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Oil prices rises above $68 per barrel

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The global oil benchmark, Brent crude, extended its gains on Tuesday, trading near $69 per barrel on the back of production cuts led by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and expectations that the United States’ crude inventories had dropped for an eight-week low.

Brent, against which Nigeria’s crude oil is priced, rose by $1.07 to $68.85 per barrel as of 7:40pm Nigerian time, its highest since May 2015, while US West Texas Intermediate crude increased to a three-year high of $62.99 per barrel.

From around $53 per barrel at the start of 2017, Brent crude closed the year around $66.87, with experts describing the rise as good for Nigeria.

The nation’s external reserves hit a four-year high of $40.4bn on Friday, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The rise in oil prices means further accretion to the Excess Crude Account, into which the country saves the difference between the market price of oil and the budget benchmark to provide a cushion when oil prices fall or extra cash is needed for spending on infrastructure.

The 2018 budget proposal submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari in November last year put the benchmark oil price at $45 per barrel, compared to $44.5 per barrel for the 2017 budget.

OPEC and allies, including Russia, are keeping supply limits in place in 2018, a second year of restraint, to reduce a price-denting glut of oil held in inventories.

The group is cutting output by even more than it promised and the restraint is reducing oil stocks globally, a trend most visible in the US, the world’s largest oil market.

Supply reports this week from industry group, American Petroleum Institute and the US government’s Energy Information Administration, are expected to show that US crude stocks fell by 4.1 million barrels, an eighth week of decline.

“Production cuts and demand are continuing to rebalance the market. As we break through technical levels, you’re getting further speculative length coming into the market,” Gene McGillian, a market research manager at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut, told Bloomberg.

Standard Chartered analysts said in a note, “We expect oil demand growth to outpace non-OPEC supply growth in both 2018 and 2019. In our view, the back of the Brent and WTI curves are both still under-priced. We do not think that prices below $65 per barrel are sustainable into the medium term.”

Many producers, still suffering from a 2014 price collapse, are enjoying the rally, although they are wary it will spur rival supply sources. Iran said on Tuesday that OPEC members were not keen on increased prices.

Unrest in Iran, OPEC’s third-largest producer, has lent support to prices this year although output and exports have not been affected. Economic collapse is leading to involuntary production cuts in Venezuela, another OPEC member.

There is no sign yet that OPEC is prepared to relax its supply restraint.

A senior OPEC source from a major Middle Eastern oil producer said on Monday OPEC would boost output only if there were significant and sustained production disruptions from Iran and Venezuela.

The rise in prices is expected to drive gains in US production during 2018, offsetting curbs by others.

Some analysts have said a potential rise in the US shale oil production could discourage OPEC and Russia to maintain their deal to curb supply until the end of the year for fears of losing market share.

Source: ( Punch Newspaper )

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Fake News Triggered #EndSARS Carnage – IGP

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Fake News Triggered #EndSARS Carnage – IGP

IGP Mohammed Adamu

Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu has expressed that the carnage that followed the #EndSARS protests across the country was triggered by fake news.

The IGP spoke on Thursday in Akure while addressing officers of the Ondo State Police Command as part of his tours of states affected by the #ENDSARS protest.

He maintained that those behind the protest were armed with the sinister motive to destabilize the government.

Also Read: #EndSARS: UK Parliament Does Not Speak For British Govt – FG

While urging the officers to return to work, Adamu pointed out that no nation could survive without policing even as he informed them that the Buhari administration has taken various steps to reform the Nigerian Police.

According to him, “The government has approved an extension of health scheme to retired police personnel. The police salary structure has been reviewed affecting all ranks.

“Your job is important. Without you coming out, there will be chaos and you are special.”

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Buhari Will Set Nigeria On Fire If He Doesn’t Implement People’s Demands —Wike

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Buhari Will Set Nigeria On Fire If He Doesn’t Implement People’s Demands —Wike

Nyesom Wike

Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike has stated that President Muhammadu Buhari has an opportunity to address the demands of the people or put the country “on fire.”

He gave this warning on Thursday during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

This is coming at a time when there have been serious calls for the restructuring of the country.

Also Read: NDDC Is A Cash Cow For Politicians – Nyesom Wike

“We must understand in this country that political leadership is very key, having the political will to implement what the people want is very serious.

“I don’t want to talk about the issue of distrust or no trust in government. People have raised such issues, that they don’t think that nothing will come out of all this dialogue. I don’t agree with that. I believe that if the president does not do, given the opportunities he has now, then, he will be putting Nigeria on fire.”

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Former Lawmaker, Shehu Sani Accuses FG Of Using Huge Loans To Buy Substandard Chinese Railway Locomotives

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Former Lawmaker, Shehu Sani Accuse FG Of Using Huge Loans To Buy Substandard Chinese Railway Locomotives

Shehu Sani

Former lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani has accused the Federal Government of taking huge loans to acquire substandard and refurbished trains.

The former lawmaker from Kaduna made this accusation on Thursday on his Twitter page while condemning the recent breakdown of the Kaduna-Abuja railway.

Also Read: Amaechi Apologises For Abuja-Kaduna Train Breakdown

The railway line was reported to have broken down between November 18 and November 20, exposing passengers on the journey to grave danger.

He expressed that for such to have happened, it means Nigeria paid for substandard or refurbished locomotives adding that the Chinese contractor in charge must be made to repair them at no cost to the government.

He wrote:

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