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Oil prices drop again, all eyes on talks for Gaza ceasefire

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Oil prices dropped again for a second day on Tuesday, as talks for a ceasefire in Gaza continued, but losses were limited to less than a dollar a barrel as Egyptian and Qatari mediators met resistance in their search to find a way out of the war.

The talks in Cairo, also attended by the director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, William Burns, have so far failed to reach a breakthrough.

Hamas said an Israeli proposal on a ceasefire met none of the demands of Palestinian militant factions, but that it would study the offer further and deliver its response to mediators.

Brent crude futures settled 96 cents, or 1.1 percent, lower at $89.42 per barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures closed down $1.20 or 1.4 percent at $85.23.

On Monday, Brent posted its first decline in five sessions and WTI its first in seven as a fresh round of Israel-Hamas ceasefire discussions in Cairo raised hopes of a breakthrough.

“Without an end to the conflict, there is an elevated risk that other countries, particularly Iran, OPEC’s third-largest producer, could be drawn into the war,” said senior financial market analyst at City Index, Fiona Cincotta.

The commander of the Revolutionary Guard’s navy in Iran said it could close the Strait of Hormuz if deemed necessary. About a fifth of the volume of the world’s total oil consumption passes through the strait daily.

Turkey announced it would restrict exports of various products, including jet fuel, to Israel until there is a ceasefire. Israel said it would respond with its own curbs.

Adding to concerns of a tight market, Mexico’s state oil company, Pemex, said it would reduce crude exports by 330,000 barrels per day (bpd) in May so it can supply more to domestic refineries, cutting by a third the supply available to its U.S., European and Asian buyers. Pemex had already cut its April exports by 436,000 bpd.

Limiting oil price declines, overall fundamentals of tighter supplies remain unchanged, said Dennis Kissler, senior vice president of trading at BOK Financial, citing OPEC’s supply cuts, reduction of fuel exports by Russia and geopolitical instability.

U.S. crude oil output was expected to rise by 280,000 bpd to 13.21 million bpd in 2024, versus a prior forecast for a 260,000 bpd increase, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.

EIA said it expects Brent crude prices to average $88.55 a barrel in 2024, versus a previous forecast of $87 a barrel.

Vitol CEO Russell Hardy told a conference in Switzerland that he expected oil prices to trade in a range of $80-100 a barrel and expected oil demand growth of 1.9 million bpd in 2024.

U.S. crude oil inventories climbed last week by 3.034 million barrels, according to market sources citing American Petroleum Institute figures. Analysts had estimated that stocks would rise by about 2.4 million barrels. Official U.S. government inventory data is due on Wednesday morning.

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Energy

How deployment of new technologies resolved three-year delay on OB3 project — Kyari

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The Group Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd), Mele Kolo Kyari has revealed how the deployment of new technologies has brought a breakthrough to the OB3 Gas pipeline project.

Speaking during an inspection tour of the OB3 pipeline River Niger Crossing operation at Aboh, Delta State, on Saturday, Kyari said the OB3 Gas pipeline is the inter-connector which links the Eastern gas pipeline network to the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) in the West and the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Pipeline in the North.

“The River Niger Crossing operation has been the major impediment to the completion of the strategic OB3 Gas Pipeline for over three years due to failure of the various technologies deployed to achieve the construction of the 48-inch pipe under the river bed between Ndoni in Rivers State and Aboh in Delta State,” He lamented.

He however noted that with the adoption of the Micro-Tunnelling/Direct Pipe Installation technology, the new contractors, Messrs HDD Thailand/Enikkom and Tunnelling Services Group (TSG), are making a headway with about 860meters out of the 1,800meters achieved so far.

Speaking after the inspection tour, Kyari expressed delight at the breakthrough, which signals the imminent completion of the project.

“This is a major project of monumental value to our country. What this means is that this is the only way we can deliver the gas revolution. I am very happy and convinced that, latest by the middle of August, we will complete this project. I have been assured of that by the project team,” Kyari stated.

On the significance of the project, he said, “Once completed, we will see about 2.2billion standard cubic feet of gas coming into our network. We believe that this will give our country a breathing space of demand, I am sure we can catch up with that kind of demand in the next one and half years. We are happy that this will give us the platform to unleash the gas revolution in our country.”

Also speaking on the project, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas) Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo, expressed satisfaction with the pace of work at the OB3 River Niger Crossing operation, describing it as “Renewed Hope at work.”

“I was here last year and I saw the work that was going on. There was a promise that it would be completed by December last year. I took it with a doubt. But today, from what I can see, I am confident that by July or August it will be completed and it will be commissioned by the President,” the Minister stated.

On her part, the Special Adviser to the President on Energy, Olu Verheijen, said she was looking forward to the completion of the project having been assured by the technical team that the right technology has been found to resolve the complex challenges of the River Niger Crossing.

“As the Minister and other speakers have said, we are looking forward to having this project deliver prosperity to Nigerians in the form of electricity and other areas,” Verheijen said.

The Managing Director of Tunnel Service Group (TSG), one of the contractors to the project, Mr. Ingo Justen, who is personally on ground to supervise the project on the request of the GCEO, expressed confidence that the current technology being applied in the execution of the project would lead to its speedy conclusion.

In a presentation earlier, the Managing Director of NNPC Gas Infrastructure Company (NGIC), Engr. Seyi Omotowa, disclosed that at the rate of progress with the new technology deployed, the River Niger Crossing operation, which is the only aspect of the OB3 Gas Pipeline Project left, will be achieved on schedule.

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Nigerian energy firm to build mega LPG Facility in Kenya

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Kenya is negotiating with a subsidiary of Nigeria’s Sahara Group Ltd. to jointly construct a 30,000-ton facility for handling and storing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), according to sources familiar with the matter.

The deal involves state-owned Kenya Pipeline Co. forming a joint venture with Asharami Synergy Plc to construct a common user terminal, which will be East Africa’s largest LPG storage and bottling facility, in the port city of Mombasa, according to a Bloomberg report.

The facility, expected to take 24 months to build, will be financed by Asharami, one of the sources said, adding that the deal is anticipated to be signed by the end of July.

Kenya Pipeline Co. will provide the land for the project, located on the port side.

The project is expected to help the East African nation achieve universal access to clean cooking energy by 2030.

President William Ruto has been advocating for Kenya to become a leader in green energy in Africa.

As part of this initiative, he aims to double the current per capita usage of LPG, which stands at 7kg.

Kenya Pipeline Managing Director, Joe Sang, said that the country is also actively working to bring a private sector company on board for the new cooking-gas facility.

In a bid to enhance the LPG supply and lower fuel prices, Kenya is also negotiating with Saudi Aramco.

The discussions are focused on acquiring a floating LPG barge.

Sang said Kenya’s efforts to improve its energy infrastructure and support the President’s green energy goals.

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Shell reiterates commitment to Nigeria’s development, wins FRCN award

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Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to supporting the socio-economic development of Nigeria, especially in its areas of operations in the Niger Delta.

SPDC Director and Head of Corporate Relations, Igo Weli, made the restatement in Port Harcourt on Friday at a dinner to celebrate the 21st anniversary of Treasure FM, a member of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) network.

“Our commitment stretches back to the 1950s, with a wide range of programmes supporting education, infrastructure, community electrification, and business empowerment,” Weli said.

A key highlight of the anniversary dinner was the presentation of the FRCN Award for Consistent Media Partner to Shell companies in Nigeria.

Weli, who was represented by the Shell Spokesman, Michael Adande, said, “This award serves as a strong reminder that Shell’s dedication to the socio-economic development of the Niger Delta region remains a cornerstone of our presence in Nigeria.”

The award recognises Shell’s partnership with FRCN, particularly its support for the weekly live programme Canvas: Niger Delta Roundtable, which fosters crucial discussions on development issues impacting the region.

“While the award itself was unexpected, it reinforces the value of initiatives like Canvas,” Weli added. “This recognition motivates us to keep promoting development, not just in our operational areas but across the entire nation.”

Since 2017, Canvas: Niger Delta Roundtable has aired twice weekly on different radio stations in the Niger Delta with live online streaming. These broadcasts dedicate an hour to exploring topics relevant to the development of the region and its people.

The General Manager, FRCN Treasure FM Port Harcourt, Fred Onyeka Nwaulune, commended Shell’s partnership.

“Shell has been a reliable media partner, consistently educating the Niger Delta region on the importance of dialogue for development and peaceful solutions,” he said. “Their programme aligns perfectly with FRCN’s focus on sustainable development.”

He noted that through the dialogue radio programme, Shell had demonstrated a continued focus on driving progress and positive change in the Niger Delta and beyond.

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