to Embrace Peace
OPEC oil output hits record high in June on Nigerian rebound
Tobi Soniyi in Abuja and Ejiofor Alike in Lagos with agency reports
President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday said he was still collecting intelligence on the Niger Delta.
The president also said that his administration would rebuild Nigeria, including the Niger Delta region, and solicited for patience and understanding from the citizenry.
A statement issued by his media aide, Mr. Femi Adesina, said Buhari made the promise when he received a delegation of the Niger Delta Dialogue and Contact Group, led by the Amanyanabo of Twon Brass, King Alfred Diette-Spiff, from Bayelsa State at State House, Abuja yesterday.
The president said the gazette on the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme by the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua administration was being studied with a view to determining what had been fulfilled, promising that whatever was left would equally be addressed.
“I want to get as much intelligence as possible on the situation in the Niger Delta. I have encouraged the law enforcement agencies to contact leaders like you in order to have enough information to deal with the issues once and for all,” the president said.
He sympathised with investors who had borrowed huge sums of money to invest in the Niger Delta region but had not recouped their investments due to insecurity.
He used the occasion to reiterate his appeal to those who perpetrate violence to embrace peace and give the government a chance.
Buhari pledged that under his watch, Nigeria would witness judicious utilisation of resources.
He said: “We intend to rebuild this country, so that our children and grandchildren will have a good place they can call their own. A lot of damage has been done, so I want you to tell the people to be patient.
“When you get together with other leaders, please pacify the people. We will utilise the resources of Nigeria with integrity and rebuild the country.”
Diette-Spiff said the group was made up of peace builders dedicated to peace and stability in the region.
Meanwhile, crude oil production by member countries of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) rose in June to its highest level in recent history on the back of Nigeria’s partial recovery following militant attacks on its oil and gas installations.
But as Nigeria and Canada ramped up production after supply outages, caused by militant attacks and wildfires respectively, oil prices fell yesterday by about two per cent.
The biggest increase from OPEC in June of 150,000 bpd came from Nigeria, where output had fallen to its lowest in more than 20 years due to militant attacks on oil facilities. The rise in oil output resulted from repairs to oil facilities and a drop in major new attacks since mid-June.
Supply from OPEC rose to 32.82 million barrels per day (bpd) in June, from a revised 32.57 million bpd in May, stated a Reuters survey based on shipping data and information from industry sources.
OPEC’s June output exceeded January’s 32.65 million bpd, when Indonesia’s return as an OPEC member boosted production and output from the other 12 members was the highest in the survey records, starting in 1997.
Supply has surged since OPEC abandoned in 2014 its historic role of cutting supply to prop up prices.
Iran managed a further supply increase after the lifting of Western sanctions in January, sources in the survey said, although the pace of growth is slowing.
Gulf producers Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates increased supply by 50,000 bpd each, the survey found.
Libyan output rose by 40,000 bpd after the reopening in late May of the Marsa al Hariga export terminal, the survey found. Supply is still a fraction of the pre-conflict rate.
Among countries with declining supply, Iraq pumped less for a second month.
Exports in the south of the country have been trimmed by maintenance work, power cuts and higher domestic demand, Iraqi officials said.
Venezuela’s supply is under downward pressure from its cash crunch.
According to Goldman Sachs, resurgent Nigerian supply will put pressure on prices as outages caused by Canadian wildfires would virtually end by September.
The price of Brent crude dropped yesterday to $49.85 while US crude fell to $48.91.
The global benchmark has risen in the past two sessions, making up losses after a shock Britain exit from the European Union rattled markets across the world.
Crude prices were said to have found some support after market intelligence firm, Genscape, reported an inventory drop of about 500,000 barrels at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery hub for US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures in the week to June 28.
US and Brent crudes have risen by more than 85 per cent since reaching 12-year lows early this year, supported by expectations that a glut that has been weighing on prices since 2014 would start to ease and spurred by unplanned losses from Canada to Nigeria.
However, oil production in Nigeria has risen to about 1.9 million barrels per day (bpd) from 1.6 million, due to repairs and the absence of new major attacks on pipelines, according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).