Nigeria’s Inflation Increases To 27.3%

Mohammed Shosanya

Nigeria’s inflation rose sharply in October to 27.33 percent from 26.7 percent in the previous month, indicating the 10th consecutive rise this year.

The annual core inflation rate which excludes farm produce, rose further to a record 22.7 percent in October, accelerating skyward from September’s 22.1 percent.

Inflation pressure intensified over the recent months due to the government’s elimination of fuel subsidies in May while the Naira continues to slump against other currencies.

A Consumer Price Index (October 2023) released on Wednesday, by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) stated: “In October 2023, the headline inflation rate increased to 27.33 percent relative to the September 2023 headline inflation rate which was 26.72 percent.

It said:“Looking at the movement, the October 2023 headline inflation rate showed an increase of 0.61 percentage points when compared to the September 2023 headline inflation rate.

“Furthermore, on a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate was 6.24 percentage points higher compared to the rate recorded in October 2022, which was (21.09 per cent).

“This shows that the headline inflation rate (year-on-year basis) increased in October 2023 when compared to the same month in the preceding year (i.e., October 2022).”

TotalEnergies Spuds First Of Three Wells Offshore Nigeria

Mohammed Shosanya

French energy giant TotalEnergies,says it is in the process of drilling the first of three wells on a field offshore Nigeria with one of Noble Corporation’s drillships.

All three wells are expected to be tied into an existing floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel upon completion

Before TotalEnergies secured a 20-year renewal of the OML 130 production license offshore Nigeria in May 2023, the French oil major embarked on a nine-well drilling campaign with the Noble Corporation’s Gerry de Souza drillship on February 22, 2023.

Located 150 kilometers off the Nigerian coast, the OML 130 block contains the Akpo and Egina fields, which came into production in 2009 and 2018, respectively.

TotalEnergies Upstream Nigeria Limited operates OML 130 with a 24% interest, in partnership with CNOOC (45%), Sapetro (15%), Prime 130 (16%), and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd as the concessionaire of the PSC. A maintenance shutdown is planned for the Akpo field during 1Q 2024, which was previously slated for 4Q 2023.

Africa Oil, which has shareholdings in Prime, said that the drilling program on OML 130 continues, as the drilling rig is currently drilling the first of three wells on the Akpo West field.

These wells will be tied into the FPSO Akpo. TotalEnergies expects the production start-up from this short-cycle project by the end of 2023.

Three wells – two water injectors and one production well – in this multi-well program, encompassing up to nine wells on Egina and Akpo in the license area during 2023 and 2024, have been drilled and completed on Egina.

As a result, the infill drilling has offset production declines with the first quarterly increase in the average daily production since the second quarter of 2021.

Besides,the acquisition of 4D monitor seismic surveys is planned for Akpo, Egina, and Agbami from late 2023 through early 2024.

This also includes a baseline 4D seismic survey of the Preowei field. According to Africa Oil, these surveys will support future drilling decisions across OML 127 and OML 130.

FEED studies are expected to take place through the fourth quarter of 2023, which could facilitate the final investment decision for the Preowei oil discovery development project, which is located to the north of the FPSO Egina. This development opportunity is expected to be realized via a satellite subsea tie-back project to the FPSO.

Popular Fuji Musician, Saheed Osupa Bags Bachelor’s Degree From UI

Mohammed Shosanya

Popular Fuji musician, King Saheed Osupa, has graduated with a second-class upper degree from the Political Science department at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State.

He announced his current achievement on his official Instagram page on Wednesday.

He said:“Today, I attended the Convocation Ceremony of the University Of Ibadan, where I graduated from the department of Political Science with Second Class Upper Credit…

“The public should be aware that King (Dr.) Saheed Osupa Akorede is a graduate of the prestigious University Of Ibadan, Class 21’.”

NUPRC,NEITI Clear Air On 2020 Marginal Fields Awards

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, have clarified concerns around the 2020 marginal fields awards.

The agencies explained in separate statements that recent reports that quoted NEITI report to have insinuated that the NUPRC did not adhere to its own regulations while implementing the marginal fields award, were quoted out of context.

“We in NEITI, therefore, clarify that our report in reference was quoted out of context. The 2020 marginal field bid exercise was commenced by the now-defunct Department of Petroleum Resources and not the NUPRC and its current management team.

“From our records, the bid exercise for the marginal field was launched on June 1, 2020, while the NUPRC was set up in August 2021 and the management team of the commission was appointed about September/October same year.

“NEITI, therefore, would rely on its ongoing 2022/23 Oil and Gas Industry Reports to ascertain in details and with evidence how the exercise was fully conducted and finalised,” NEITI stated in a response to media inquires.

It added that its next oil/gas industry report covering the period in question should be ready in 2024.

The transparency agency absolved the NUPRC of any blame.

The upstream regulator, on its part, validated NEITI’s clarification in a statement issued in Abuja.

According to the NUPRC management, the 2020 marginal fields bid exercise was commenced by the now-defunct Department of Petroleum Resources following presidential approval obtained by the department to conduct the exercise.

It said, “The bid exercise was launched on June 1, 2020 and a total of 57 marginal fields were made available for bidding through a transparent online electronic bidding system.

“Of the total number of companies which indicated interest in the bid exercise by submitting their applications within the deadline set for submission of applications, 540 companies were pre-qualified in line with the procedure set out in the bid guidelines.
“Ultimately, 482 companies out of the 540 companies pre-qualified submitted bids for the various fields on offer.”

It noted that at the end of the exercise and in line with existing government policy to encourage as many qualified Nigerian companies to participate in the upstream business, 161 entities from the 482 companies that submitted bids were offered marginal fields and given a deadline to make signature bonus payments.

“A number of these entities were offered fields on a joint basis with others.The commission upon inception had to embark on extensive stakeholder engagements with the successful bidders to resolve the many issues arising from the policy of jointly awarding some of the fields to several awardees,” NUPRC stated.

On the signature bonus, the commission stated that a number of the entities that were offered fields in the exercise were unable to fulfil their award obligation to pay the signature bonus within the time frame specified for the payment of the bonuses.

“Hence, the commission sought and obtained the approval of Mr President to re-award the interest not paid to other entities who participated in the bid exercise but who were not offered any fields during the initial stage of offering the awards.

“These later awards were premised on the condition that those companies present clear evidence of both financial and technical capability. At the end of the entire exercise, a total of 55 fields were successfully awarded and paid for.

“The provisional award letters issued to qualified bidders (which contains the terms and conditions of the award, including the signature bonus payable), in all cases, and final letters of the award were only issued upon payment of 100 per cent of the signature bonus by or on behalf of the awardee,” NUPRC stated.

Nigeria Must Diversify Renewable Energy Portfolio To Reduce Carbon Emissions – SNEPCo Boss

Nigeria Must diversify its renewable energy portfolio if it must reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuel production and meet the energy needs of a growing population, Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo,) Elohor Aiboni has said.

One way it can do this is by encouraging Public-Private Partnerships in renewable energy to overcome high investment costs and limited access to financing.

Mrs. Aiboni spoke at the opening ceremony of the 41st annual international conference and exhibition of the National Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) in Lagos .

She said Nigeria’s move to reduce carbons emission from fossil fuel was a national endeavour that required the co-operation of individuals and corporate bodies.

She cited All On, an impact investing company set up by Shell in Nigeria 2017, as a good example of a private sector intervention in renewable energy. All On has so far delivered more than 75,000 energy connections in Nigeria through its investee companies from solar energy systems, solar assembly, cold storage and mini grids.

Aiboni also advocated the need for investments in lower-carbon energy sources through the expansion of natural gas portfolio and gas infrastructure projects like pipelines, processing, and distribution facilities.

These, she said, could enable Nigeria to boost domestic gas supply, intra-regional trade, and global exports, while also closing the energy access gap and reducing the risk of stranded gas resources.

On the role of technology in promoting energy efficiency, she said advancements, such as artificial intelligence and robotics as well as innovations in proactive and predictive surveillance, had helped to “increase equipment runtime and reduce trips, thus eliminating intermittent flaring.” Shell has implemented these innovations in its operations achieving over 50% flare reduction onshore and almost non-existent in deepwater operations.

“Opportunities offered by renewables, innovation and emerging technologies represent the tripod on which the industry stands and must be leveraged as enablers,” she noted.

Aiboni commended NAPE for the five-day conference and expressed the hope that the discussions would “go a long way in delivering a longer-term, sustainable energy future for Nigeria.”

NCDMB, SLB Launch Software Solutions For Oil and Gas Industry

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and SLB, a global technology company on Tuesday in Lagos unveiled the first three products of their joint program, the NCDMB-SLB Technology Enhancement Program (N-STEP), a platform whereby students of higher institutions develop software plugins for diverse oil field applications.

It was unveiled at the sidelines of the 2023 Nigerian Association of Petroleum Geologists (NAPE) and it showcased nine students representing three prestigious universities in Nigeria who had developed software solutions that would address live oil and gas challenges,a statement said..

The N-STEP program provides a unified framework for the rapid development and deployment of software solutions to address oil and gas challenges. Deployed through a phased, multidimensional approach, the program is focused on the development of software plugins by students for diverse oil field applications.

As part of its 2023 cohort, the projects highlighted machine learning, Artificial Intelligence and new innovations that could unlock potentials in the Nigeria oil & gas sector. The universities represented by this cohort were: University of Lagos; Federal University of Petroleum Resources Effurun; and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi.

Speaking, Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote’s commented: “The N-STEP program is an industry-education partnership under NCDMB’s Adopt a Faculty Initiative for STEM courses. It is designed to drive collaboration between industry, universities, and Government through Research and innovation, curriculum review, infrastructure, and equipment, and learning and knowledge exchange in Nigeria. Nigeria spends an estimated $400 million annually on foreign software, which is a huge drain on our Forex. We embraced the NSTEP to demonstrate our commitment to reverse this trend. The program has also targeted undergraduates because we believe Nigerian youths have the innovation drive, to be solution providers and not job seekers.”

Group Managing Director, West Africa at SLB, Sops Ideriah, said: “We want to empower software developers to create and deploy plug-ins that extend the utilization of E&P software platforms. This is why we collaborated with both the public sector and the best of academia to deliver a structured training program, where selected students will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to apply their expertise to develop innovative software solutions that address specific E&P industry challenges.

” The program also provides mentorship, internship opportunities, and cutting-edge training tailored to industry needs, empowering future generations of innovators and leaders for the energy industry of tomorrow. Our joint ambition in this collaboration is to extend the program scope to cover a minimum of one university in each key region in Nigeria.”

For SLB, the N-STEP program will not only serve to foster education, but also to detect and eventually tap into local talent. “At the forefront of global technology, we are relentlessly looking for exceptional individuals with the potential to revolutionize the energy landscape. This program provides us with a strategic opportunity to identify and nurture future leaders within our organization,” Ideriah added.

The N-STEP program, which was signed into effect in March 2023 commemorating SLB’s 70 years of operations in Nigeria, is a groundbreaking industry-education partnership aimed at bridging the gap between academia and the professional world, fostering a pipeline of skilled talent and driving innovation for the energy industry.

Accugas Gives Varsity Scholarships To 50 Students

Mohammed Shosanya

Accugas Limited, the midstream subsidiary of Savannah Energy PLC, the British independent energy company focused around the delivery of Projects that Matter, is pleased to announce that it has granted full university education scholarships to 50 students from Akwa Ibom State through the Savannah Energy Education and Internship Training (“SEE-IT”) programme.

The 50 students, who were selected through a rigorous screening process led by university professors, were presented with the scholarships during the SEE-IT 2023 Annual Teachers/Scholarship Awards held recently in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. The SEE-IT scholarship packages cover full tuition, accommodation, textbook and living costs for the duration of the beneficiaries’ university education in Nigeria.

The SEE-IT programme is a collaboration between Accugas and the Inoyo Toro Foundation, a non-profit educational foundation based in Akwa Ibom State to enhance access to quality education in Akwa Ibom State.

The programme also presented awards to 19 secondary school teachers, three principals and five mentors of secondary school teachers, who have positively impacted their pupils in Akwa Ibom State public secondary schools. The awards covered five subjects namely, Biology, Chemistry, English, Mathematics and Physics.

Pade Durotoye, Managing Director, Savannah, Nigeria said: “Education is an important part of Savannah’s sustainability strategy, where our first pillar focuses on promoting socio-economic prosperity within the countries in which we operate. As a company, we have invested over US$1bn in Nigeria, especially in the South East, to deliver Projects that Matter. We are delighted and proud to be able to impact so many lives and I am particularly pleased that we are offering full university education scholarships to the 50 students until they graduate. We plan to add more students to the SEE-IT scholarship programme every year as we see this as an important investment in one of our country’s greatest future resources, the young people around us. What we are hoping to do, in partnership with the Inoyo Toro Foundation, is to support our society to deliver excellence in education, accessible not only to those who can afford the high fees in private institutions, but also to those in our public schools.”

Governor Umo Eno, Governor of Akwa Ibom State (represented by Mrs. Idongesit Etiebet, Honourable Commissioner for Education, Akwa Ibom State) said: “This annual event has become a reference point in our Public-Private Partnership arrangements in the education sector of the state. It has registered impressive records since its inception, particularly in areas of scholarship awards to these loving students and the recognition of the immense contributions of hard-working teachers and principals of public secondary schools in the state. Your demonstration to launch a fully funded scholarship award to accommodate 50 students of Akwa Ibom State origin, admitted into public or private universities in Nigeria, as well as a conferment of excellence awards on teachers who excelled in the teaching of Biology, Chemistry, English Language, Mathematics and Physics, deserves commendation. I hereby urge other world-class individuals and organisations to rise to the challenge and emulate the laudable gesture of Savannah Energy, in collaboration with Inoyo Toro Foundation, by investing in the education of our children, who represent the future of our state and our country.”

Kyari Advocates Diversified Energy Portfolio

Mohammed Shosanya

The Group Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited,Mele Kyari has implored stakeholders in the Nigerian oil and gas industry to adapt, evolve and lead in the changing global energy landscape.

He gave this charge on Tuesday while delivering an Industry address at the opening ceremony of the 41st Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) Conference in Lagos.

The GCEO, who was represented by NNPC Ltd’s Executive Vice President, Upstream, Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan, underscored the pivotal role of oil and gas exploration in shaping the future of the oil industry and emphasized the need for dedication, expertise and pursuit of knowledge in the quest to unlock new frontiers and push technological and economic boundaries within the industry.

A statement from the spokesman of NNPC Limited,Olufemi Soneye, quoted Kyari as emphasizing the company’s dedication to embracing exploration, developing renewables, fostering innovation, adopting emerging technologies, and implementing portfolio management as key drivers of success in the evolving energy landscape. He expressed optimism that the NAPE Conference would yield solutions and positively impact the nation’s economic landscape.

Acknowledging the global shift towards renewable energy, the GCEO pointed out challenges such as intermittency, predictability, and reliability due to geological constraints.

He further highlighted the absence of a perfect energy source and advocated for a diversified energy portfolio that leverages innovation and technology to harness the strengths of different energy sources.

NNPC Ltd’s Executive Vice President, Upstream, Mrs Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan (2nd from left, front row), NAPE leaders, and some participants at the opening ceremony of the 41st NAPE Conference in Lagos.

How To Deepen Nigeria’s Relevance In Global Energy Sector-TotalEnergies

Mohammed Shosanya

The Managing Director, TotalEnergies Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited, Mr Matthieu Bouyer, has suggested how Nigeria can deepen its relevance in global energy sector.

He spoke at the opening session of 41st National Association of Petroleum Explorationists annual international conference and exhibition in Lagos

According to him,for Nigeria to be relevant, or even survive in the foreseeable future, policy makers, regulators and other stakeholders in the Nigerian oil and gas industry must respond by evolving a future business model of “multi-energies” and placing more responsibility on people and the environment by progressively reducing the carbon footprints of petroleum exploration operations whilst transiting to cleaner and renewable energy sources.

“In this journey of energy transition, we recognize the strategic role of natural gas. Gas produces half the GHG emissions of coal for the generation of electricity. It emits less GHG than oil for the same quantity of energy and in its liquefied form (LNG), it offers similar ease of storage and transport. Gas is therefore the key energy of the transition as renewable energies today cannot meet the energy needs of the world’s populations”

“For more than a century, oil and gas have powered the socioeconomic lives all around the globe. However, it has been realized that the unintended consequences of uncontrolled and unsustainable generation, processing and use of fossil fuels are far greater than previously thought. Top on the list of these undesirable consequences is global warming with all its manifestations. Consequently, society has been responding by discouraging the generation and use of energy sources with high greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and high carbon footprints and promoting the use of cleaner, and renewable energies sources”

He disclosed has said that the oil company would eliminate routine flaring at all in its installations in the country by next month.

He said at global a global scale, TotalEnergies aims to reduce its global GHG emissions from oil and gas facilities by 40% in 2030. By 2030, we target an energy mix of: Gas (50%); Petroleum products (30%); Electricity (15%); Biomass and hydrogen (5%).

He added: “As part our global efforts in TotalEnergies, in Nigeria, we are ramping up the Solarization of energy sources in our facilities and host communities in Nigeria. From a modest generation of 0.12MW in 2021 to 0.55MWp in 2023 and with a target of 9.4MWp by the end of 2025”.

Charles Nwachukwu Is NMDPRA’s New Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre Coordinator

Mohammed Shosanya

The Authority Chief Executive of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has appointed Mr. Charles Nwachukwu as the Coordinator of the Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre (MDPADRC).

The MDPADRC was established pursuant to the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 and the Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Alternative Dispute Resolution Regulations 2023 as a platform for the timely and cost-efficient resolution of disputes in the midstream and downstream petroleum industry.

The Centre, utilising ADR methods, shall have jurisdiction in disputes arising from petroleum operations in the midstream and downstream petroleum industry including the provision of open access and third party access to facilities and infrastructure used for gas and petroleum liquids operations, gas trading and settlement, host communities and industry labour matters.

Courts of competent jurisdiction may also refer industry disputes to the Centre for amicable resolution.

Charles Nwachukwu is a lawyer with over 23 years legal cognate experience in the oil and gas industry and has served in various capacities within the defunct Department of Petroleum Resources, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission and the NMDPRA.

He is an AIM qualified mediator with the UK Mediation Institute and a member of various industry and professional associations.