The crude oil market is picking up as refiners of the commodity are now showing increasing interest in its purchase, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries announced on Thursday.
Nigeria is a long-standing member of OPEC and an uptick in demand for crude would means more income for the country, because the bulk of Nigeria’s foreign earnings come from oil sales.
This came as the Department of Petroleum Resources also announced on Thursday that Nigeria’s natural gas reserves had risen to a new high of 206.53 trillion cubic feet.
In its latest monthly oil report for June 2021 sighted by our correspondent in Abuja, OPEC stated that spot crude prices experienced firm gains in the month of May, rising on average of about six per cent month-on-month.
This, it said, settled at multi-month highs, amid stronger physical oil market fundamentals.
“Refiners in most regions showed increases in buying interest on the expectation of a further oil demand recovery with the approach of the summer driving season,” the organisation stated.
It added, “The OPEC Reference Basket increased by $3.67, or 5.8 per cent, month-on-month in May to average $66.61/barrel, the highest since May 2019.
“Year-to-date, the ORB was up 56.8 per cent, averaging $62.16/barrel, compared to $39.65/barrel on average over the first five months of 2020.
“Crude oil futures prices rose in May, with ICE Brent increasing $2.98, or 4.6 per cent, to average $68.31/b, and NYMEX WTI gaining $3.45, or 5.6 per cent, to an average of $65.16/barrel.”
Speaking on the increase in Nigeria’s gas reserves during his presentation at the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, the Director, DPR, Sarki Auwalu, said the feat was based on data as at January 1, 2021.
He stated that Nigeria had attained the target of 200TCF of 2P reserves by the reserve declaration as at January 1, 2019, before the 2020 target.
The DPR boss said, “I, Sarki Auwalu, Director/CEO, Department of Petroleum Resources, by the powers conferred upon me by the Petroleum (Drilling & Production) Regulations, 1969, as amended, and other powers enabling me in that respect, hereby declare as follows: Nigeria Natural Gas Reserves as at 1/1/2021 stands at 206.53 trillion cubic feet.”
Providing a breakdown, he said Associated Gas stood at 100.73TCF as at the latest review period, while Non-Associated Gas was 105.8TCF, bringing the total to 206.53TCF.
Auwalu observed that the steady growth in gas reserves of indigenous and marginal field operators illustrated the appetite for independents to create value from gas.
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