the boards of directors of the Company’s subsidiary entities will continue, working alongside the JPLs as appropriate, to engage with the creditors, employees, other stakeholders and third parties in relation to the business and operations of the Polarcus group”.

 


Gbite Falade is Niger Delta’s New CEO

Niger Delta Exploration & Production PLC (NDEP Group) has announced the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Managing Director with effect from 10th February 2021.

Adegbite (’Gbite) Falade will join the company, bringing along some Twenty-five years of impactful and successful career across multiple sectors and continents in the energy Industry, according to a statement by Ladi Jadesinmi, NDEP’s Chairman of the board.

NDEP is a fully Integrated Energy Company which operates the 12,000Barrels of Oil Per Day (BOPD) Ogbele Marginal field, Nigeria’s first officially designated marginal field, in eastern Niger Delta basin. It runs an 11,000BOPD capacity three train modular crude oil refinery as well as a 100Million standard cubic feet per day gas processing plant, which delivers gas to the NLNG system.

“Gbite will succeed the pioneer Managing Director – Layi Fatona (Ph.D.)- who in an Interim position, had supported the running of the affairs of the company from October 2019”, Mr. Jadesinmi’s statement added.

“A First Class B.Sc. Electrical & Electronics Engineering (1995) degree graduate of the University of Ibadan, and a 200B MBA graduate of the Warwick Business School, Coventry, UK; Gbite has in the past Fourteen (14) Years, served in various Senior Executive positions in Oil, Gas, Power, and Services Sectors. With responsibilities for Engineering, Operations, Project Execution, Commercial, Client and Stakeholder Management, Strategy and Enterprise Development.

“He was previously the MD and Group COO at OilServ Group of companies based in Port Harcourt.  Prior to his last assignment, he served variously, as GM-Portfolio Development, Chief Operating Officer (COO), at Oando Energy Resources„ and Executive Director at Oando Gas and Power. He was also Petroleum Economics Discipline & Portfolio Lead for Shell EP, Africa Region”.

With the nimble and proven Technical management team, the chairman concludes: “a young but competent operating workforce and a matured Board of Directors, Gbite will be charged with leading the company, in a well charted and structured manner, to deliver the continuation and indeed enhancement of our historical steady growth”.

“We are confident that our position as Nigeria’s No-1fully Integrated Energy Company will remain, unchallenged and preserved for quite some time yet”.

 

 

 


Sapura’s Not Going Down with Seadrill

Malaysian driller Sapura Energy Berhad has declared that its joint venture with Seadrill, namely Sapura Navegacao Maritima SA (SNM), is not impacted by the recent Chapter 11 cases filed by several Seadrill subsidiaries operating in Asia.

In a clarification to Bursa Malaysia, the country’s Stock Exchange, Sapura  states the Chapter 11 filing by Seadrill, which is an internationally renown Scandinavian drilling company, does not involve Sapura or entities related to the corporate structure of the joint venture, stressing  that the filing has no financial impact on Sapura Energy’s business plans and financial strength.

Sapura Navegacao Maritima SA (SNM) is the only joint venture between Sapura Energy and Seadrill.

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, SNM is one of the leading subsea services operators in the Brazilian market, with a fleet of submarine service vessels providing support, installation and flexible pipe laying expertise to clients in the region.

The company has a workforce of more than a thousand professionals, from 21 different nationalities. SEB’s clarification was in response to a media report linking Seadrill’s Chapter 11 filing of its Asian units, to the Brazil-based SNM. In the clarification, SEB also explained that the filing has no effect on its contracts with Petrobras, which forms the main revenue for SNM; and does not trigger any cross default for the joint venture’s business financing.


NNPC Records 54% Increase in Trading Surplus for November 2020

By Kish Onwunali, in Abuja

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced a trading surplus of ₦13.43Billion (or $35.4Million) for the month of November 2020, up by 54% when compared to the ₦8.71Billion ($22.9Million) surplus recorded in October 2020.

The November 2020 edition of the NNPC Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR) indicates that export sales of crude oil and gas for the month stood at $108.84Million, a 70.33% increase over the value of sales for the previous month. Crude oil export sales contributed $73.09Million (67.15%) of the dollar transactions compared with $12.38Million contribution in the previous month; while the export gas sales amounted to $35.75Million in the month.

The total crude oil and gas export for the period of November 2019 to November 2020 stood at $2.89Billion.

The trading surplus or trading deficit is derived by the deduction of the expenditure profile from the revenue in the period under review.

The MFOR November 2020 report notes that NNPC Group’s operating revenue, compared with October 2020 earnings, decreased slightly by 0.02% or ₦0.09Billion ($236, 842) to stand at ₦423.08Billion ($1.113Billion).

Expenditure for the month decreased by 1.16% or N4.81Billion (12.6Million) to stand at N409.65Billion ($1.07Billion), leading to the ₦13.43Billion ($35.4Million) trading surplus.

Overall, expenditure as a proportion of revenue was 0.97 in November 2020 as against 0.98 in October 2020.

The 54% increase in trading surplus in the November 2020 MFOR is primarily ascribed to the substantial decrease in expenditure from the Nigeria Gas Company (NGC) due to cost reduction in overheads, coupled with 38% reduction in NNPC Corporate Headquarters deficit. In addition, the NNPC Group’s surplus was bolstered by the noticeable improved profits for additional engineering services rendered by the Nigerian Engineering and Technical Company (NETCO) and increased revenue from import activities posted by Duke Oil Incorporated. “These healthy performances dominated the positions of all other NNPC subsidiaries to record the Group surplus”, says the press release.

 


Egypt Will Launch Another Bid Round Before March 2021

By Toyin Akinosho

State-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) will launch a new oil and gas exploration tender before the end of February 2021.

The tender will include offshore blocks in the Mediterranean and Nile Delta, as well as onshore areas in the Western Desert and Eastern Desert, according to Tarek El Molla, the country’s flambouyant Minister of Petroleum.

The lease sale announcement is coming barely six weeks after Mr. El Molla signed nine new agreements worth more than $1Billion with six international and Egyptian companies to explore and produce oil and natural gas in parts of the Mediterranean and Red Sea. The agreements are for the drilling of 17 new exploration wells.

El Molla said in January that three additional agreements were pending approval in the near future. The total of 12 deals targets the drilling of 23 wells in nine regions in the Mediterranean and three regions in the Red Sea, with a minimum total investment of $1.4Billion.

Egypt is a perennial organizer of lease sales. It is the largest producer and the biggest domestic consumer of natural gas in Africa. But its record in crude oil production is shabby, despite its persistent bid rounds. Last year, it produced an average of 600,000Barrels of Oil Per Day, the lowest in 40 years.


Accugas Agrees to Supply 2.5MMscf/d of Gas to Mansour Group

By Foluso Ogunsan

Nigerian natural gas supplier Accugas has entered into a new gas sales agreement (GSA) with Mulak Energy Limited.

Accugas is a subsidiary of Savannah Energy PLC, the British independent.

The GSA is initially for a seven-year term. It envisages the supply of gas produced by Savannah’s majority-owned Uquo field for an initial two-year period on an interruptible basis (the “Interruptible Gas Delivery Period”) and the subsequent five years on a firm contract basis (the “Firm Delivery Period”). During the Interruptible Gas Delivery Period, Mulak is able to nominate a maximum daily quantity of up to 2.5 MMscf/d (MMscf/d means Million standard cubic feet of gas per day).

Volumes in the Firm Delivery Period will be agreed by the parties before the end of the Interruptible Gas Delivery Period.

The GSA is priced to reflect Mulak’s status as an industrial customer; Accugas, therefore, expects to see its weighted average gas sales price realisation increase as a result of this contract, without the need for any incremental capital expenditure beyond our previously announced plans.

Sales under the GSA benefit from a bank guarantee arrangement from an investment grade credit rated international bank.

Mulak is a member of the Mansour Group, an Egyptian multinational conglomerate which claims operations in more than 100 countries and annual revenues exceeding $7.5Billion.

Mulak says it initially plans to distribute CNG to its industrial customers in Rivers State with the CNG to be substituted for diesel in generators supplied by the Mantrac Group, also a member of the Mansour Group and one of the world’s largest dealers in Caterpillar machinery, power systems and equipment.

“Mulak is in a unique position to exploit the synergies with Mantrac’s business in Nigeria through the conversion of Mantrac’s existing customer base of approximately 400MW of diesel-fuelled generators to CNG-fuelled generators”, Accugas says in a release. “Sales under the GSA are expected to commence in 2022 and, following the initial two-year period, Mulak has indicated that it is seeking to expand its CNG sales on a pan-Nigeria basis to Mantrac customers”.

 

 


Siemens appoints Dalia Shoukry as CFO in Egypt, its Biggest African Market

Siemens has appointed Dalia Shoukry as CFO in Egypt, effective immediately.

Shoukry has more than two decades of experience in financial roles covering the Middle East, Europe, and Africa.

Egypt is Siemens’ largest market in Africa and one of its biggest in the world. Between 2016 and 2019, under contract by the government, the German engineering firm built three combined cycle gas to power plants with total capacity of 14,400MW in Egypt. In December 2020, Siemens was awarded, by the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC), the contract to build the new national energy control centre, in the country’s New Administrative Capital (NAC), still under construction, in the middle of the desert, some 45 kilometres east of Cairo.

Siemens is currently in discussions, with the Egyptian Ministry of Power nd Renewable Energy,  for a 500MW capacity Wind Farm in the country, under a Build, Operate and Transfer system.

All of which means that Ms. Shoukry has her job cut out.

Prior to Siemens, she was the international finance director AstraZeneca, the pharmaceutical giant.

She earned a degree in accounting from Ain Shams University. “We are very happy to welcome Dalia to our team in Egypt. Financing is a crucial component of our business, as it not only defines, manages, and oversees all budgets, but it also monitors the performance and ensures the financial health and stability of Siemens Egypt,” said Mostafa El-Bagoury, CEOof  Siemens Egypt.

Siemens has been active in Egypt ever since its founder, Werner von Siemens, laid a communications cable through the Red Sea in 1859 to link Suez and Aden..


Glencore Takes Carroll on Board

Glencore plc has appointed Cynthia Carroll, the British geologist and businesswoman, as an Independent Non-Executive Director of the Company with immediate effect.

Cynthia Carroll was the Chief Executive Officer of Anglo American, the world’s largest platinum producer, from 2007 to 2013. She was the first non-South African to hold the position. She was a non-executive director of the board of BP between 2007 and 2017.

Mrs. Carroll has over 30 years’ experience in the resources sector. She began her career as an exploration geologist at Amoco before joining Alcan. She held various executive roles there culminating in being CEO of the Primary Metal Group, Alcan’s core business

Cynthia Carroll is currently a non-executive director of Hitachi, Ltd (TYO: 6501), Baker Hughes Company (NYSE: BKR) and Pembina Pipeline Corporation (TSE: PPL). Previous non-executive appointments have included BP and the Sara Lee Corporation.

Glencore’s Chairman, Tony Hayward says the board is very pleased to welcome Cynthia Carroll, who has extensive knowledge of the resources industry as well as strong non-executive director experience.

 


VFuels Wins the Contract to Build the Processing Units of the Cabinda Refinery

By Foluso Ogunsan

VFuels, the American refinery constructor, will be fabricating, constructing and installing the Inside Battery Limits (Processing Units) of the Cabinda Refinery in Angola.

The contract is in the making.

Construction is expected to take 18 months. The processing units include the Crude Distilation Unit (CDU) and Merox (acronym for Mercaptan Oxidation).

VFuels constructed the ISBL of the Waltersmith Refinery in Ibigwe, in the east of Nigeria.

United Shine EPC Consortium is the EPC contractor mandated by the Angolan government to Build, Own and Operate the Refinery, after it won a keenly contested bid to build the facility. It will hold 90% in the facility, in partnership with the state hydrocarbon company Sonangol, whose subsidiary -Sonangol Refinación – Sonaref SA holds 10% equity.

The Cabinda Refinery is planned to process 60,000Barrels of Oil Per Day in two phases, with 30,000BOPD in each phase. The first phase will output Diesel, Kerosene, Heavy Fuel Oil-HFO and Naphtha, without Gasoline. In the second phase, Gasoline production will be introduced, in addition to the entire product line of the first phase.

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