Oil Prices Slump 1% as OPEC’s Output Hits Eight-month High

Oil prices fell about one per cent Wednesday after the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reported its September oil output at eight-year highs in its monthly Oil Market Report (OMR), thus eroding optimism over the carte’s pledge to bring a global crude oil glut under control.

This is coming as energy ministers from Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Venezuela and Russia yesterday began informal closed-door talks with the Secretary General of OPEC, Mr. Mohammed Barkindo, in Istanbul, Turkey, as part of the coordinated efforts to rebalance the oil market.

Also, concerns that the American Petroleum Institute (API) could report the first built in United States crude oil stocks in six weeks in preliminary inventory numbers have fueled possibility of worsening the glut in the market as Reuters reported that analysts expected the US government to report that crude oil stockpiles rose 300,000 barrels last week.

Global benchmark crude oil Brent crude fell 52 cents, or one per cent, to $51.89 a barrel while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude slipped 68 cents, or 1.3 per cent, to $50.11.

However, despite the drop, Brent is still up nearly 13 per cent since OPEC announced on September 27 that the group and other major crude oil producers would agree on a sizeable output cut or freeze to reduce a global glut by November 30 when OPEC meets in Vienna.

OPEC’s latest monthly report, issued yesterday, showed an increase in its oil production in September to the highest in at least eight years and a rise in the forecast for 2017 non-OPEC supply growth.

In its monthly market report, OPEC said expected total world oil demand for 2016 was revised upward from its previous report by 10,000 bpd to 1.24 million bpd.
Next year, world oil demand is expected to increase by 1.15 million bpd, a level unchanged from OPEC’s previous report.

The group produced 33.39 million barrels per day (bpd) last month, up 220,000 bpd from August, and as much as 890,000 bpd above the new supply target.

Read More: thisdaylive

SR: Delta State Governor, Okowa, Slumps Over From Mysterious Sickness

Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, reportedly slumped over last Wednesday at the government house in Asaba.

According to an impeccable government house source, who pleaded for anonymity, Mr. Okowa who was billed to attend the World Teachers Day celebration at the cenotaph last Wednesday. However, after all preparations were put in place, Mr. Okowa reportedly slumped over at his office preventing his attendance.

Our source disclosed that immediately the governor was whisked away from the office to an undisclosed place for medical attention and his deputy, Kingsley Otuaro, was called to represent him at the event.

“I can tell you categorically that since that Wednesday till today the governor has not attended any public function. If you watch well, all the public functions, it’s the deputy that is representing him. Though, we can’t tell why he slumped and the illness he is suffering from.

“Before becoming the state governor, he has been battling with unknown health challenges. Even when he was in the senate, he was with this unknown illness but some people close to him said what he is suffering from could not be far from some blood related illness,” our source stated.

All efforts to contact the State Commissioner for Information, Patrick Ukah, proved abortive as his mobile line was switched off. However, the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to governor, Charles Aniagwu swiftly debunked the story claiming it was not true.

Two Retirees Slump During Pension Arrears Protest In Benue

Two pensioners of the Benue State Civil Service slumped on Wednesday during a protest staged by retirees under the umbrella of Concerned Benue Pensioners in Makurdi, the state capital.

The retirees staged the protest against the Benue State government over alleged unpaid entitlements and gratuity which spanned 11 months.

The protesting pensioners took to the streets of Makurdi carrying placards with various inscriptions demanding for the immediate payment of their pension arrears.

 It was during the protest that two of them allegedly slumped and became unconscious. All efforts to revive the affected retirees proved unsuccessful. They were taken to an undisclosed hospital for medical attention.

Some of the inscriptions on the protesters’ placards read: ‘’Gov Ortom fulfill your campaign promises’’, ‘’Do not starve us to death,’’ ‘’Pay us our pension’’, ‘’We are more than 30,000 pensioners and we are dying like chickens everyday’’, “We are unable to buy our drugs’’, “Our children have stopped going to schools” and so on.

The protesters barricaded the popular CBN- Government House Roundabout causing gridlock for several hours while all efforts by security operatives to calm them down and allow free passage of vehicles failed until they finally decided to move themselves to the main Government House.

The protesters were received at the Government House by the Acting Secretary to the Benue State Government, Dr. Bem Meladu, commissioners of finance, education and the Head of Service.

Presenting their protest letter to the SSG for onward delivery to the governor who was said to be out of the state, the Chairman of the Concerned Benue Pensioners, Mr. Peter Ikyado, said the protest would not end if the state government failed to attend to their plight.

He added that his members were tired of “continued failed promises” by the state government on the payment of their pension arrears.

Credit: Punch

Nigeria Faces Further Revenue Slump As Iran Returns To Oil Market

Nigeria’s dwindling oil revenue is expected to fall further as Iran is set to commence immediate exports of at least 500,00 barrels of crude oil per day (bpd) following the lifting of international sanctions against the country at the weekend, thus worsening the oil glut in the global market.

The federal government’s 2016 budget, which is predicated on an oil price of $38 per barrel, is already under threat as crude oil prices fell below $30 last week due to an estimated 1.5mbpd excess inventory in the oil market.

With the lifting of sanctions against Iran, the additional one million barrels per day that the country is expected to add to the global market this year will depress prices further, thus worsening Nigeria’s already precarious economic situation.
The United Nations Nuclear Agency on Saturday certified that Iran had met all of its commitments to curb its nuclear programme, and the United States immediately revoked sanctions that had slashed Iran’s oil exports by around 2mbpd since their pre-sanctions 2011 peak to a little more than 1mbpd.
There were strong feelers a month ago that the removal of sanctions would occur earlier than oil traders initially expected.
This fuelled a sell-off which sent the price of Brent crude tumbling 24 per cent since the beginning of the year, the biggest fall since the financial crisis of 2008.

Credit: ThisDay