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Average price of 5kg cooking gas stands at N4,610.48 in March – NBS

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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says the average price of 5kg of cooking gas increased from N4,600.57 recorded in February to N4,610.48 in March.

This is contained in the Bureau’s “Cooking Gas Price Watch’’ for March 2023 released on Monday in Abuja.

The report said the March 2023 price represented a 0.22 per cent increase, compared to what was obtained in February 2023.

It said on a year-on-year basis, the increase was 22.03 per cent from N3,778.30 recorded in March 2022.

On state profile analysis, the report showed that Kwara recorded the highest average price of N4,962.87 for 5kg cooking gas, followed by Abuja at N4,940.00, and Adamawa at N4,915.00.

It said on the other hand, Rivers recorded the lowest price at N4,204.45, followed by Abia and Anambra at N4,220.15 and N4,232.75, respectively.

Analysis by zone showed that the North-Central recorded the highest average retail price of N4,872.20, followed by the North-West at N4,651.93.

“The South-East recorded the lowest average retail price at N4,441.55,” the NBS said.

The report said the average retail price for refilling a 12.5kg cooking gas rose by 0.09 per cent on a month-on-month basis from N10,253.39 in February 2023 to N10,262.56 in March 2023.

“On a year-on-year basis, this rose by 34.72 per cent from N7,617.71 recorded in March 2022 to N10,262.56 in March 2023.”

State profile analysis showed that Jigawa recorded the highest average retail price of N11,687.00 for 12.5kg cooking gas, followed by Akwa Ibom at N10,880.20 and Cross River at N10,810.65.

On the other hand, the report showed that the lowest average price for 12.5kg of cooking gas was recorded in Ebonyi at N9,500.00, followed by Yobe and Gombe with N9,600.00 and N9,766.67, respectively.

Analysis by zone showed that the South-South recorded the highest average retail price for refilling a 12.5kg cooking gas at N10,507.72, followed by the
North-West at N10,435.35.

The report said the North-East recorded the lowest price of refining 12.5kg cooking gas at N9,808.50.

However, the average retail price per litre of kerosene dropped to N1,142.46 in March 2023 on a month-on-month basis, showing a decline of 2.68 per cent, compared to N1,173.89 recorded in February 2023.

According to its National Kerosene Price Watch for March 2023, on a year-on-year basis, the average retail price per litre of kerosene rose by 102.37 per cent from N564.55 in March 2022.

On state profile analysis, the report showed the highest average price per litre of kerosene in March 2023 was recorded in Adamawa at N1,595.24, followed by Abuja at N1,368.52 and Bauchi at N1,314.58.

“On the other hand, the lowest price was recorded in Jigawa at N916.67, followed by Kaduna at N955.00 and Edo at N957.14.”

The NBS said the analysis further showed that the North-East recorded the highest average retail price per litre of Kerosene at N1,256.59, followed by the South-East at N1,248.68.

It said the North-West recorded the lowest average retail price per litre of kerosene at N981.47.

The report said the average retail price per gallon of Kerosene paid by consumers in March 2023 was N4,105.25, indicating a 4.56 per cent increase from N3,926.23 recorded in February 2023.

“On a year-on-year basis, the average price per gallon of kerosene increased by 104.07 per cent from N2,011.70 recorded in March 2022.

Energy

Shell launches unmanned vessel for undersea pipeline evaluation

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…As stakeholders decry AI infiltration, potential unemployment

Stakeholders have called for caution in the deployment of artificial intelligence and technologies which may result in job losses in the Nigerian oil and gas sector.

The stakeholders made the call following Monday’s announcement by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) that it had introduced surface water drone for pipeline survey in its shallow water operations.

Shell had said that it had deployed an Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV) for pipeline route survey in the Niger Delta.

The USV, a water surface drone with no human crew, can be used for underwater pipelines examination and integrity assessment among others.

SPDC announced the innovation, the first in Nigerian oilfields, in a statement by its Media Relations Manager, Mrs Abimbola Essien-Nelson.

According to the energy firm, the USV saves time and cost as well as reduces exposure to personnel and environment.

“Last month, the remotely operated USV conducted a pipeline route survey at Bonny for a total of 166 hours.

“It is the first deployment of an USV for a pipeline route survey in shallow water in Nigeria and the longest such single mission in the Shell Group,” Essien-Nelson said.

She quoted Mr Steve Keedwell, SPDC’s Chief Surveyor and Head of Offshore Survey Operations, as describing the deployment of the USV as the new face of survey in Nigeria.

According to the statement, on-site and remote operators deployed the USV.

“We recorded increased productivity and better data acquisition at the survey at Bonny.

“Deploying the USV reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 97 per cent because the vehicle is designed as diesel electric.

“The efficiency of data acquisition coupled with improved data quality whilst reducing personnel exposure to zero is transforming how we execute surveys,” she said.

She further said that SPDC partnered with different stakeholders such as Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NNPC Upstream Investment Management Services and the Nigerian Content Development and Management Board on the initiative.

Others were the Nigerian Navy Hydrographic Office and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.

She noted that in furtherance of its Nigerian content development programme, SPDC worked closely with a Nigerian vendor, Compass Survey Limited, which deployed the vessel with support from their foreign partners and Unmanned Survey Solutions, UK

Essien-Nelson also quoted SPDC’s General Manager, Nigerian Content Development, ‘Lanre Olawuyi, as saying the vendor was training on-site remote operators to build local capacity.

“This is an exciting chapter in our efforts to develop Nigerian content in the conduct of surveys,” Olawuyi said.

Olawuyi added that the innovation in the survey at Bonny was attracting interests from the oil and gas industry and beyond.

“We will continue to support Nigerian companies in the domestication of technology and innovations,” he said.

The statement allayed fears of job losses, saying the USV creates jobs at the remote control centre where data from the unmanned vessel is received and processed.

But an oil services expert, Mr Henry Itrechio noted that the introduction of technologies that cut off jobs should be used with caution due to the adverse social impact of job losses on the economy.

“Incursions of Artificial Intelligence ought to be handled with cautious optimism as machines cannot replace humans.

“Like in the case in point, the USV is better because the danger of having humans in undersea vessels is very high.

“The USV is not without its own drawbacks and its pilot deployment for pipeline surveillance in shallow waters should be further studied to ascertain the suitability for deep-sea operations,” he said.

He also noted that the disadvantages of using USVs for pipeline surveys in the oil industry include limitations in communication, navigation, payload capacity, range and speed when compared to undersea vehicles.

Also speaking, Dr Nnimmo Bassey, an environmental rights crusader, who welcomed the application of drone technology for underwater pipeline monitoring, argued that the claim of 97 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions was bogus and needed to be validated.

“The drones can be good for monitoring pipelines for defects, leakages, and corrosion or illegal activities.

“To say that they lead to 97 percent carbon dioxide emission reduction is a vacuous claim that can only be made by carbon speculators seeking profit rather than halting pollution.

“The drones whether subsea or above water cannot in any way eliminate human agency in halting harmful activities,” he said.

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Energy

Divestments: Our role is to ensure Nigerians reap benefits of oil sector, not hinder investments — NNPC Ltd

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Group Chief Executive Officer of the  Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) has harped on the role of the National oil company as a body committed to ensuring Nigerians reap the gains of the nation’s investment in the oil and gas sector.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 7th edition of the Nigerian International Energy Summit 2024 (NIES 2024), which held at the State House, Abuja, on Tuesday, Kyari noted that NNPC Ltd as the largest partner to all the oil producing companies in Nigeria, has assured that its role in the divestment of the International Oil Companies from onshore and shallow water assets in the country is that of a facilitator, and not an obstacle.

He explained that by virtue of its statutory mandate as the enabler of national energy security, NNPC Ltd.’s role is to ensure that, at the end of the day, there is optimal and sustainable production from the divested assets to guarantee energy security for the benefit of Nigerians.

Kyari also disclosed the company’s willingness to invest in the proposed African Energy Bank as a way of ensuring sustainable funding for energy projects in Africa to guarantee energy security.

On investment in energy infrastructure to drive energy security, the GCEO further disclosed that the completion of the Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben Pipeline was in sight as the tunnelling across the River Niger was currently ongoing.

He assured stakeholders of the company’s commitment to work with them to close the energy deficit gap and create prosperity for Nigerians, adding that from all indications, all issues of energy scarcity in the country would be over in the next 10 years.

The event saw the participation of key industry and governmental figures, including Haitham al-Ghais, Secretary-General of OPEC; Omar Farouk Ibrahim, Secretary General of the African Petroleum Producers’ Organization; Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil); Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas); Amb. Nicholas Agbo Ella, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources; and the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris Malagi, who represented the Nigerian President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

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Energy

Petroleum subsidy strains economy leading to inefficiencies, hindering investment in energy security —Tinubu

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By Matthew Denis

President Bola Tinubu has disclosed that the petroleum subsidy has, over the years, strained Nigeria’s economic resources, leading to inefficiencies and, most importantly, hindering the nation’s ability to invest in critical areas of energy security.

The President made the disclosure while making  his inaugural speech  at the ongoing Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES) held in Abuja on Tuesday.

Speaking on the theme of this year’s summit, “Navigating the New Energy World Order: Security, Transition, and Finance,” he said it is not only timely but also critical as we find ourselves at the crossroads of a rapidly transforming global energy landscape.

The President stressed that “Energy Security, as we know, is of paramount importance. It is not just a national concern; it is a global imperative. In the face of emerging challenges, both geopolitical and technological, we must ensure the resilience of our energy infrastructure. The decisions we make today will impact the energy security of generations to come.”

“By removing the subsidy, we are creating a more transparent and accountable energy sector. The funds that were previously allocated to subsidizing petroleum products are now redirected towards developing and upgrading our energy and other social infrastructure.

“The removal of the subsidy has encouraged further private sector participation in the energy industry with potential of attracting more local and international investors, fostering innovation and competition that will drive down costs and improve the overall efficiency of our energy sector.

”I am acutely aware of the immediate impact this decision may have had on our citizens, especially those with lower incomes. Therefore, in parallel with the subsidy removal, my administration is committed to implementing social intervention programs to mitigate the short-term effects on vulnerable populations. These programs will ensure that the burden of the subsidy removal is shared equitably and that the most vulnerable among us are protected.

“The decision to remove the petroleum subsidy is not an easy one, but it is a necessary one for the long-term energy security and economic prosperity of our beloved nation. I call upon all stakeholders, including industry experts, policymakers, and the general public, to engage in constructive dialogue and collaboration as we navigate these challenging but transformative times. Together, we can build a resilient and sustainable energy future for Nigeria.”

According to him, “Finance, as always, plays a pivotal role in driving the energy agenda. Adequate funding is crucial to support the development and deployment of cutting-edge technologies, infrastructure, and projects that will shape our energy future.”

“I challenge each one of you to actively participate, engage in meaningful discussions, and contribute your expertise towards finding solutions to the complex energy challenges we face. Together, we can navigate the new energy world order with resilience, innovation, and a shared commitment to a sustainable and secure energy future for Nigeria.”

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