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OPEC Reveals Nigeria’s relevance in global oil market



Nigeria’s representative in Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mele Kyari, has said the country cannot be ignored in the global oil market due to the growing positive outlook of its oil output.

Mr Kyari, who is also the Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), was speaking on Thursday at a conference organised by Argus Media in Le Richemond, Geneva, Switzerland.

Nigeria’s crude oil from Forcados, Qua Iboe, Escravos, and Bonny oil fields commonly referred as “sweet crude” is a special blend of crude generally sought after by consumers for its low sulphur content.

Despite fears about possible output cut as a result of insurgency and vandalism in the Niger Delta, Mr Kyari said Nigeria understands its important position and has taken steps to consolidate its role in the global demand and supply oil market balancing.

“Nigeria is very conscious of the fact that what happens in her oil industry could potentially impact the global demand and supply balance. We have taken steps to correct the issues that affected investments and production growth in recent years,” he said.

“Nigeria has the second highest crude oil reserves in sub-Saharan Africa (about 37 billion barrels of proven oil), after Libya. That means if Nigeria continues to produce at the current level, even without doing anything, it will still be producing in the next 35 to 40 years.

“This means for the period, Nigeria will continue to be a relevant supplier of at least two million barrels of crude oil into the international oil market every day. So, Nigeria cannot be ignored in the global oil market for a long time.”

In January 2017, Nigeria and Libya were granted exemption from the output cut resolution by OPEC to stabilise global oil prices.


During the period, due to rising incidences of attacks and sabotage of oil facilities by armed Niger Delta militants, daily oil output averaged 1.7 million barrels.

But, Mr Kyari said since 2017 Nigeria’s oil production climbed to about 1.8 million barrels per day, and about 2 million barrels by the end of September 2018.

He said the outlook of the country’s production appears brighter with the Egina, a deep offshore oil field being developed by Total Nigeria, on course to commence production by December 2018 or latest by the first quarter of 2019.

About 200,000 barrels of crude oil would be expected from the oil field, to boost Nigeria’s output from 2 million barrels in 2018 to about 2.2 million barrels by the first quarter of 2019.

Another 200,000 barrels per day production is also being expected from Agbani production.

“What that means is that government and the market can plan with that production figure. Besides, it is certain Nigeria can easily produce about 2.3 million barrels a day in 2019,” Mr Kyari said.

On why Nigeria was not investing for over five years until 2015, the OPEC representative said it was not lack of money, but due to the production arrangements involving government contribution to the cash calls pool jointly funded by the joint venture partners.

Under the arrangement, Mr Kyari said Nigeria under-invested its share of the cash call in joint venture operations by about $8billion by middle of 2015.

Similarly, he said JV partners were no longer contributing to the cash call, as they could afford to risk their resources, resulting in exploration activities and final investment decisions (FIDs) being scaled down over time.

Following a change in government and the management of the oil industry, Mr Kyari said a new approach resulted in an agreement with the JV partners for a five year plan on the liquidation of the legacy debts.

Since the new arrangement, Mr Kyari said cash call payment has been regular, with investment and exploration returning gradually, along with FIDs as well as resolution of integrity issues around onshore operations.

On insurgency and vandalism in the Niger Delta, which resulted in crude oil theft, the OPEC representative said a new government security structure now allows engagement with the communities as interest groups in monitoring and protection of the pipelines.





I’ve always wondered, Why do billionaires buy media empires?



An article by Jordan Murray

Although the financial situation for newspapers remains less than ideal, billionaires continue to invest in print media for their institutional worth, with aims to make publications self-sufficient.

If you had $190 million to spare, what would you spend it on?

If you’re Marc and Lynne Benioff, you’d buy a media empire. The flamboyant CEO of Salesforce and his wife purchased the publication from Meredith Corporation a few weeks ago, quickly distancing themselves from the magazine’s editorial direction.

It was a decision that was made, Marc admits, without much forethought, and its spontaneity is as much a product of his outsized personality as it is of his wealth. Indeed, the large cash infusion represents a boon for Time, but represents only around three per cent of the Benioff’s net wealth. It’s endemic of a larger trend in business of high-earning CEOs bankrolling print media to insulate cultural institutions from economic and technological changes.

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce

While many are grateful for Benioff’s financial infusion, others are suspicious of his motives and the pressures he might exert on the newspaper’s editorial position. For his part, Benioff has moved to assuage those concerns, with Time’s chief content officer Alan Murray saying the Benioffs were willing to “put journalistic integrity ahead of corporate gains”.

Otherwise, Benioff’s purchase of Time appears to be an effort to preserve the periodical, as opposed to turning it into a vehicle for his political views. That hasn’t comforted some sceptics though, who have witnessed the financially precarious situation that arises when business leaders expect returns on their investments.

Why would anybody buy a newsroom?

It’s easy to compare billionaires with an interest in media empires to Charles Foster Kane, Orson Welles’ ruthless newspaper magnate. The truth is often more complex than that. Some CEOs, like Jeff Bezos, purchase flagging institutions not out of pity but out of a profit motive. Bezos, after all, was initially unmoved at the prospect of purchasing a business that haemorrhaged money and that he didn’t know much about.

However, he saw the opportunity as having a greater sense of rightness to it. “If this were a financially upside-down, salty snack food company, the answer would be no,” Bezos reasoned, “But as soon as I started thinking about it that way, I started to realize The Washington Post is an important institution.”

“If this were a financially upside-down, salty snack food company, the answer would be no,” Bezos reasoned, “But as soon as I started thinking about it that way, I started to realize The Washington Post is an important institution.”

Nowadays, The Washington Post is profitable, thanks to Bezos’ technological direction as much as his financial contributions. He has remained outside the newsroom, and has instead focused on the newspapers’ economic situation, preferring not to think of his contribution as a “philanthropic endeavour”.

A comparable situation arose for Laurene Powell Jobs, when her Emerson Collective purchased The Atlantic in July 2017, saying that “there’s a door between Emerson and the Atlantic, but it only swings from the Atlantic into Emerson; it doesn’t open in the other direction”.

Like Bezos’ approach, the emphasis wasn’t on editorial direction as much as it was on improving the economic function of the publication itself, which Jobs managed to do. Although the financial situation for newspapers remains less than ideal, billionaires continue to invest in print media for their institutional worth – an often-achievable goal, as newspapers are relatively inexpensive investments – with aims to make the publications self-sufficient.

Laurene Powell Jobs

Laurene Powell Jobs

Do things always work out?

In contrast to those two particularly fortunate cases, other entrepreneurs aren’t quite as committed to the outcomes of their chosen publication, quickly losing patience with their investment and becoming eager to rid themselves of it.

Perhaps the most notorious example of this is Joe Ricketts, whose purchase of Gothamist prefaced an attempt to merge the idiosyncratic vehicle for snark and culture with his own New York-centric outlet, DNAInfo. The arrangement lasted for only eight months, in which time both newsrooms complained about mismatched agendas. When the staff of both publications attempted to unionise, Ricketts simply shut both down and walked away from the situation.

Similarly, Peter Barbey purchased The Village Voice in 2015 promising that he was “flat-out serious about getting The Voice to be a major Manhattan publication”. Three years later, he unceremoniously shut down printing, citing “business realities”.

Such billionaire investments in newspapers are met with suspicion by the journalists who work for them not because they portend maleficent editorial direction, but because they often become more accountable to the economic concerns of one person. Much like any other business, if there isn’t a model for self-sufficiency to work towards, that often means that the end is in sight.

Much like any other business, if there isn’t a model for self-sufficiency to work towards, that often means that the end is in sight.

So, what happens next?

In conversation with CNBC, Joshua Benton, director of Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard, cited several reasons for why billionaires choose to become involved in media, including “a mixture of … sincere appreciation of the art form, … a desire to see it flourish … [!and!] a sense of civic responsibility”.

Moreover, the chance for growth in an industry that has struggled to adapt to digital distribution is immense and has proven profitable under the right leadership. Ultimately, the emphasis isn’t about establishing a vehicle for personal retribution. It’s about product differentiation and, eventually, financial returns.

It’s not difficult to appreciate how Benioff views the matter; he believes that there are two types of CEOs, those committed to improving the state of the world, and those who are not.

When he purchased Time, he was acting on that impulse, believing that print journalism deserved attention. It doesn’t mean he’s prepared to throw away a significant sum of money. It means that he’s willing to help a beleaguered industry through challenging times, with the sort of leadership and business expertise only an eccentric, carefree CEO can bring.

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Ivory Coast: Ivanka Trump promotes cocoa businesswomen after farm visit



ABIDJAN (Reuters) – Ivanka Trump vowed support for initiatives to promote women in business on Wednesday, after visiting an Ivorian cocoa farm on the second leg of her African tour.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s daughter, who works as his adviser, was speaking at a forum on women’s economic empowerment in Ivory Coast’s main city of Abidjan.

She arrived in Ivory Coast on Tuesday, after visiting Ethiopia. Ivanka is championing the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity initiative, which officials have said aims to economically empower 50 million women by 2025.

“It’s a social justice issue, it’s an economic issue, it’s a defense issue, and it just plain makes sense,” she said of women’s economic empowerment in Africa.

But she added that “there are substantial barriers,” such as lack of access to capital for 70 percent of female business owners, and that women made up just 15 percent of land owners on the continent.

Earlier she visited a cocoa farm in Adzope, in southeastern Ivory Coast, where she announced a US AID and World Cocoa Foundation initiative to give $2 million to female cocoa farmers.

Ivory Coast produces more than a third of the world’s cocoa.

Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Toby Chopra

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