Oil Hits Five-Month High Above $71 On Libyan Supply Threat
Oil hit a five-month high above 71 dollars a barrel on Tuesday, supported by concern that violence in Libya could further tighten supply already squeezed by OPEC cuts and U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.
International benchmark Brent futures hit their strongest level since last November at 71.34 dollars per barrel, before easing to 70.99 dollars per barrel by 0700 GMT.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures also hit a November 2018 high, at 64.77 dollars per barrel, before easing to 64.42 dollars per barrel.
Oil markets have tightened this year as the United States imposed sanctions on oil exporters Iran and Venezuela while the producer club of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has been withholding supply to prop up prices.
Brent and WTI futures have risen by 40 per cent and 30 per cent respectively since the start of the year.
Goldman Sachs, an American multinational investment bank and financial services company, said an oil supply deficit had opened up early this year.
“We expect the drivers of this deficit to persist through 2Q19” due to a shock and awe implementation of the OPEC cuts,” the U.S. bank said in a note.
Goldman said it expected Brent to average 72.50 dollars per barrel during the second quarter, up from a previous forecast of 65 dollars per barrel.
Prices have been further lifted this week by escalating violence in Libya, a significant supplier of oil to Europe, which produced around 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude in March.
Eastern forces on Monday were advancing on the Libyan capital Tripoli in the latest of a cycle of warfare since Muammar Gaddafi’s fall in 2011, with a warplane attacking the city’s functioning airport.
Yet despite generally bullish oil markets, concerns that an economic slowdown this year will hit fuel consumption have been preventing crude prices from rising even higher, traders said.
And while fears of a global recession ebbed following strong U.S. jobs figures and improved Chinese manufacturing data late last week, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said there was still a “significant slowing in growth globally” in 2019.
The bank said it expected Brent and WTI to average 70 dollars per barrel and 59 dollars per barrel respectively in 2019, and 65 dollars per barrel and 60 dollars per barrel in 2020.
Goldman Sachs also said oil prices “will decline gradually from this summer as shale and OPEC production increases.”
Russia, not an OPEC-member but a reluctant participant in the supply cuts, signaled on Monday it wanted to raise output when it would meet with OPEC in June because of falling stockpiles.
In the United States, crude oil production has risen by more than 2 million bpd since early 2018, to a record 12.2 million bpd, with many analysts expecting output to exceed 13 million bpd soon.
Niger Delta Youth Council Facilitates with Nigerians on the Occasion of World Youth Day
…reflects on the state of the nation
…calls for youth friendly policies
The Niger Delta Youth Council (NDYC), a pressure group devoted to youth empowerment and development in the Niger Delta has facilitated with the federal government and Nigerian youths as the world marks International Youth Day, a day set aside to celebrate youths all over the world and reflect on the challenges they face and ways to surmount them.
In a press release made available to journalists in Abuja by the National Coordinator, Engr. Jator Abido, the group expressed optimism that this year’s World Youth Day will avail Nigerian youths and government and avenue to brainstorm and find lasting solutions bedeviling the Nigerian youth especially in the area of unemployment and perennial insecurity that has hindered economic activities in many parts of the country.
“Today is an important date sets aside to celebrate International Youth Day. The importance of this annual celebration according to the United Nation (UN) is to among other things raise voices against any injustice or discrimination and deprivation around the globe against the youth. We as a pressure group want to use this opportunity to call attention to the alarming rate of unemployment which has risen to 35% in the third quarter of 2022 as well as insecurity which has brought to a halt economic activities in most parts of the country. It is our hope that government will act fast to end insecurity and reverse the ugly trend of unemployment in the country”, the statement noted.
The lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the group noted has far reaching implications on the future of Nigerian youths and if nothing is done about it, will endanger the mental and social capacity of youth, predisposing them to social crimes and agents of destabilization in the forth coming general elections
“The implication of this unwarranted strike is that for the past six months and counting, Nigerian youths have been idling away at home and the federal government has not considered the damage such failures portend. Not just that future leaders of Nigeria are idle but an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Criminal elements within the ruling class will quickly recruit and turn them to agents of destruction and crime as the 2023 general elections draw near. This must not be allowed to happen. The federal government must act fast to reverse this ticking time bomb from exploding” the statement urged.
The CSO equally charged the federal government to come out with policies that will encourage the participation of Nigerian youths in the downstream oil sector especially by actively using local artisans in line with local content policy of the federal government insisting that Nigerian youths especially those in the Niger Delta region have what it takes to actively transform the oil sector and end the sad phenomenon of exporting crude and importing refined products which is almost crumbling the economy.
“We are once again calling on the federal government on this occasion of International Youth Day to as a matter of national importance formulate policies which will make the local content law a more practical reality. Our youths are well skilled in oil exploration and even refining. Granting licenses to local artisans and modifying their technology will end the uneconomical policy of importing refined petroleum products at exorbitant rates at the expense of the naira. Such steps will also put an end to youth restiveness in the country and stimulate economic growth”, the statement added.
On the need to inaugurate the Niger Delta Development Commission’s (NDDC) Board, the CSO noted, it is long overdue and the federal government must use this occasion of the International Youth Day to respond to the yearnings of youths in the Niger Delta who are the first beneficiaries and sufferers of both good and bad policy choices in the region, arguing that, NDDC can not continue to run without a substantive Board.
“Mr. President Sir, we are calling on you to use your good office and cause the inauguration of the NDDC Board which was duly constituted but has since not being inaugurated because of the activities of saboteurs. This is not only unconstitutional but a slap on the faces of law abiding Niger Deltans who are looking forward to development massive in the region. Without a Board, corruption is rife in the Commission and the people who are supposed to be served are suffering because of the greed of a few politicians. If nothing is done to bring an end to this impunity, we’ll have no choice but to take up arms and fight for our rights”, the statement concluded.
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