Libby George News

30 Mar 2020

Nigeria Announces Offshore Oil Worker Restrictions to Battle Coronavirus

© Jan/AdobeStock

Nigeria's petroleum regulator has ordered oil and gas companies to reduce their offshore workforce and move to 28-day staff rotations as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, according to a circular seen by Reuters.Health experts fear a widespread outbreak in Africa's most populous country, which has about 200 million inhabitants, and the country is keen to protect oil production, which provides 90% of much-needed foreign exchange.A coronavirus case on an offshore rig could spread quickly among workers and have a potentially devastating impact on production.Sarki Auwalu…

27 Mar 2020

Nigeria Imposes Cargo Vessel Restrictions to Curb Coronavirus Spread

© PerErik  / Adobe Stock

Nigeria will only allow cargo vessels that have been at sea for more than two weeks to dock in its ports to prevent the spread of coronavirus, President Muhammadu Buhari said on Thursday.Health experts fear a widespread outbreak in Africa's most populous country of 200 million people which could overwhelm its creaking healthcare system.Nigeria has closed its land borders and international airports in the last week to curb the spread of the virus.Buhari said on Twitter he had issued a directive that "only cargo vessels that have been at sea for more than 14 days be allowed to dock in our ports…

04 Mar 2020

Shipping Goods into Nigeria Costs More Than for African Peers

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It costs as much as five times more to ship goods into Nigeria than it does to deliver items via other African ports, consultancy SBM Intelligence said in a note on Wednesday.SBM tracked shipments from the European Union into Appapa, a key import hub in Nigeria's commercial capital of Lagos, Durban in South Africa and Tema in Ghana over three months.The results showed that total costs to get items into Lagos are five times higher than in Durban and three times higher than in Tema.Local transport added the biggest amount, costing 10 times as much in Lagos compared with the other portsThe figure

16 Jul 2019

Ten Turkish Sailors Seized by Pirates off Nigeria

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Ten Turkish sailors were taken hostage by armed pirates who attacked a Turkish-flagged cargo ship off the coast of Nigeria, the vessel's owner said on Tuesday, adding that another eight sailors were left safely aboard.Turkey's foreign ministry said the sailors were seized on Saturday evening. After the pirates left the ship it was taken to Ghana's Tema port, and Ghanaian and Nigerian authorities are working on returning the captured sailors, the ministry said.Shipping company Kadioglu Denizcilik said its ship…

18 Apr 2018

2020 Low-sulfur Rule to Trigger Huge Disruptions -IEA

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The shipping industry and oil refineries are not doing enough to prepare for new rules cutting the amount of sulfur that vessels can emit from 2020, according to the head of the International Energy Agency's (IEA) oil industry and market division.The new rules drastically cut the amount of sulfur that the world's ships can emit, from 3.5 percent currently to just 0.5 percent. Ships that install "scrubbers" that remove sulfur as the fuel is burned can continue to use higher sulfur fuels…

11 Apr 2018

Shipping Fuel Costs to Spike 25% on Sulphur Cap

© Kara / Adobe Stock

Costs to rise from roughly $100 bln today; just 2 pct of global fleet to have scrubbers in 2020. Global shipping fuel costs are likely to rise by a quarter, or $24 billion, in 2020 when new rules limiting sulphur kick in, consultants Wood Mackenzie said on Wednesday. The ballooning costs will come as the change in regulations forces a portion of the world's fleet to switch to lower sulphur, but higher cost, fuels such as marine gasoil (MGO) and ultra low sulphur fuel oil. The…

29 Mar 2018

Oil Backlog Off China Limits Prospects for Fresh Atlantic Basin Shipments

© cascoly2 / Adobe Stock

A backlog of crude cargoes has built up off the coast of China, limiting prospects for new shipments to the world's largest oil importer, trading and shipping sources said. The amount of oil floating in tankers off China has risen partly due to tax changes and an anti-pollution drive that have depressed oil demand from small, independent refiners, known as "teapots". Maintenance has curtailed run rates at others. This has combined with aggressive selling, particularly from West Africa, that pushed vessels to the region even when early warning signs showed crude demand could falter.

05 Mar 2018

Distillate Demand Boost from Shipping Sulphur Rules to be Brief

File Image: A typical Middle East Refinery (CREDIT: MELCAL)

A sharp increase in demand for distillates following new shipping fuel rules will fade quickly, the International Energy Agency said on Monday. New rules implemented by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will significantly cut the amount of sulphur that the world's ships can burn in their engines from 2020, leading to a close to 1 million barrel per day (bpd) rise in gasoil consumption at the expense of high-sulphur fuel oil. While ships can continue to burn higher sulphur fuel if they install scrubbers…

01 Mar 2018

W. Africa Crude-Angolan Oil Trades on Spot

Nigerian crude sells into tenders, while Angolan trades more quickly on spot. * ExxonMobil had purchased two of the three Olombendo cargoes sold this week, traders said. * All three are likely to sail to the Mediterranean or the United States rather than China, the usual destination. * Angola's Sonangol sold its cargo of Dalia, which it had been offering at dated Brent minus 70 cents a barrel. The buyer was not clear, but traders said it was a western company rather than Asian. * Statoil had also sold a cargo of Angola's Saturno. * Sonangol was still offering another cargo of Dalia at dated Brent minus 70 cents a barrel and a cargo of Saxi at dated Brent plus 75 cents a barrel. * Nigerian crude cargoes Erha and Forcados were selling into tenders, but spot trade was limited.

23 Feb 2018

IMO to Ban Ships without Scrubbers from Carrying High Sulphur Fuel

© Giuseppe Elio Cammarata / Adobe Stock

The International Maritime Organization intends to ban ships that do not have equipment to strip sulphur from carrying fuel that has a sulphur content above new limits in 2020, an IMO official said on Thursday. The ban, which still has to go through two formal approval steps, was presented at IMO compliance meetings earlier this month. It would make enforcing the new limits on sulphur in shipping fuels significantly easier, cutting into the expected rule-breaking. "There wasn't that dissent…

16 Feb 2018

Nigeria's Primary Crude Exports Set to Rise

File Image: A typical VLCC underway, full and down (CREDIT: EuroNav)

Nigeria is set to export more of its largest crude oil stream, Qua Iboe, on a barrel-per-day basis in April, while loadings of two other main export grades will also rise, loading programmes showed on Friday. Forcados exports will also rise, to 262,000 bpd in April on 10 cargoes, up from 248,000 bpd on 11 cargoes in March. Bonny Light exports in April are also expected to edge higher on a bpd basis to 163,000 bpd in April, up from 161,000 bpd in March. The total Bonny loading volume will slip to 4.9 million barrels on five cargoes…

08 Feb 2018

Texas Flood: U.S. Oil Pours into Global Markets

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Jose Gill)

United States taking share from OPEC nations in Asia, Europe, as China’s biggest U.S. crude buyer to double imports. In the two years since Washington lifted a 40-year ban on oil exports, tankers filled with U.S. crude have landed in more than 30 countries, ranging from massive economies like China and India to tiny Togo. The repeal has unleashed a flood of U.S. shale oil, undercutting global crude prices, eroding the clout of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and seizing market share from many of its member countries.

02 Jun 2017

Nigeria Oil Exports Continue to Climb

Nigeria issued its first Forcados oil loading plan since 2016, putting the nation's June oil exports on track to hit thier highest level in at least 15 months. The plan, if realised, would return loadings by Nigeria, normally West Africa's biggest oil exporter, to levels not seen since militant attacks in the oil-rich Niger Delta first shut down Forcados exports in early 2016. It is also likely to put more downward pressure on oil prices, which are already trading more than 16 percent below the highs reached in January on the back of a persistent global excess. Last week the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries along with several other oil producing nations agreed to extend output cuts of 1.8 million bpd, but it gave Nigeria, along with Libya, another exemption.

07 Jun 2017

Shell Lifts 'force majeure' for Forcados Liftings

Royal Dutch Shell lifted force majeure on exports of Nigeria's Forcados crude oil, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday.   The grade, which typically exports 200,000-240,000 barrels per day (bpd) had been under force majeure since February 2016 following a militant attack on the main export route, the Trans Forcados Pipeline.   Last week Shell issued a loading programme for June exports that lifted planned exports from Nigeria to at least a 15-month high.   Reporting by Libby George

04 Aug 2017

Oil Prices Dip as OPEC Oil Exports Rise

© Björn Wylezich / Adobe Stock

Oil prices edged lower on Friday and were on track for weekly losses, weighed down by rising OPEC exports and strong output from the United States. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark, were trading at $51.76 a barrel at 1141 GMT, 25 cents below the last close and heading for a fall of close to 1.5 percent on the week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were 30 cents lower at $48.73 per barrel and were set to drop by around 2 percent for the week. Analysts said prices were pressured by rising output, although strong demand limited the losses.

17 Aug 2017

As IOC Books Cargoes, Nigerian October Liftings Mixed

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Carabay)

India's IOC booked a total of 4 million barrels from traders Shell and Total, while Nigeria's initial October export plans mostly showed slipping levels. Export plans for Forcados, Qua Iboe, Bonny Light, Bonga Erha, Amenam and Usan nearly all showed lower figures compared with September. Forcados exports were scheduled to rise to 256,000 bpd, and Erha also showed an increase. But Qua Iboe, the largest export stream, and the other grades released were all set to slip month-on-month. There were roughly 10-15 cargoes left from the September loading plan.

29 Aug 2017

European Gasoline Margins at 4-1/2 Month High

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Sharrif Che'Lah)

Benchmark European gasoline refining margins spiked nearly 9 percent on Tuesday to their highest since April after more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of U.S. refining capacity was knocked offline by Hurricane Harvey. Margins, a measure of the profit that can be made from refining crude into gasoline, hit $15.45 a barrel in morning trade. Harvey knocked out 13 percent of refining capacity in the United States, the world's largest oil consumer, while the ongoing rain and flooding threatened other units, including the country's largest refinery.

11 Oct 2017

Glencore Sees Record Oil Trading Volumes as Margins Shrink

Glencore looks set to cement its position as the world's second-largest oil trader as it tries to offset low volatility and tight margins with record volumes this year, its global head of oil, Alex Beard, told Reuters. The London-listed commodities trader and miner will shift around 6 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude and refined product this year, up 25 percent from last year. The figure represents around 6 percent of global supply and only rival Vitol trades more oil, at some 7 million bpd. Most merchants are being forced to ramp up volumes to protect profits in an environment of low volatility. "We don’t set targets in terms of volumes," Beard told the annual Reuters Global Commodities Summit.

13 Oct 2017

Oil Rallies on Chinese Import Boost and Mideast Tensions

© prathaan / Adobe Stock

Oil prices firmed on Friday as bullish news from strong Chinese oil imports to turmoil in the Middle East put Brent on track for a nearly 3 percent weekly gain. The developments added to other signs that the market was finally rebalancing after years of excess, but analysts warned that the 2018 balance was still shaky. Brent was at $57.20 at 1335 GMT, up 95 cents. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was at $51.44 per barrel, up 84 cents from its last settlement. The contracts were on track for weekly gains of more than 2 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

16 Nov 2017

Ships 'Unseaworthy' If They Don't Meet Emissions Rules -IMO

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Ships which do not meet cuts to the amount of sulphur they can burn in their engines risk being declared "unseaworthy", the International Maritime Organization (IMO) said on Thursday. Shippers and refiner are not sure how they will comply with rules finalized last year which require ships worldwide to cut sulphur emissions from 3.5 to 0.5 percent by 2020. The IMO said there would be no delays or exceptions to the coming rules, whether or not the industry takes the steps it needs to comply, and warned that all parties face consequences if they do not play their part.

10 Jan 2018

Record West African Oil Liftings, Most Sailing East

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Jose Gill)

Total WAF loadings for Asia hit record. Shipments of West African oil to China are set to surge to a record in January, boosting overall fixtures heading east to their highest in at least 14 years, a Reuters survey of shipping fixtures and traders showed on Wednesday. China's loadings are expected to jump by more than 20 percent from December to more than 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in January, the survey showed. The figure is the highest barrel-per-day total to sail for China since September, and is some 37 percent above the same month last year.

25 Jan 2018

Gunvor Gets Approval for Rotterdam Refinery Upgrade

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Sharrif Che'Lah)

The Netherlands has given provisional approval to Gunvor to add a fuel upgrading unit at its Rotterdam refinery, according to a document seen by Reuters, as the international oil trader prepares for tough new environmental rules on shipping fuels. The rules from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), due to come into effect in 2020, aim to cut sulphur emissions produced by ships, creating a challenge for shipping companies and oil refiners. Refiners have to decide whether…

07 Feb 2018

Rare Suezmax Gasoline Cargo Sails to West Africa

Nigeria's push to keep its citizens stocked with fuel is drawing close to a million tonnes a month of gasoline from Europe - including now on a rare Suezmax vessel booked by Vitol. The country is working overtime to replenish its tanks after shortages and queues popped up across the nation of more than 180 million in early December - sparking a scramble for state oil company NNPC. The restocking comes as gasoline demand in other regions was waning in winter, and has helped boost fuel and refining margins in Europe just as the continent's refineries prepare to shut for seasonal maintenance. The Vitol-booked, 115,000-tonne cargo aboard the newly built Sea Icon is sailing to West Africa from the Latvian port of Ventspils, according to Reuters ship tracking and trading sources.

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