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Nigeria loses $1 billion in Q1, 2022 to oil theft

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Petroleum regulator in Nigeria has revealed that Africa’s top producer lost $1 billion in revenue during the first quarter of this year through crude oil theft.

The head of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Gbenga Komolafe, revealed on Friday that of the 141 million barrels of oil produced in the first quarter of 2022, only about 132 million barrels of oil were received at export terminals.

Komolafe said in a statement reiterated that the situation “indicates that over nine million barrels of oil was lost to crude oil theft … this amounts to a loss in government revenue of about $1 billion … in just one quarter.”

“This trend poses an existential threat to the oil and gas sector and by extension, the Nigerian economy if not curbed.”

Despite the recent rise in crude oil prices in the international market, Nigeria’s economy, which is largely dependent on oil has not reaped the benefits due to the continued increase in theft and pipeline vandalism estimated to have gulped 73 million barrels a year.

An investigations by Vanguard revealed that the country loses about $7.3 billion a year to oil thieves and vandals. The situation is made worse by the country’s inability to meet the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC’s production quota of 1.8 million barrels per day which resulted in the Federal Government recently announcing a reduction in her export target to 1.6 million barrels per day while other countries in the cartel are striving to exceed their quota.

Beyond oil theft, oil spillage is another challenge that has bedeviled the West African country.

A Premiumtimesng report says between January 2019 and April 2021, 12 states in Nigeria recorded 881 cases of oil spillage, according to data obtained from NOSDRA, a government-run satellite tracker.

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Ghana’s economic recovery threatened as IMF team’s staff-level agreement delays

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Ghana’s Finance ministry has revealed that the country’s economic recovery efforts could set for delay and complications.

An official the position known on Wednesday, adding that if a visiting team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) leaves without a staff-level agreement next week.

The country’s director of Treasury and debt management, Samuel Arkhurst told journalists that the IMF had “nothing to do” with Ghana’s decision to undergo a domestic debt restructuring.

Arkhurst revealed that the consequences for those who do not voluntarily participate in the domestic bond exchange were still being negotiated, but there were no plans to go to parliament to force domestic bondholders to participate.

“If the holdouts are large, we will be in trouble,” Arkhurst told reporters.

“The government reserves the right to ensure that non-tendered eligible bonds do not benefit from their non-participation to the Domestic Debt Exchange, including through additional regulatory measures or a more coercive approach,” said a slide presented at the briefing.

The country is currently battling debt, 20-year-high inflation, a weak currency, and rising inequality.

The country’s currency, Cedi was the world’s worst-performing in 2022 as investors continued to squeeze foreign capital into the West African country.

As part of its many initiatives to out of its current economic challenge, Ghana recently ordered all large-scale mining companies to sell 20% of their entire stock and asked the companies to pay the Bank of Ghana with refined gold at their refineries from Jan. 1, 2023.

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Israel-based oil and gas firm, NewMed, signs exploration deal with Morocco’s energy ministry

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Israel-based oil and gas firm, NewMed has signed a deal with Morocco’s energy and mining ministry and Adarco Energy for offshore natural gas exploration and production in Morocco.

NewMed made the announcement on Tuesday adding that it will collaborate with Adarco, and each will have a 37.5% stake in the Boujdour Atlantique licence.

NewMed CEO Yossi Abu said, “for a long time now we have recognised a huge potential in Morocco for collaborations in both the natural gas and renewable energy sectors.”

According to the deal, the remainder of 25% is granted to Morocco’s National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines, in accordance with the Hydrocarbon Law of Morocco.

NewMed is the main stakeholder in Israel’s huge Leviathan offshore gas field and is looking to merge with Capricorn Energy to create a gas producer focused on Israel and Egypt.

Statista reports that in 2020, approximately 23.3 billion Moroccan dirhams (MAD) of gas and fuel oils were imported into Morocco. This was equivalent to 2.6 billion U.S. dollars and represented a decrease from the previous year when roughly 38.8 billion MAD (4.3 billion U.S. dollars) of oils were imported into the country.

Overall, Spain was the main trade partner in Morocco in terms of gas and fuel oil imports.

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