Posts Tagged ‘Nigeria’

Nigerian elections 2015: Oil, militancy and subsidies

On March 28, Africa’s biggest economy and also the continent’s largest oil producer, Nigeria, will go to the polls to elect its new president.

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The Oil Big Five: Slowdowns from capex cuts and strikes

In the US, March often means spring break: children and young adults have a week off school and classes and families take the time to travel, have some adventures in their hometowns, or just try to catch up and catch their breath as the year continues its hurtle forward.

You may have thought we were taking a break from The Oil Big Five, since this entry is coming midmonth instead of at the beginning of March. Thankfully, that’s not the case, and we’ve caught our breath enough to share this listing of five big oil topics our oil editors and analysts worldwide think are among the most important. Leave us your thoughts in the comments below — are there others you want recognized, or would you like to chime in support that one of these topics is affecting you somehow? — and drop us your feedback on Twitter with the hashtag #oilbig5.

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New Frontiers: Price drops could reset African crude production expectations

With spending cutbacks already taking their toll on global upstream activity, oil companies are being forced to rethink their approach to Africa’s vulnerable high-risk, high-reward exploration frontiers.

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Can Africa’s oil producers weather the oil price storm?

West Africa has suffered one of its most difficult years in 2014. and 2015 is shaping up to be an even more difficult year for that region. While the deadly Ebola virus will eventually wind down, the disruptions caused by the outbreak will continue to cripple the economies of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

The political landscape across west and east Africa remains delicate as nations across the region continue to grapple with insecurity and terrorist threats. Africa in 2014 faced intensified terrorism in Nigeria, increased attacks by al-Shabab in Kenya and civil war in the Central African Republic and South Sudan. 

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Challenges facing Africa — and some of its oil producing countries — in 2015

Plummeting oil prices coupled with a significant increase in terrorism, and regime instability pose a direct threat to several sub-Saharan African countries the next year.

2015 will ask searching questions for Nigeria’s political climate as the country heads into a crucial election in February. Campaigning comes against a backdrop of sliding crude prices which have crushed an economy which relies on oil for 70% of its income. Opposition in the north to president Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election has deepened because of a deadly insurgency by Boko Haram Islamists in the region.

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IEA again looks to OPEC to balance 2014 market

The International Energy Agency on Tuesday cut its oil demand growth forecast for 2014 for a number of reasons, not the least of which is a weaker global economic outlook than previously thought and lower oil supplies in the second quarter.

But even though the world won’t need as much oil this year as IEA earlier thought, that doesn’t mean it won’t need more crude from OPEC.

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OPEC meeting provides some expected, and some unexpected, events

(This blog post is based on the reporting of the Platts OPEC team in Vienna: Margaret McQuaile, Stuart Elliott, Geoff King, James Leech and Jacinta Moran).

The latest meeting Wednesday of OPEC ministers in Vienna was uneventful — at least in terms of what the group decided to do, or not to do, about its current crude production policy.

A rollover of its 30 million b/d production ceiling had been widely expected following suggestions from ministers in the weeks running up to the meeting that the status quo would be maintained.

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Nigeria: Has it allowed insurgency to fester?

Nigeria’s president Goodluck Jonathan’s assumed desire to seek re-election next year was already facing an uphill battle, after a series of unprecedented setbacks cast doubts about his political survival.

Jonathan swept into power in 2011 on a wave of goodwill,  but his popularity has plummeted in the past two years. His failure to deliver economic transformation, his weak stance on corruption and rampant oil theft, as well as his slow response to the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East, have a cast a shadow on whether he can claw back support ahead of elections next year.

But his three-week silence on the abduction of 223 school girls from a secondary school in the northeastern village of Chibok has left the nation stunned.

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At CERAWeek, crude oil exports look a long way off

US oil producers may have warmed to Senator Lisa Murkowski calling in Houston this week for the lifting of restrictions on crude exports, but they shouldn’t start licking their chops, judging by the comments of other notables at the IHS CERAWeek conference.

Chevron CEO John Watson said the benefits of free trade should win the day, but he tempered that assertion with a heavy dose of political reality.

“No doubt that we’ll go through a long debate, but it’s a very straight forward economical argument,” he said while giving a keynote address to the conference.

OPEC and other producer countries probably are not shaking in their boots either, based on comments made by the Nigerian oil minister.

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Nigeria central bank head ousted; missing oil money an issue

President Goodluck Jonathan Thursday sacked the central bank governor Lamido Sanusi, a move critics say is a warning to whistleblowers in the run-up to presidential elections in Africa’s biggest oil producer.

Jonathan accused Lamido Sanusi of “financial recklessness and misconduct” and suspended him four months before his term was to end in June.

Sanusi had recently told a senate committee that out of $67 billion of oil sold between January 2012 and July 2013, $20 billion had not been accounted for by the state-owned NNPC.

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