The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, announced that the company is increasing its crude oil reserves to 50 billion barrels from the current 37 billion as it begins exploring the Ebenyi-A oilfield in Nasarawa State. The announcement was made at the spud-in of the oil well, with Kyari adding that more frontier basins are currently being explored for additional reserves.
The NNPC is currently working to raise the daily crude oil production of Nigeria from about 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) to 3 million bpd, with work currently ongoing to develop the Kolmani petroleum discoveries for commercial production in the Upper Benue Trough. Mobilization for re-entry into the Chad Basin (Borno) has also commenced.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Chief Timipre Sylva announced that the Port Harcourt refinery is 65% complete and is expected to start operating in Q2 of 2023. The announcement was made at a seminar in Abuja where Chief Sylva added that the major challenges that have caused delays in the completion of the refinery have included vandalism, theft and lack of investments.
On Thursday March 23, oil prices rose as a surprise drop in U.S. crude stockpiles and a halt in exports from Iraq’s Kurdistan region offset a smaller-than-expected cut to Russian supplies. U.S. West Texas Intermediate rose 58c, or 0.79%, to $73.55 a barrel, while Brent futures rose 49c or 0.63%, to $78.77 a barrel at 11:45 GMT. Oil prices moved little in early Asian trade on Thursday as markets awaited key business activity data from China for more cues on the world’s largest crude importer, although signs of tightening supplies saw crude prices trading higher for the week. Russia also cut production by about 300,000 bpd in the first three weeks of March.
Looking ahead, markets will keep an eye on U.S. spending and inflation data due on Friday and the resulting impact on the value of the U.S. dollar. China’s refined fuel consumption this year is likely to grow 3% from pre-COVID levels in 2019 according to energy giant PetroChina.