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Economy

US tackles OPEC over rising Oil prices

Joe Biden, US President

—-rallies allies to saturate global market with excess supply

 

Eyewitness reporter with agency report

Amidst controlled supplies of oil in the international market by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries(OPEC) and its allies( OPEC +), which has raised global oil prices, the United States of America (USA) has perfected a plan to crash the soaring oil prices.
To achieve this, the US has beckoned on its allies to join it in releasing their strategic oil reserves that will saturate the global oil market with excess supply and crash the galloping prices of crude.

The Joe Biden administration came to this conclusion as the last resort after its appeal to OPEC and its allies, OPEC+, to raise production quota to boost oil supplies failed.

Consequently, governments from some of the world’s biggest economies may have agreed with the US in principle when they said they were looking into releasing oil from their strategic reserves, after a rare US request for a coordinated move to cool global energy prices ahead of a meeting of major oil-producing nations.

The Biden administration has asked a wide range of countries, including China for the first time, to consider releasing stocks of crude.

Other major consumers India, Japan and South Korea were also involved in discussions.

As the world economy rebounds from the pandemic, Washington and other nations have been frustrated that producers in OPEC+, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies such as Russia, have rebuffed US requests to speed up additional oil supplies.

OPEC nations, for their part, have said that world economies remain too fragile to warrant increasing supplies quickly.

To that end, the market slumped on Friday after Austria announced that it would reimpose a full nationwide lockdown due to soaring coronavirus cases, and Germany, Europe’s largest economy, may soon follow suit.

International benchmark Brent was down 2.7 percent to US$79.11 (RM330) a barrel, the lowest since early October.

 The market has been weakening for several weeks as investors have started to anticipate an increase in supply worldwide.

With gasoline prices and other costs rising, Democratic US President Joe Biden also faces political pressure ahead of midterm congressional elections next year.

 A Reuters poll in October showed 67 percent of US adults agreed that inflation is a very big concern.

Members of Biden’s national security team had discussed the need to meet fuel demand, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said.

 “That is an ongoing conversation and one we are having with a number of partners,” she added.

OPEC+ plans to meet on December 2nd, 2021.

 The group has been raising output by 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) per month, gradually unwinding record production cuts made in 2020 when the pandemic dissipated fuel demand.

This week, Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said OPEC expects an oil supply surplus to begin building next month.

Other countries have been pressing OPEC for some time, including China and India.

“This is not a case of supplies not being available,” Hardeep Singh Puri, India’s Oil Minister, told a conference in Dubai on Wednesday.

 “There are five million barrels a day of supplies available which have not been released for whatever reason.”

While OPEC+ has been raising oil output by 400,000 bpd per month since July, the producer group still has about 3.8 million bpd in supply cuts that it has not yet returned to the market.

Several of the group’s members have been unable to meet production targets due to years of under-investment.

“Half of (OPEC+’s) members can’t meet their quotas given their own under-investment,” Goldman Sachs analysts said.

OPEC+ in April 2020 cut output by more than 10 million barrels a day in response to the swift spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

China’s state reserve bureau told Reuters it was working on a release of crude oil reserves, but declined to comment on the US request.

It would also mark the first time that China, the world’s No. 2 oil consumer and largest importer, would be involved in a coordinated release with the United States.

China held its first-ever public auction of oil reserves in September.

Consultancy Energy Aspects said in a note to clients that Beijing is expected to release another 10 million to 15 million barrels of crude from its reserves in eastern Zhoushan in its next auction round.

“Any oil released from the Chinese SPR needs to be refilled within 90 days,” Energy Aspects said.

“The market should focus on where these countries will find crude to refill these tanks given just how low stocks are.”

The United States has the largest strategic reserve at more than 600 million barrels.

The US SPR was set up in the 1970s after the Arab Oil Embargo to ensure the nation had adequate supply to weather an emergency.

In the last several years, the shale boom has pushed US output to rival that of Saudi Arabia and Russia.

That has enabled the United States to become less dependent on energy imports from other nations, particularly members of OPEC.

The United States and its allies have coordinated strategic petroleum reserve releases before, such as in 2011 when supplies were hit by war in OPEC member Libya.

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Economy

Nigerians to groan under fresh fuel scarcity for another two weeks- Independent Petroleum Marketers

The Eyewitness Reporter 
The current fuel crisis in the country may not go anytime soon as the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has warned that the situation may likely persist for the next two weeks.
Speaking against the fresh fuel scarcity in the country, the IPMAN’s Public Relations Officer, Chinedu Ukadike disclosed that there is no petrol product available for supply in the country.
Ukadike, in a statement, said there is a breach in the international supply chain, adding that fuel is not available even for Nigeria’s sole supplier, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NPCL).
This follows an ongoing turnaround maintenance of refineries in Europe.Ukadike explained that once there is a breach in the international supply chain, it will have an impact on domestic supply because they depend on imports.

“The situation is that there is no product. Once there is a lack of supply or inadequate supply, what you will see is scarcity and queues will emerge at filling stations.

“On the part of NNPCL, which is the sole supplier of petroleum products in Nigeria, they have attributed the challenge to logistics and vessel problems.

“Once there is a breach in the international supply chain, it will have an impact on domestic supply because we depend on imports.

” I also have it on good authority that most of the refineries in Europe are undergoing turnaround maintenance, so sourcing petroleum products has become a bit difficult.” IPMAN spokesman said.
According to him, “NNPC Group CEO has assured us that there will be improvement in the supply chain because their vessels are arriving”.“Once that is done, normalcy will return. This is because once the 30-day supply sufficiency is disrupted, it takes two to three months to restore it.

“We expect that by next week or so, NNPC should be able to restore supply and with another week, normalcy should return,” he said.

Ukadike further stated that “NNPC has said the marketers who have not been able to renew their licences will not be allowed to remain on their portal which has been shut for some time now.

” Because of this, we have not been able to request new products”.

 “At this nascent period of deregulation, you will discover that this leads to scarcity, even when the product arrives.

“As it is now, even by their data, out of 15,000 marketers that are on the portal with licences, only 1,050 renewed their licences.

“The requirement for renewal by NMDPRA is so much. Marketers are facing a hostile environment. NNPC placed a deadline of April 15, 2024, for marketers to renew their licences.

“We are, therefore, appealing to NNPC to extend this deadline and also to NMDPRA to hasten the release of licences of marketers who have completed their processes, and also reduce bottlenecks around licence renewals.”

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Economy

CBN sells $15.830m at N1.021 per dollar to 1,583 BDCs

CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso
The Eyewitness Reporter 
In its ongoing effort to ensure liquidity in the foreign exchange market which is expected to ease the pressure on the naira, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday disbursed the sum of $15,830,000m to 1,583 licensed Bureau De Change Operators at $10, 000 each.
In a letter dated April 22nd, 2024 and addressed to the President of the Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria and signed by Dr Hassan Mahmud, the Director, Trade and Exchange Department of the CBN, the beneficiaries are mandated to sell allocated forex to eligible end users ” at a spread of not more than 1.5 percent above the purchase price.
The CBN said the sale of forex to the BDCs will meet market demand (retail-end) for invisible transactions.
The apex bank however advised all the BDCs to continue to abide by the rules and conditions as stipulated in the operational guidelines.
The beneficiary BDCs have trading locations at Lagos, Abuja, Akwa and Kano.
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Economy

News Alert! CBN revokes operational licenses of 4,173 Bureau De Change operators for breach of regulatory guidelines

CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso

The Eyewitness Reporter

In its continuous efforts to sanitize the foreign exchange market and halt the frightening slide of the naira in exchange for the dollars, the Central Bank of Nigeria has revoked the operational licenses of 1,173 Bureau De Change operators.

In a press release issued Friday, March 1st, 2024 and signed by Mrs. Sidi Ali Hakama, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications, the apex bank said the axed BDCs failed to observe at least one of the following regulatory provisions which include payment of all necessary fees, including license renewal within the stipulated period in line with the Guidelines, rendition of returns in line with the Guidelines, compliance with guideline, directives and circulars of the CBN, particularly Anti-Money Laundering(AML), countering the Financing of Terrorism(CFT)and Counter-Proliferation Financing(CPF) regulations.

The apex bank said it relied on the powers conferred on it under the Bank and Other Financial Institutions Act(BOFIA)2020, Act n0.5 and Revised Operational Guidelines for Bureaux De Change 2015(the Guidelines).

“The CBN is revising the regulatory and supervisory guidelines for Bureau de Change operations in Nigeria. Compliance with the new requirements will be mandatory for all stakeholders in the sector when the revised guidelines become effective.

‘Members of the Public are hereby advised to take note and be guided accordingly”, the statement concluded.

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