Market Report: Shell’s Trans Ramos pipeline in Nigeria remains shut

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Nigeria

Dr. Maikanti Baru, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), announced that the corporation would be listing over 40 percent of its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. The shares will be floated once the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill gets presidential assent.

Under the current law, the NNPC functions as both operator and regulator of the oil sector, under the governance of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources. In working towards making the national oil company more profitable, the NNPC will be split into two entities: the Nigerian Petroleum Assets Management Company and the Nigerian Petroleum Company, which will be an integrated oil company taking all assets of the NNPC except production sharing contracts.

Shell announced it had shut-in the Trans Ramos pipeline which feeds into Nigeria’s Forcados oil export terminal, to clean up crude oil spilled from a ruptured section. Shell said in a statement “The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited…has recovered over 95 pecent of spilled oil from the recent spill incidents on sections of the Trans Ramos Pipeline (TRP) in Aghoro community, Bayelsa State, and in Odimodi community in Delta State.” Forcados, a gasoil-rich sweet crude blend, is one of Nigeria’s top export grades. The pipeline, which supplies crude to the SPDC Joint Venture-owned Forcados Oil Terminal in western Niger Delta for export has remained shut-in since the incidents. Although Shell did not state the volume of crude affected due to the closure, the pipeline has a capacity of 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude. Shell said the pipeline would be reopened once the leak is cleaned up and the site assessment has been completed, adding that a joint team of investigators was studying the cause and impact of the spills.

Gambia

FAR Gambia Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of FAR Limited, following reprocessing and interpretation of 3D seismic data, detailed mapping of the Samo prospect and detailed well engineering, has selected a location for the Samo-1 well which will form part of its Gambian oil and gas exploration program. The Samo prospect lies immediately to the south and along trend from the giant SNE oil field in Senegal, a trend which has so far seen nine successful exploration and appraisal wells at a 100 percent success rate. The Samo-1 will be located in approximately 1,017 m water depth and 112 km offshore the Gambia in the highly prospective Mauritania-Senegal-Guinea- Bissau-Conakry basin.

The prospect has two main targets – an upper reservoir interval which contained liquid-rich gas at SNE and a lower reservoir interval which was oil-bearing at SNE. These target reservoir intervals are assessed to have a combined prospective resource of 825 million barrels of oil. Good quality reservoirs have been interpreted at both levels at the proposed Samo-1 well location and the well will be drilled on the crest of the structure. FAR’s high rating of the prospect is shared by oil major PETRONAS, which is farming into the project in a deal worth up to $53.6 million. PETRONAS is buying 40 percent of FAR’s 80 percent working interest in the Samo-1 exploration well by paying for 40 percent of the total well costs to a cap of $45 million. Samo-1 well is planned to spud early 4th quarter of 2018 and is expected to take about 40 days to drill on a trouble-free basis. Samo-1 will be the first well drilled offshore the Gambia for 40 years.

Global

On 23 August , oil prices slipped as an escalating trade dispute between the United States and China outweighed the bullish impact of a decline in U.S. commercial crude inventories. The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures for September delivery slipped 8 cents at $67.78 a barrel at 11:29 AM ET (15:29 GMT), while Brent crude futures for October delivery rose 7 cents at $74.73. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) weekly report for 22 August showed a fall in crude inventories by 5.8 million barrels for the week ending 17 August.

Oil prices are kept in check by the U.S. and China with the imposition of 25 percent tariffs on $16 billion worth of each other’s goods. Washington is holding hearings over another $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to face levies that, if approved, would likely cause Beijing to respond in kind and markets are concerned that a potential full-blown trade war between the U.S. and China would slow global economic growth and curb energy consumption. The U.S. is also set to impose sanctions against Iran in November 2018. Meanwhile, Kuwait is likely to sign deals with Saudi Arabia and Iraq to develop shared oil fields by the end of 2018 and start producing oil soon. According to estimates from the EIA and the Oil and Gas Journal, the 6,200 square mile area, destined for energy production, holds 5 billion barrels of oil and 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.