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January 8, 2020510

Nigeria and some other oil exporters are targeting another oil windfall as the World shakes in US-Iran face off that is being alleged could trigger World War 3.

Soon after barrage of missiles were launched on two US airbases in Iraq, oil prices jumped as


European and US benchmark prices were up as much as 4%.

Brent crude price busts through the US$70 mark.

Prices of both Brent and another key benchmark blend, West Texas Intermediate, fell back as markets digested news of the attacks, but remained more than 1% higher than on Tuesday.

The rises added to oil prices already elevated by market jitters over the US assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Suleimani.

Fears of war have also hit stock markets across Asia, with the Australian exchange falling around 1% during trade on Wednesday before recovering most of its losses after Iranian officials played down the prospect of further attacks on US interests.

The international tensions add to existing economic fears in Australia, which is battling deadly and expensive bushfires that experts say risk making consistently weak consumer spending even worse.

Investors have also poured into traditional safe haven gold, with the price of an exchange-traded fund that tracks the price of the precious metal adding 3% on Wednesday on top of strong increases last week.

Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missile attacks on air bases in Al Assad and Erbil on Wednesday “in the name of martyr General Qassem Suleimani”, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said.

On the orders of president Donald Trump, US forces used a drone to assassinate Suleimani near the Baghdad airport on Friday.

While much of the ASX recovered losses on Wednesday afternoon, Australian flag carrier Qantas was down almost 3.4%.

Many Qantas-branded flights are code-shares with Emirates, which is based in Dubai – just across the Persian Gulf from Iran.

The US Federal Aviation Authority has banned American airlines from flying to the region but the ruling does not bind Australian operators.

“Each airline makes its own judgment,” Civil Aviation Safety Authority spokesman Peter Gibson said.

Qantas has been contacted for comment.

Despite the Australian market’s general recovery, the share prices of junior financial groups, including troubled companies AMP and IOOF, and retailers, including JB Hi-Fi and Flight Centre, remained depressed, turning in falls of more than 1.5% as the trading day neared its end.

Additional reports from agencies


October 20, 2019800

Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited has a share of about $13.65bn in the $62bn which five international oil companies allegedly owe Nigeria following the 2018 Supreme Court’s judgment on Production Sharing Contracts between the country and the firms, reports say.

The apex court’s verdict enabled the Federal Government to increase its share of income from the PSCs.

Shell is opposing the demand for a total of $13,651,034,052.59 by the Federal Government on the grounds that it was planning to commence arbitration proceedings in respect of the issue.

The firm which accused the Federal Government of unilaterally making adjustments in the PSC in respect of the Oil Mining Lease 118 in enforcing the apex court’s verdict sought a court order stopping the government from taking further action on its demand for the money until its planned arbitration is concluded.

The company filed the suit, marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/154, before the Federal High Court in Abuja, in which it sought an injunction against the government.

The four other IOCs from whom the Federal Government had demanded various sums of money based on the Supreme Court’s verdict filed similar suits at the Federal High Court in  Lagos.

Parts of the court documents filed by Shell were seen by our correspondent on Saturday.

The documents indicated that the Federal Government demanded $13,651,034,052.59 from Shell, through a letter dated January 14, 2019, issued on its behalf by Trobell International Nigeria Limited.

Trobell is joined as the second respondent in the Shell’s suit, while the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation is joined as the first respondent and the Attorney-General of the Federation as the third.

Shell’s suit filed through its lawyer, Ogunmuyiwa Balogun of the Olaniwun Ajayi law firm, is anchored on section 251(1)(r) of the Nigeria Constitution, section 53 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, Article 26(3) of the Arbitration Rules, section 11 and 13(1) of the Federal High Court Act and Order 28 Rule 1 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules.

But Trobell, in its response to the suit, had asked the court to dismiss the suit for lack of jurisdiction.

The firm’s preliminary objection was filed through its lawyer, Oladapo Agboola.

It argued that the matter could not be “re-litigated” after the Supreme Court had made a pronouncement on it.

It also argued among others that the affidavit filed in support of the suit contained extraneous issues which the court could not rely on.

Meanwhile, there are indications that there are ongoing talks aimed at an amicable resolution of the dispute out of court.

The matter was scheduled to come up before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu on October 15 but the judge did not sit.

Court’s list of cases scheduled for that date showed that the matter was adjourned till November 7 for “report of settlement.”

The Supreme Court had on October 17, 2018, ordered the Federal Government to immediately commence steps to recover all revenues lost to oil exploring and exploiting companies due to wrong profit-sharing formula termed as the Production Sharing Contracts since August 2003.

A seven-man panel of the apex court led by then Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, made the order in a consent judgment in respect of a suit filed by three states, Rivers, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom against the Federal Government in 2016.

The states, through their various Attorneys-General and the Federal Government, through the Attorney-General of the Federation, had on April 6, 2018, filed the terms of settlement which the apex court adopted as its judgment on Wednesday.

The term of the settlement was signed by the Attorneys-General of the three states, Emmanuel Aguma (SAN) (for Rivers), Kemasuode Wogu (for Bayelsa) and Uwemedimo Nwoko (for Akwa Ibom) as well as the lead counsel for the AGF, Mr Lucius Nwosu.

The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Dayo Apata, signed as the witness.

Additional reports from Punch.


October 11, 20191870

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on Friday announced the discovery of hydrocarbon deposits in the Kolmani River II Well on the Upper Benue Trough, Gongola Basin, in the North-Eastern part of the country.

Recall that drilling of the Kolmani River II Well was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari on February 2, 2019.

A statement by the Corporation’s Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Samson Makoji, stated that NNPC acquired 435.54km2 of 3D Seismic Data over Kolmani Prospect in the Upper Benue Trough, Gongola Basin.

This was to evaluate Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Kolmani River 1 Well Discovery of 33 BCF and explore deeper levels.

The well was drilled with “IKENGA RIG 101” to a total depth of 13,701feet encountering oil and gas in several levels.

A Drill Stem Test is currently on-going to confirm the commercial viability and flow of the Kolmani River reservoirs.

The corporation explained that on Thursday, October 10, 2019, at 18:02hours, one of the reservoirs was perforated and hydrocarbon started flowing to the well head at 21:20hours in which the gas component was flared to prevent air charge around the Rig.

Preliminary reports indicate that the discovery consists of gas, condensate and light sweet oil of API gravity ranging from 38 to 41 found in stacked siliciclastic cretaceous reservoirs of Yolde, Bima Sandstone and Pre-Bima formations.

Computation of hydrocarbon volume is on-going and will be announced in due course.

The corporation said it had also acquired additional 1183km2 of 3D seismic data over highly prospective areas of Gongola Basin with a view to evaluating the full hydrocarbon potential of the Basin.

NNPC stated that it deployed technologies including Surface Geochemistry, Ground Gravity/Magnetic, Stress Field Detection, Full Tensor Gradiometry aerial surveys to de-risk exploration in the frontier basins.

It said it plans to drill additional wells for full evaluation of the hydrocarbon volume in the Gongola Basin.

During the spud-in ceremony of Kolmani River II, Buhari stated the commitment of his administration to the exploration for oil and gas in the frontier basins in the entire length and breadth of the country.

The basins include the Benue Trough, Chad Basin, Sokoto and Bida Basins.

He also stated that attention would be given to the Dahomey and Anambra Basins which had already witnessed oil and gas discoveries.

According to NNPC, the discovery of oil and gas in commercial quantity in the Gongola Basin will attract foreign investment, generate employment for people to earn income and increase government revenues.


September 29, 2019550


Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that many states are being used to fight against Rivers State for the illegal grabbing of the state’s oil wells.

Commissioning the Dualised/Reconstructed Birabi Street, Elegbam-Rumueme in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area on Friday, Governor Wike said the State has the capacity to resist any form of oil well annexation.

He said: “So many states are being used to fight Rivers State to collect our oil Wells. We have the capacity to fight back. No state will take what belongs to Rivers State.

“Whether you are PDP or APC State, anybody who attempts to take what belongs to Rivers, Rivers State will fight back.

“This is not a question of party. It is the interest of the state that matters. My interest is Rivers State, not political party. If you are in PDP and you don’t love Rivers State, I will not love you . My love for you is based upon your love for Rivers State “.

He said that Rivers State deserves the best. , noting that his administration will continue to work for the growth of the state.

The governor said that his administration will enhance the infrastructural base of Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas, as a large percentage of Rivers people live in the state capital territory.

He thanked the people of Rumuadaolu in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area for cooperating with the contractors to deliver the road.

Governor Wike praised Former Rivers State Governor, Dr Peter Odili for grooming the present generation of political leaders in the state.

“Dr Peter Odili is the person who brought all of us up. No political leader can claim that he is what he is today without Odili .

“Odili laid the foundation. But for him, Ikwerre man would not be Governor of Rivers State. Ikwerre people owe him a lot. It was difficult in this state for any Ikwerre man to be Governor. He took the risk for an Ikwerre man to be Governor .

“I know the hatred people have on him because he said an Ikwerre man must be Governor. We shall continue to stand with him. Any Ikwerre man who is anywhere without recognising Odili will not know peace. Any Ikwerre man plotting against you and your family will never have peace “.

Governor Wike said the many fights Odili is having today is because he insisted that an Ikwerre man should be Governor. He urged the Former Rivers State Governor not to regret facilitating the emergence of an Ikwerre Governor in the state.

In a project description, Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Works, Dr Walter Ndu said the ministry is implementing the governor’s outstanding urban renewal programme.

He said the road was a single lane, before the Rivers State Governor directed that a section be dualised, while the second section was expanded for improved traffic.

Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Solomon Eke praised the governor’s sense of judgement in dualising the road that leads to the headquarters of Salvation Ministries. He said thousands of international visitors to the church would enjoy using the high quality road.

He said that the people of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area appreciate the governor’s commitment to the development of the area.