Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Goil sustains annual growth

Goil sustains annual growth
Prof William A. Asomaning addressing the shareholders
The Ghana Oil Company Limited (GOIL) performed creditably last year by making GHC 72.979 million financial contributions to government - the majority shareholder of the company.

This was disclosed by the board chairman of Goil, Prof William A.

Asomaning at the company’s annual general meeting of shareholders held at the auditorium of the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Accra last week.

Prof Asomaning told the shareholders that Goil’s performance in terms of growth in volumes of sales went above its average growth rate of 5%. From 1% growth in 2011 sales volumes increased by 11% in 2012.

The company’s profit after tax in the year under review also grew by 19% with earnings per share improving by 18%. In line with the company’s policy of paying not less than 30% of profit after taxation as dividends, a dividend pay-out of GHC 0.015 per share to shareholders which is equivalent to about 33% of profit after tax was proposed for shareholders.

Prof Asomaning said these significant achievements were recorded following the successful implementation of GOIL’s planned strategies after launching a rebranding exercise in mid 2012. These included the opening of state of the act service stations and the renovation of old service stations across the country.

The board chairman emphasized that despite stiff competition in the downstream oil industry, Goil was able to stand firm because of internal reforms and key partnerships lined up to position the company to deliver.

He mentioned the provision of aviation fuel for airlines in the country and bunkering services for ships as some of the new strategies adopted by GOIL to stay in business and make profit.

The shareholders approved the re-election of three retiring directors. including; Mr. Chris A. Ackummey, Mr. Eugene Akoto-Bamfo and Mr. Kojo Bonsu.

On his part, the Managing Director of Goil, Mr. Patrick Akorli explained to the Shareholders for resolution the transfer of GHC 20 million from the Income Surplus Account to the Stated Capital Account.

He assured the shareholders that Goil’s plan to be the oil marketing company of choice in the country is on course and the future definitely looks brighter for Goil.

Petroleum Depot nears completion in Tema

Work on a $60 million petroleum depot in Tema is near completion to facilitate the import and distribution of refined petroleum products to help curb shortages of LPG and fuel on the market.

The depot, initiated by the Fuel Trade Limited but operating under the name Tema Fuel Company, is currently under going a test running to check teething problems before full operations start.

With the entry of the privately-owned Ghanaian import and distribution company, it is expected that there would be abundant gas, gasoline and diesel on the market to create competition among distributors.

The company also has a facility in Takoradi, where LPG is discharged directly onto trucks.

Reports indicate that market demands for LPG now stand at 1,100 of gas, 500,000 litres of super (gasoline) and 800,000 litres of diesel, daily.

It was expected that the other bulk distribution companies in the sector would supply the remaining shortfall, which is minimal.

The Daily Graphic found out that some fuel and gas tankers were already loading for distribution as part of its test operations.

The depot has a weekly delivery schedule during which products made up of a LPG, super and diesel, were delivered and, therefore, did not foresee any shortage.

The project is near completion and has started test supplies to solve all teething problems on the equipment.

It was gathered that gas from the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) was predominantly for power generation unless it was separated.

The source said laboratory equipment for that purpose were not available to provide what could be used for domestic and smaller machines and, therefore, would not be of use to domestic consumers.

When the Daily Graphic got to the depot, some officials from the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) Customs Division and a technical team from the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) were checking the pumps on various tanks to ensure that they were in good conditions.

The depot has seven tanks with five for fuel, one for water and a mounded bullet tank purposely for LPG.

It also operates six loading bays for gas, gasoline and diesel, with each bay loading 200 tons in an hour.

This system of loading created efficiency and minimal delays at the loading bay.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic in an interview at the depot, the Technical and Operations Director, Mr Andrews Barfi Owusu, disclosed that the components of the depot were adjustable and the depot could increase its intake when the need arises.

He said the company would not want to create overcapacity in the system, hence, the gap to enable other bulk distribution companies to take the shortfall.

Mr Owusu noted that the company’s intention was to contribute to government’s effort to make available fuel and gas to consumers

He said the decision to set up a depot came about when shortages of gas, especially, kept occurring because of the low capacity of existing distributors .

Mr Owusu said the ‘Tema Fuel Company would be able to satisfy the consumer market even if TOR shuts down’.

He narrated how clearing of the land started in September 2010 and by April 2013, was ready to start importing fuel and gas for test running.

He said Fuel Trade had, for the last three months, been experimenting with the computerised systems, equipments, pumps and tanks.

Mr Owusu was optimistic that shortages of fuel would be things of the past.

He noted that there was a collaboration between all bulk distribution companies operating in the sector and said the depot would work closely with the companies to make fuel and gas available on the market.

Mr Owusu said with pride that ‘since when we started test running, there has not been any shortage on the market since May 2013’.

He gave the assurance that TOR, being the mother of distribution, had made its storage facilities available to enable the company store reserves when the need arose.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Thailand Oil Spill: 50 Tons Of Crude Reaches Popular Tourist Island

BANGKOK — Black waves of crude oil washed up on a beach at a popular tourist island in Thailand's eastern sea despite attempts to clean up the oil up over the weekend after it leaked from a pipeline, officials said Monday.
Tourists on Samet island were warned to stay away from the once-serene beach, marred by inky globs as hundreds of workers in white jumpsuits labored to scrape the sand clean and remove oil from the water.
About 50 tons of oil spilled into the sea off Rayong province on Saturday morning from a leak in the pipeline operated by PTT Global Chemical Plc, a subsidiary of state-owned oil and gas company PTT Plc.
The leak was the fourth major oil spill in the country's history, Energy Minister Pongsak Raktapongpaisal said.
Streaks of crude oil about 300 meters (1,000 feet) wide marred the shore of Prao Bay on Samet Island, one of the most popular beach destinations for Thai and foreign tourists in the Gulf of Thailand, Rayong Deputy Gov. Supeepat Chongpanish said Monday.
He said authorities closed the bay as 300 workers attempted to remove the oil from the white beach and the water.
"The top priorities right now are to get rid of the oil on the sand and the seawater, and to make sure the spill doesn't spread to other shores," Supeepat said. "This is a very beautiful, white, sandy beach, so we want to make the spill go away as soon as possible."
"The black waves started rolling in since last night and by the morning the beach was all tainted with oil," said Kevin Wikul, the assistant front desk officer at a resort in Prao Bay. "We have advised our guests against going near the beach and some of them have asked for early check-outs."
The nearby area has been declared a disaster zone by provincial authorities, and those affected by the spill will receive immediate assistance.
The company said it detected a leak when crude oil from a tanker moored offshore was being transferred to the pipeline, 20 kilometers (11 miles) from a refinery in Map Ta Phut, one of the largest industrial estates in Southeast Asia.
The company said in a statement Sunday that it has flown in oil spill management experts and a plane from Singapore to remove the crude oil. Thai navy vessels also joined the cleanup efforts.
Authorities said it would take some time to assess the environmental damage.
"The spill is definitely having an impact on the environment, but we have not detected any deaths of marine animals yet at this point," provincial Gov. Wichit Chatphaisit said. "PTT will have to take responsibility for the damage this has caused."
He said pollution control department officials had expressed concern about the effects of the chemical used to clean up the spill.
PTTGC apologized for the incident and said the cleanup will likely be completed within three days.
"We acknowledge this incident has damaged our reputation and we will not let it happen again," CEO Anon Sirisaengtaksin told a news conference.
In 2009, another PTT subsidiary was involved in the Montara oil spill, one of Australia's worst oil disasters, in the Timor Sea off western Australia.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Halliburton Pleads Guilty To Destroying Gulf Oil Spill Evidence

* Third company to plead guilty over Gulf spill

* Halliburton to pay $200,000 fine

* $55 million to be donated to fish and wildlife group

By Jonathan Stempel and Braden Reddall

July 25 (Reuters) - Halliburton Co has agreed to plead guilty to destroying evidence related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Thursday.

The government said Halliburton's guilty plea is the third by a company over the spill and requires the world's second-largest oilfield services company to pay a maximum $200,000 statutory fine.

Halliburton also agreed to three years of probation and to continue cooperating with the criminal probe into the April 20, 2010, explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.

Court approval is required. Houston-based Halliburton also made a separate, voluntary $55 million payment to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Justice Department said.

Edward Sherman, a Tulane University law professor, said the plea could suggest weakness in Halliburton's position in negotiating a settlement over spill-related liabilities.

"Their willingness to plead to this may also indicate that they'd like to settle up with the federal government on the civil penalties," he said. "It may indicate a softening of their position."

Halliburton confirmed in a statement that it pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge and confirmed the plea agreement's terms.

The disaster caused 11 deaths and triggered the largest U.S. offshore oil spill following the rupture of the Macondo oil well, which was 65 percent owned by BP Plc. Halliburton had earlier provided cementing services to help seal the well.

According to the government, Halliburton recommended to BP that the Macondo well contain 21 centralizers, metal collars that can improve cementing, but BP chose to use six.

The government said that, during an internal probe into the cementing after the blowout, Halliburton ordered workers to destroy computer simulations that showed little difference between using six and 21 centralizers.

Efforts to locate the simulations forensically were unsuccessful, the government said.

A document detailing the allegations was filed with the U.S. District Court in New Orleans.

BP and Transocean Ltd, which owned the drilling rig, previously entered guilty pleas over other aspects of the Gulf oil spill, and agreed to pay respective criminal fines of $1.26 billion and $400 million.

Both declined to comment on the Halliburton plea.

Halliburton, BP and Transocean are also defendants in a federal civil trial that began in February to apportion blame and set damages for the oil spill.

The first witness for Halliburton, cementing service coordinator Nathaniel Chaisson, had testified that he was concerned about BP's use of just six centralizers.

The trial is scheduled to resume in September. Halliburton said in April it was in talks to settle private claims against it in the damages trial.

The case is U.S. v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, No. 13-00165. The main spill trial is in re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mexico, on April 20, 2010 in the same court, No. 10-md-02179.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

British Police Probe $1.3bn Shell, Eni Nigerian Oil Block Deal

Dan-Etete.jpg - Dan-Etete.jpg
former Minister of Petroleum, Chief Dan Etete
Chika Amanze-Nwachuku and Ejiofor Alike with agency report
The British police are probing an allegation that the $1.3 billion Nigerian oil block deal involving Royal Dutch Shell and Italy’s Eni SpA may have fuelled money laundering as most of the cash paid was allegedly paid to a company linked with a former Minister of Petroleum, Chief Dan Etete.
Global anti-corruption crusaders, who asked the British investigators to investigate the Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 245 deal, alleged that Shell and Eni used the federal government as a go-between to create the false impression that they were dealing with the government and not the former minister.
Located in the deep offshore waters of the Gulf of Guinea, the OPL 245 is estimated to hold at least nine billion barrels of crude reserves worth $1 trillion.
OPL 245 is an ultra-deep-water block off Nigeria and two discoveries in that block during the second half of the last decade suggested the area contains large oil reserves. In 1998, Etete awarded Malabu Oil and Gas, in which he is suspected to be the chief promoter, the rights to explore the block.
A spokeswoman for London's Metropolitan Police was quoted by Wall Street Journal (WSJ) to have confirmed investigation into the matter, adding that no charges and no arrests have been made, as the investigation is at an early stage.
Royal Dutch Shell and Eni have not been accused of wrongdoing in relation to the investigation, the WSJ reported.
The journal stated that details surrounding how the offshore block OPL 245 changed hands have drawn scrutiny from anti-corruption campaigners, who are pushing for greater transparency from resource companies in their dealings with foreign governments.
“The Metropolitan Police's Proceeds of Corruption Unit is investigating allegations of money laundering related to the oil block” the report quoted the unnamed police spokeswoman to have said.
The unit is responsible for investigating allegations of foreign politicians or officials laundering money through the U.K.
The dispute between Shell's Nigerian subsidiary and Malabu arose after the federal government revoked Malabu's licence to the block in 2001, following the death in 1998 of former Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha.
In 2002, the administration of then President Olusegun Obasanjo awarded the exploration rights to the oil block to the Shell subsidiary.
This sparked an ownership dispute that lasted nearly a decade, leading in 2011 to a two-tiered deal.
According to the account of the transaction published in last week's judgment, Shell and its by-then-partner Eni paid the federal government $1.3 billion, including a $207 million signature bonus paid into a government account, in return for the right to operate OPL 245. A Shell subsidiary paid the signature bonus, and an Eni subsidiary paid the $1.1 billion balance.
The $1.1 billion was deposited in a London escrow account operated by J.P Morgan Chase & Co.
Separately, the Nigerian government agreed to pay Malabu $1.1 billion to waive all rights to the block.
Since then, payment disputes litigated between Etete and two middlemen have revealed many details of the deals that otherwise would have remained private, generating interest from anti-corruption groups.
However, before the federal government’s intervention in the matter, the ownership of the block had been a subject of litigations, spanning over 10 years.
While Shell and ENI insisted they bought the block from the federal government, the government claimed it merely resolved the ownership dispute over the oil block between Shell and Malabu.
The role of the federal government in the deal attracted the attention of the National Assembly which launched investigations into the transaction.
A committee set up by the House of Representatives to probe the transaction discovered that the deal did not follow due process and consequently recommended the revocation of the licence granted to Shell and Eni.
Specifically, the committee noted that the sale violated the law that guarantees increased Nigerian ownership of oil assets by giving foreign companies 100 per cent ownership as well as the country’s tax regulations. The probe team also alleged a “lack of transparency and full disclosure” by Shell in acquiring the licence.
Etete had in his capacity as the minister of petroleum in the administration of the late Gen. Abacha in 1998 awarded OPL 245 for a payment of $2 million to Malabu, a company in which he allegedly had interest.
The late Abacha’s son, Mohammed, and other close allies of the late head of state were also alleged to be shareholders in the company.
However, the deal was later cancelled after the death of Abacha by the Obasanjo administration, which considered the transaction as lacking transparency and due process.
Malabu was registered on April 24, 1998, five days before Etete awarded it OPL 245 and three months later, Abacha died.
The ownership of OPL 245 had been unclear since the government annulled the initial award to Malabu, and then awarded it first to Shell and then back to Malabu after a series of court cases.
Shell was still pursuing action to recover the block when it finally struck the deal to buy it with ENI in 2011 at the sum of $1.3 billion.
The National Assembly, which also began investigating the deal last week to ascertain if the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN), who helped settle the deal with ENI and Shell, had acted properly.
Adoke clarified that he was acting in the interests of all parties to facilitate a deal and end the long-running ownership dispute over the oil block.
He also said resolving the dispute would help the government attract investment into the oil and gas sector.
In a UK court case brought by Emeka Obi against Malabu for unpaid fees relating to his help in brokering the Shell/ENI deal, the judge in that case, Justice Elizabeth Gloster, concluded in her ruling last week that "from its incorporation and at all material times ... Etete had a substantial beneficial interest in Malabu."
Etete said he was only a consultant to the company, but he represented the company in the court case and in all negotiations with the oil majors, and he told the court he was the sole signatory to its accounts.
Documents relating to Obi's London case show that both Shell and ENI met several times with Etete to negotiate the deal. An email from a Shell employee to another middleman recounts how he met Etete for face-to-face negotiations over "lots of iced champagne".
Obi said in court that he approached ENI on Malabu's behalf on December 24, 2009 and introduced Etete to a representative of the Italian oil company to discuss the deal.
Global Witness campaigner Tom Mayne said: "It's obvious from the meetings Shell and ENI both had with Dan Etete that they knew he was the person to speak to and then agreed that the deal be structured in such a way that it went through the government."
The National Secretary of Zero Corruption Coalition, Mr. Babatunde Oluajo, told Reuters that his Nigerian campaign group had asked the UK government to look into the matter.
"In regard to our ... commitment to the fight against corruption in Nigeria ... we wish to ... formally request for a full investigation into the activities of ... companies and individuals in the procurement of the OPL 245 in Nigeria," a letter the group sent to the UK High Commissioner on July 5 read in part.
Though Malabu's original shareholders had been Abacha's son and allies - and Etete himself, according to the British judge in Obi's court case - the company secretary told the court he had lost all the documents showing who owned it now.
The WSJ stated that attempts to contact Etete were unsuccessful. “His law firm in the London case did not comment on his behalf and declined to pass on messages to him. Nigerian officials and anti-corruption campaigners did not know how to contact him,” the report added.
Eni also declined to respond to inquiries from Reuters on the deal, but it had told shareholders earlier in May that the transaction was done with the federal government and not Malabu.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Iran to launch biggest floating oil export terminal in Middle East

Iran is constructing the Middle East's biggest floating oil export terminal according to the MD of the National Iranian Offshore Oil Company Mahmoud Zirakchianzadeh. ‘The facility will come on stream by the Iranian month of Mehr (September 23 - October 22) and has the capacity to store 2.2 million barrels of oil.

The country's oil storage capacity will reach 8.1 million barrels by the end on the current calendar year (March 20, 2014). The Iranian Oil Terminals Company (IOTC) MD Seyyed Pirouz Mousavi said in May that Iran will launch a floating oil export terminal in order to boost country's capability to export crude oil and reduce storage costs in the Persian Gulf. Considering that a large number of joint oil and gas fields are located in the Persian Gulf, such a terminal will help the country expedite oil storage and export operations.

The first floating oil terminal, named Sourena, is currently exporting crude oil produced in Norouz and Soroush fields in the Persian Gulf. Previously, Mousavi said that in less than two years, Iran will increase its export of gas condensate from the current level of 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.2 million pbd. The IOTC chief said Iran currently exports condensate from the southern port of Asalouyeh, adding that the country plans to further boost condensate exports by building new facilities near the city of Kangan in Bushehr Province, south Iran.

Iran's Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi says the country has significantly developed its capacity to ship oil overseas despite US-backed sanctions. At the beginning of 2012, the United States and the European Union imposed new sanctions on Iran's oil and financial sectors. The sanctions, which prevent the EU member states from purchasing Iranian oil or extending insurance coverage for tankers carrying Iranian crude, came into effect on July 1, 2012.
- See more at: http://www.tankstoragemag.com/industry_news.php?item_id=6537#sthash.j77ppVof.dpuf

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tanker hijacked- another robbed

Pirates have hijacked one tanker and looted another off West Africa this week.
The Geden Lines-managed 37,879 dwt products tanker ‘Cotton’ was hijacked and her 24-man crew taken hostage.
The tanker was seized off Port Gentil, Gabon. She was carrying a part cargo of fuel oil at the time of the hijacking, which was thought to have occurred on Monday, acording to Reuters, although the company said that it had lost contact with the vessel on Sunday.
It is the first reported attack in that region in the past five years, Reuters reported.
"The company is in contact with the families of the 24 Indian crew members on board and the appropriate authorities have been contacted," Geden Lines said in a statement to the newswire.
"The attack occurred around 200 nautical miles further south than the previous most southerly attack, which was around 160 miles southwest of Bonny Island (in Nigeria) on 26th April," security firm AKE told Reuters.
"It therefore marks a significant expansion of the geographical range of Gulf of Guinea piracy. It also demonstrates the regional nature of the illegal fuel trade, the supply of which tankers such as ‘Cotton’ are generally hijacked for," the security company added.
In another incident, pirates robbed a chemical tanker off the coast of Togo this week, a maritime agency and a security source said on Thursday, Reuters reported.
Gunmen in speedboats boarded the Marshall Islands-flagged 31,114 dwt products tanker  ‘Ocean Centurion’ on Tuesday, around 45 miles southeast of Lome, before taking the ship's and the crew's money and belongings, a security source said.
The tanker's management company, Union Maritime, declined to comment, Reuters said.
The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) confirmed that an attack had taken place on a chemical tanker in a similar location but did not specify the name of the vessel.
"On 16th July, the robbers took two crew members and disembarked from the tanker with the rescue boat, taking along ship's cash, crew cash and personal belongings," a report on IMB's website said.
"The crew were released later. Three crew members were injured during the incident," it added.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Angola Exports Stagnate


Angola Exports Stagnate

Wednesday, July 17, 2013
If Angola was hoping to catch up with Nigeria and surpass it in the crude production export race it had better pick up the pace. The southern African country’s export totals are slipping according to a shipping roll for September’s exports; Angola’s will only hit 1.67 million bpd.
The country is almost 400,000 bpd down from its target of 2 million bpd for 2014 and some 500,000 bpd away from Nigeria’s crude export totals.
Angola’s oil minister Jose Botelho de Vasconcelos predicted two million bpd by 2014 last year but it looks like that number will not be met.
The stagnating output is attributed to a natural decline in some fields, such as the Xicomba, although new volumes from Total’s Pazflor have helped to offset the fall.
“The 2 million bpd production figure seems ambitious. Production is also partly based on demand from different parts of the globe and that figure seems high based on current trade flows,” said Rolake Akinkugbe, head of oil and gas research at Ecobank in a Reuters report.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Expect $50 oil, but not $2 gas, Gulf Oil CEO says

Oil prices should be about half of today's $105 a barrel by the end of the year, Gulf Oil CEO Joe Petrowski predicted on CNBC on Monday.
He stressed on "Squawk Box" that this trend is mostly on the supply side because record amounts of oil and natural gas are being produced in the United States and in Canada and OPEC supplies are higher.
But "$50 [a barrel] oil does not translate into $2 gasoline," he said, because it still has to be refined and transported.
In the past three months, the price of oil has risen 20 percent. And that's pushed gas prices up 14 cents in the past week alone to $3.613, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report.
Making his case for a steep crude drop, Petrowski said, "Traveling is picking up, but we're using much less oil. In fact, we're using no oil in the energy sector. [And] natural gas is taking a lot of the heating sector away."
But he said the slightly weaker demand for oil is not cause for concern in terms of overall economic growth.
—By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere. Follow him on Twitter @Matt_SquawkCNBC. Lori Ann LaRocco also contributed to this report. Follow her on Twitter

Friday, July 12, 2013

Additional LPG terminals to be built in Tema and Takoradi to ensure uninterrupted gas supply

The Ministry of Energy and Petroleum says it is working with the National Petroleum Authority on measures to ensure uninterrupted supply of liquefied petroleum gas in the country.

The Chief Director at the Ministry, Professor Thomas Akabzaa, said the measures include the restructuring of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited, and the Tema Oil Refinery.

Professor Akabzaa disclosed that additional gas terminals will be constructed in Tema and Takoradi to facilitate a functional deregulated petroleum downstream industry.

The Chief Director was speaking at a maiden colloquium on downstream deregulation by the National Petroleum Authority in Accra.



Wednesday, July 10, 2013

World to use less OPEC oil as U.S., Canada lead oil supply growth

The world will consume less oil from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries next year, even as the cartel increased its 2014 oil demand growth forecast to its highest since 2010.
Demand for OPEC crude next year is expected to decline by 300,000 barrels a day to an average of 29.6 million barrels a day, OPEC said Wednesday in its monthly report. The report is the first this year to make predictions for 2014.
This year’s demand for OPEC oil was forecast as 29.9 million barrels a day, almost unchanged from the previous report, and a decline of 400,000 from 2012.
Supplies from non-OPEC nations are expected to grow by 1.1 million barrels a day in 2014, with the U.S. and Canada leading that growth, followed by Latin America and countries in the former Soviet Union.
The U.S. Department of Energy has said it expects domestic production growth of about 1 million barrels a day, or 17% higher year-on-year, and an average monthly production of 7.4 million barrels a day.
Follow Claudia Assis on Twitter @ClaudiaAssisMW
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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

OPEC Crude Exports to Rise, Oil Movement Says

OPEC-headquarter08032011.jpg - OPEC-headquarter08032011.jpg


The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will boost shipments by 2.3 per cent through late July as driving demand peaks during the northern hemisphere summer, Bloomberg quoted Oil Movements.
The group that supplies about 40 per cent of the world’s oil will ship 24.18 million barrels a day in the four weeks to July 20, up from 23.64 million in the period to June 22, the news wire quoted the tanker tracker to have said in an e-mailed report. The figures, according to the report exclude two of OPEC’s 12 members, Angola and Ecuador.
“This is it, this is the mid-year peak”, the company’s founder, Roy Mason told Bloomberg at the weekend by phone from Halifax, England.  “It’s the point in the year when refiners, both east and west of Suez, are looking for crude for the summer season, when refinery runs hit peak. So that drives demand up.”
Middle Eastern shipments will jump by 2.9 per cent to 17.83 million barrels a day, compared with 17.32 million in the month to June 22, according to Oil Movements. That figure includes non-OPEC nations Oman and Yemen.
Crude on board tankers will increase by 6.3 percent to 496.01 million barrels versus 466.5 million, data from Oil Movements show. The researcher calculates the volumes by tallying tanker bookings. Its figures exclude crude held on vessels for storage.
OPEC’s members are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. The organisation will next meet in Vienna, Austria on December 4.
Meanwhile, Brent crude oil rose towards $107 a barrel on Friday after Egypt's army said it was on high alert after an attack in Sinai, pushing the price to its biggest weekly gain since last June.
The Egyptian army said it was on alert in the Sinai Peninsula after an attack on an airport in the town of El Arish but had not declared a state of emergency, Reuters reported. So far, ports and shipping through the Suez Canal have been operating normally, two shipping sources and a canal official said.
Brent crude for August delivery was up by $1.35 to $106.89 at 1300 GMT after hitting a high of $107.34 a barrel following the Egyptian army's announcement. Front-month prices have risen by 4.7 per cent so far this week, the largest weekly gain since June last year
US crude futures were up 93 cents to $102.07 a barrel after hitting a high of $102.19 a barrel. Crude was also set to maintain the gains after non-farm payroll data from the US exceeded expectations and offered a sign of strong improvement in the US jobs market.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Ghana To Enjoy Uninterrupted West Africa Gas Pipeline Supply From Next Week

Gas from the West African Gas Pipeline is expected to reach the country by next week.

The Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah who announced this said repair work and testing on the pipeline have been completed and gas has started flowing through the pipeline.

The Minister was speaking at the Meet the Press series in Accra.

He said the restoration of the pipeline will help solve the current power crises confronting the country.

Mr Armah-Kofi Buah outlined some of his Ministry's vision for the energy sector.

Mr Buah said government will restructure the Tema Oil Refinery into a world class facility and also upgrade the Ghana National Petroleum Company.

He announced that as part of government's commitment to promote the use of LPG, as a cleaner source of cooking fuel, it will soon start the distribution of 5,000 cylinders with cook stoves on a pilot basis.

This he said is expected to create employment avenue for the youth.


Shocking photos from the Quebec train explosion

Lac Mégantic, Quebec
Lac Mégantic, Quebec
The Week
An idyllic town is turned into a war zone overnight
In the early morning hours of July 6, 72 runaway oil tankers slammed into the town center of Lac Mégantic, Quebec, exploding into a ball of flame that killed at least five people.
Firefighters worked to extinguish the burning tankers on July 6. (REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger)

The tankers had been part of freight train parked at the nearby town of Nantes. How the tankers jumped the tracks, and then became unhitched from the train's engine car, remains something of a mystery.
At least five of the tanks exploded, one after another, in Lac Mégantic's popular, bar-laden hub, which would have been bustling on such a warm summer night.
The oil-fueled blaze continued to burn into Saturday. (REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger)

Aerial view of the devastation and still-burning tankers on July 6. (REUTERS/Surete du Quebec)

Two of the tankers reportedly burned for more than 24 hours before firefighters could contain the flames with water and foam.
"This is an unbelievable disaster," said Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who toured the town on Sunday. "This is an enormous area, 30 buildings just completely destroyed, for all intents and purposes incinerated. There isn't a family that is not affected by this."
(REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger)

The idyllic town of about 6,000 people is situated just west of the Maine border and 155 miles east of Montreal. After the explosions, some 1,000 residents were evacuated during the night and several hundred more left the next day to escape the air that was thick with black smoke. At least 40 residents are still missing.
Firefighters worked in the remains of a home on July 7. (REUTERS/Christinne Muschi)

The town's core — a mix of homes, historic buildings, restaurants, and stores — was almost completed destroyed, reported the Montreal Gazette.
One popular weekend destination, the Musi-Café, where dozens of people are believed to have been gathered around 1 a.m. on Saturday, was utterly decimated and remained smoldering long into Sunday.
"I have a friend who was smoking outside the bar when it happened, and she barely got away, so we can guess what happened to the people inside," one resident told the Associated Press. "It's like a nightmare. It's the worst thing I can imagine."
(REUTERS/Paul Chiasson)

"When you see the downtown of your city almost destroyed, you think, 'How are we going to get through this?'" said a teary-eyed Mayor Colette Roy-LaRoche Saturday morning. "But I can assure everyone here that all the authorities and ministries have been very supportive. We have deployed all the resources possible."
With the oil-fueled blaze finally extinguished, the hunt for victims and remains begins.
The charred town center on Sunday. (REUTERS/Christinne Muschi)

Ghana’s Jubilee reaches 110,000 b/d production

Oil production from Jubilee field offshore Ghana has increased steadily since the beginning of 2013 towards the floating production, storage, and offloading design capacity and is currently producing at about 110,000 b/d, said Tullow Oil PLC.
Work on a gas handling constraint on the FPSO is expected to be completed by late September, and Jubilee production is forecast to rise to more than 120,000 b/d.
A gas injection well is expected to be drilled and completed by the fourth quarter for further reservoir pressure support and gas disposal in advance of the start-up of the gas production facilities in 2014.
Tullow sees the Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme (TEN) fields development starting up in 2016 and ramping up steadily to its 80,000 b/d oil production capacity. Ghana’s government formally approved the TEN development plan on May 29, paving the way for Tullow and its partners to develop the three discoveries and define the final development schedule.
TEN development will require the drilling and completion of as many as 24 development wells to be connected through subsea infrastructure to an FPSO moored in 1,500 m of water. Contracts for the FPSO and subsea tenders will be awarded within weeks. Rig capacity has already been secured.
Following expiration of the Deepwater Tano exploration license on May 18, the remaining nonprospective acreage has been relinquished and the Jubilee Unit Area, the TEN Development and Production Area, and the Wawa Discovery Area have been retained

Monday, July 1, 2013

Ghana Spends $1m Daily On Crude Imports?

VENTURES AFRICA – Ghana spends $1 million per day for additional crude oil purchases.
According to a report released by the World Bank over the weekend, Ghana’s only oil refinery, the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) is saddled with debts and cannot refine enough to supply the country’s energy needs. The West African country, which became an oil producer in 2010, relies on the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAGPCO), a regional power initiative, for the supply of Gas to power some of its gas plants.
However, damage to the WAGPCO pipeline last year translated to electricity shortages in the country.
Ghana is building a Chinese-funded $750 million gas processing plant in the country’s Western Region but the project has stalled many times due to funding issues.
The World Bank therefore urged its government to move the new gas developments forward as quickly as possible.
In a report entitled ‘Making the Power and Petroleum Sectors Rise to the Challenge’, Ghana is fortunate to have gas in its Jubilee oilfield and can also import gas from neighbouring Nigeria.
Last week, President Mahama directed the Finance Minister to look for alternative funding for the gas project at Atuabo in the Western region following challenges in securing funding from the China Development Bank.
The report said continued gas deficits would persist until 2017, when the TEN and Sankofa fields (new licensed oil blocs) are assumed to begin production.
With this scenario in mind, the World Bank urged the government to fast track the commercial and technical planning for Sankofa and TEN to begin production this year and avoid the delays that dogged development of Jubilee gas.
It also urged the Ghanaian authorities to set up a dedicated gas team to lead commercial negotiations on Jubilee, Sankofa and TEN to ensure contracts with the oil companies are signed as soon as possible.
With regard to gas pricing, which it describes as central to the gas commercial framework, the report was unhappy that Ghana has not yet published its Gas Pricing Policy though the country’s cabinet endorsed the policy’s underlying principles in the middle of 2012.