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Nigeria receives $16bn investment from IOCs

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Heineken Lokpobiri, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), revealed on Monday that the country’s oil and gas industry had received approximately $16.6 billion in investments over the previous 12 months.

He gave updates while speaking in Abuja on the oil industry’s accomplishments since President Bola Tinubu took office on May 29, 2023.

Additionally, in a previous meeting with Olivier Le Peuch, the CEO of Schlumberger Limited, Lokpobiri disclosed that the Federal Government was about to finalize a $20 billion agreement to increase Nigeria’s oil and gas production.

The minister stated, “One of our main objectives has been to create an environment where investments can thrive,” when discussing the steps being taken to draw in investments. The absence of the Petroleum Industry Act and erratic policies had discouraged investment for more than ten years.

“Today, I am pleased to announce that our efforts have rekindled investor confidence in the sector. Notable examples include investments committed to the tune of $5bn and $10bn in deepwater offshore assets; and a $1.6bn investment commitment in oil and gas asset acquisition.

The very high global interest is noted in the ongoing bid round of assets coming online, arising from the recent roadshow activities in the United States and Europe.”

Additionally, Lokpobiri noted that since Tinubu took office, Nigeria has seen a rise in the output of crude oil.

“Our foremost achievement is the significant increase in production. When we took office, production was at approximately 1.1 million barrels per day, including condensates.

“Today, I am proud to report that we have increased our production to approximately 1.7 million barrels per day (inclusive of condensate). This increase is a testament to our relentless efforts to streamline operations and resolve conflict among stakeholders,” the oil minister stated.

Among the actions done to boost the output of crude oil, Lokpobiri mentioned that attempts were made to bring idle oil assets back into service.

To resolve industry conflicts and increase output, he added that ongoing conversations were being held with members of the Independent Petroleum Producers Group and multinational oil firms.

Lokpobiri added, “Resolutions of internal joint venture contracts feud between joint venture partners on critical production fields. Engaging local communities with critical assets running through them to protect the assets, all in a bid to decrease oil theft across the country.

“Consolidating existing security framework with private security firms and government security agencies for pipeline surveillance, which led to a sharp decline in crude oil theft and thus increased production for export.”

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Nigerian govt opens bid for 17 new oil blocks

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The Nigerian government has declared that 17 deep offshore oil blocks would be included in the 2024 Nigerian Oil Fields Licensing Round.

This was revealed at the pre-bid conference for the 2024 licencing round in Lagos by Gbenga Komolafe, the chief executive officer of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission.

In a statement he signed and released in Abuja on Tuesday, Komolafe provided updates on the 2022/2023 and 2024 licencing rounds, stating that 17 deep offshore blocks had been added to the 2024 Licensing Round.

He said, “In pursuit of the commission’s commitment to derive value from the country’s abundant oil and gas reserves and increase production, the commission has been working assiduously with multi-client companies to undertake more exploratory activities to acquire more data to foster and encourage further investment in the Nigerian upstream sector.

“As a result of additional data acquired in respect of deep offshore blocks, the commission has added 17 deep offshore blocks to the 2024 Licensing Round. Further details on the blocks can be found on the bid portal.”

He further revealed that “by the published guidelines, we had earlier indicated that some of the assets on offer should be applied for as clusters, namely: PPL 300-CS & PPL 301-CS, PPL 2000 and PPL 2001. Bidders are hereby advised that they may, at their option, bid for those blocks as clusters or as single units.”

Several deep offshore blocks were recently offered for the 2022–2023 mini-bid round, and the Nigeria 2024 Licencing Round also included offers for other blocks that cut between onshore, continental shelf, and deep offshore terrains.

In the 2024 marginal fields bid round, the government specifically requested investors to submit bids for 12 oil blocks and seven deep offshore assets on May 8. It was also announced on June 12, 2024, that the Federal government has raised the number of oil blocks for grabs in the 2024 marginal bid round.

The head of NUPRC added that the schedule for the 2024 Licencing Round has been adjusted to enable interested investors to take advantage of the increased chances.

He said, “Registration/submission of pre-qualification documents which was initially scheduled to close on June 25, 2024, has been extended by 10 days and will now close on July 5, 2024.

“Data access/data purchase/evaluation/bid preparation and submission which was initially scheduled to open on July 4, 2024, and close on 29/11/24 will now start on July 8, 2024, and close on 29/11/24 as previously scheduled.

“All other dates in the published 2024 licencing round schedule remain the same unless otherwise communicated.”

The current government intends to increase Nigeria’s oil production to 2.6 million barrels per day by the year 2027. Only 1.5 million barrels per day is the nation’s current Opec+ objective.

Nigeria began an international roadshow for the new licensing cycle in the United States on May 7 in Houston, Texas, with a stop in Miami, Florida on May 14.

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Central bank official says Botswana’s 4.2% growth target under threat

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Citing both internal and international limitations, a top central bank official warned on Tuesday that Botswana’s economy might not develop at the 4.2% annual rate set by the government.

In a budget speech given in February, Finance Minister Peggy Serame predicted a 4.2% increase in GDP and stated that the government anticipated growth to pick up speed starting in 2023 as a result of the diamond sector’s improved performance. The GDP increased by 2.7% in 2023.

Nonetheless, Botswana’s mining industry, which is primarily focused on diamonds, is still having difficulty, which is indicative of the weak worldwide market.

In the first quarter of 2024, sales at Debswana Diamond Company, a joint venture between the government of the southern African nation and Anglo-American’s De Beers business, decreased by almost 48% year over year.

“From what we have seen in the first half of the year, unfavourable global economic conditions … as well as domestic structural constraints, one would expect that we are unlikely to attain the projected economic growth,” Innocent Molalapata, the central bank’s director of research and financial stability, told an economic briefing.

“A downward revision of the growth target might therefore be required,” Molalapata stated, noting that the first quarter’s mining output fell by almost 27%.

The finance ministry is usually the one to provide accurate GDP growth projections, not the Bank of Botswana. According to IMF projections, Botswana’s GDP will expand by 3.6% in 2024.

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