Market Report: Nigeria Offers to be Alternative Gas Supplier to Europe

The weekly Market Report is provided by Gladius Commodities of Lagos, Nigeria. Learn more about Gladius Commodities at www.gladiuscommodities.com.

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NIGERIA

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, H.E. Chief Timipre Sylva told a delegation from the European Union (EU) that Nigeria was ready to offer its services as an alternative gas supplier to Europe. The Minister’s call follows the festering war between Ukraine and Russia, which threatened gas supply to European countries. He urged the EU to increase investments in gas and hydrocarbons in Nigeria to enable the country to meet the bloc’s energy needs.

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority had said the country’s proven natural gas reserves stood at 209.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) as of January 2022 and focusing on gas exploitation could get it up to 600 tcf. Minister Sylva said, “We are already building gas infrastructures such as the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano pipeline project, expected to take gas to Algeria, and the West Africa Gas Pipeline project designed to take gas to Morocco.” The Minister further noted that after the Russia-Ukrainian war, the EU must have an alternative source of gas and collaboration with Nigeria was paramount.

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Alhaji Mele Kyari spoke at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum in Dubai stating that Nigeria is shifting towards cleaner fuel alternatives, with gas being the choice transition fuel. He further noted that the NNPC is working on building a network pipeline infrastructure that would deliver gas from Nigeria to Europe.

SENEGAL/MAURITANIA

BP’s flagship Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project in Senegal and Mauritania is on course to start-up in the third quarter of 2023, with Floating LNG vessel contractor Golar LNG revealing its contract will begin in the fourth quarter. The vessel was originally due on stream in 2022, but Covid-19 forced the operator to declare force majeure and push back start-up to early 2023.

Golar LNG said the Gimi FLNG vessel, which is under conversion at Singapore’s Keppel Offshore & Marine, is now 80% technically complete. With 20% of the work remaining, it noted that sail away of the 2.5 million tons per annum vessel from the Lion City shipyard is scheduled in the first quarter of 2023, with Golar LNG’s contract now due to start only in the fourth quarter of 2023. Black & Veatch is the topsides contractor working alongside Keppel Shipyard. Once the FLNG unit starts work offshore in West Africa, it is expected to add $151 million in annual incremental adjusted EBITDA to Golar LNG’s top line. Phase one of the greenfield GTA project will see gas and condensate sent from an ultra-deep-water subsea production system to a Floating Production, Storage and Offloading vessel (FPSO), which is being built by Cosco in China.

The FPSO will process the well fluids, with the gas exported via a 35 Km pipeline to a nearshore gas complex, which includes a breakwater that will provide shelter to the Gimi FLNG vessel. BP is also working on a phase two scheme at GTA that carries a price tag of less than $1 billion and that, potentially, could involve a second 2.5 million TPA FLNG vessel provided by Golar LNG. GTA straddles the maritime boundary between Mauritania and Senegal, with BP’s partners being Kosmos Energy and the state-owned companies of the two countries.

GLOBAL

On March 31, oil prices fell sharply following reports the U.S. is set to announce plans to release a substantial amount of oil from emergency reserves in a new effort to drive down oil prices. The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures traded 4.9% lower at $102.56 a barrel, while the Brent crude futures fell 4.4% to $106.53 at 9:05 AM ET (13:05 GMT). The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) weekly report for March 30 showed a decrease of 3.4 million barrels from the previous week ending March 25.

At 409.9 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are about 14% below the five-year average for this time of year. The U.S. government will soon announce plans to release up to 1 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) for six months from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to combat crude prices that have soared above $100 a barrel in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. International Energy Agency member countries are also due to meet to decide whether to join in a collective oil release.

These releases would be much larger than the last effort to bring prices down earlier in 2022 and come with U.S. President Joe Biden under mounting political pressure to reduce domestic gasoline prices. That said, doubts remain about the likely long-term success of such a measure. The move by some of the world’s major consumers to try and reduce crude prices comes as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia (OPEC+), once again decided against deviating from its schedule of gradual production increases. OPEC+ ratified that the 432,000 bpd supply increase scheduled for May was in line with expectations. The group warned the global economy would see a major blow from a prolonged conflict in Ukraine but has still resisted being drawn into the political crisis caused by the military aggression of one of its leading members.

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