29 Jan

Gas Flaring Law Error Cost Nigeria Billions of Dollars

Africa’s top oil producer plans to make gas flaring more costly for companies that have escaped the payment of billions of dollars despite being fined, Nigerian Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun said.

In the “legal framework for the gas-flaring penalty, it was drafted as a charge. A charge is tax deductible,” Adeosun said in a Jan. 23 interview. “So, what do the international oil companies do? They flare, they pay the charge on which they get tax relief. That’s just bad drafting.”

The government is approaching lawmakers to amend the law and have the word ‘penalty’ replace ‘charge,’ the minister said in her office in the capital, Abuja. “Just that one word has potentially cost us billions of dollars.”

Oil companies flare natural gas that is produced along with crude instead of harnessing it because that can be costly or difficult for security reasons. Nigeria has sought to limit the practice over the years as it pollutes the environment and contributes to global warming.

Seeking Revenue

The West African nation is recovering from a contraction of its economy in 2016, the first in 25 years, and is seeking revenue sources to plug a $25 billion infrastructure gap and fund a record 2018 budget presented in December by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The government is also updating the tax law and going after defaulters, with the intention to boost collection and raise the country’s tax-to-GDP ratio, currently at 6 percent and among the lowest in the world.

Nigeria in the past never focused much on tax revenue because of its reliance on oil income that funds most of the government spending, Adeosun said. The OPEC member produced 1.8 million barrels per day in December, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-29/gas-flaring-law-error-cost-nigeria-billions-of-dollars

05 Jan

Angola Joins Long List of Oil Producers in Scrapping Dollar Peg

Angola is poised to become the latest emerging-market nation to dispense with a pegged currency, another sign that a four-year slide in oil prices has battered exporters in the $2.2 trillion-a-year market.

The southern African nation, an OPEC member, said this week that it would let the kwanza trade within a new band. The rate at which it was fixed against the dollar since April 2016 “does not reflect the truth,” according to central bank Governor Jose Massano.

It joins a long list of commodity exporters — from Russia to Egypt, Kazakhstan, Nigeria and Uzbekistan — that have floated or devalued currencies in a bid to end crippling shortages of foreign exchange and to revive economic growth.

“It was a long time coming,” said Kaan Nazli, a strategist at Neuberger Berman in The Hague, which manages almost $300 billion, including Angolan bonds.

The move underlines just how forcibly President Joao Lourenco is trying to bolster his nation’s finances, three months after he replaced Jose Eduardo dos Santos, the ruler for almost four decades.

Angola, which relies on oil for more than 90 percent of exports, kept a tight grip on its currency as the commodity slid. While the kwanza has already weakened 40 percent to 166 per dollar since mid-2014, analysts say it’s still too strong. Charles Robertson, Renaissance Capital’s chief economist, said in a note Thursday that the kwanza was the most overvalued of the more than 50 currencies he analyzes and that its fair value was 348 to the greenback.

The currency has tumbled to 430 on the black market as dollars run dry, leaving hundreds of companies struggling to pay foreign workers and overseas suppliers. Economic growth fell to zero in 2016 after averaging almost 9 percent per year during the previous decade.

Angola has bled reserves — which more than halved in the past four years to the lowest since 2010 — to defend the peg. The dos Santos administration said it was the best way for the import-dependent nation to curb inflation, which stands at 28 percent.

Read more: Angola Joins Long List of Oil Producers in Scrapping Dollar Peg

06 Jul

Oil slides as OPEC exports rise, prices end 8 days of gains

Oil prices tumbled about 4 percent on Wednesday, ending their longest string of daily gains in more than five years, as climbing OPEC exports and a stronger dollar spurred selling.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 settled down $1.82, or 3.7 percent, at $47.79 a barrel. Prices had climbed for eight straight sessions to Monday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 fell $1.94, or 4.12 percent, to settle at $45.13 a barrel.

“It’s a transition from being overbought for a while,” said Tyche Capital Advisors senior research analyst John Macaluso.

“I really don’t think it’s too much fundamentals driving the move today – seems more like a reversal of the trend. Eventually someone comes out of the market and everyone follows and you have to take profits.”

Prices pared losses in post-settlement trade after data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed U.S. crude inventories fell 5.8 million barrels in the week to June 30 to 503.7 million barrels, exceeding forecasts for a draw of 2.3 million barrels. [API/S] The API data, normally released Tuesday, was delayed by the U.S. Fourth of July holiday.

Official data from the U.S. Department of Energy is due on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT), also delayed a day. [EIA/S]

Oil traders hope vacationing motorists heading for the beach in July will help U.S. gasoline demand heat up along with sweltering summer temperatures, helping drain crude inventories.

Oil exports by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries climbed for a second month in June, Thomson Reuters Oil Research data showed.

OPEC exported 25.92 million barrels per day (bpd) in June, up 450,000 bpd from May and 1.9 million bpd more than a year earlier.

The rise came despite OPEC’s vow to rein in production until March 2018 and came on the heels of Reuters’ monthly OPEC production survey which found output jumped to a 2017 high last month as Nigeria and Libya continued to pump more. Both OPEC members are exempt from the output cut deal.#

Read More: Reuters Africa