A string of deals with foreign firms to plug financing gaps in Nigeria's oil industry will help unlock significant shut-in potential in the world's eighth biggest exporter. Nigeria has signed deals worth $3-billion with Exxon Mobil and Total over the past week and is finalising a similar agreement with Royal Dutch Shell.
There are plenty of explanations for what's happening in the global oil markets. It's caused by the economic boom in the world's largest developing countries, particularly China and India. It's caused by the unwillingness of the oil cartel Opec to pump more crude.
Oil climbed to a life-time high above $130 a barrel on Wednesday, driven higher by a combination of long-term production worries and a near-term focus on tight fuel stocks. A United States government report later on Wednesday was expected to show crude inventories rose for a fifth straight week.
Oil prices were close to $109 in Asian trade on Wednesday, underpinned by the United States dollar's dive to a new low against the euro and supply concerns, dealers said. In late morning trade, New York's main contract, light sweet crude for April delivery, traded briefly at $108,90 a barrel, up 15 cents from its record closing high of $108,75 on Tuesday.
Opec ministers are poised to hold output steady at a meeting on Wednesday, resisting pressure from top consumer the United States to pump more oil to help prop up a fragile economy. Opec has said triple-digit oil has been driven by factors beyond its control, such as a weak dollar and speculation and not by any lack of fuel.
Oil eased on Tuesday after it reached a record of almost $104 a barrel in the previous session, buoyed by investor demand for commodities as well as expectations Opec will not increase supply despite high prices. United States light crude for April delivery was down 44 cents at $102,01 a barrel by 10.30am GMT, after touching a record high of $103,95 on Monday.
Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) president Chakib Khelil reiterated on Saturday that Opec would not make a decision on output policy before its next scheduled meeting in September, and said oil-market fundamentals were not responsible for high oil prices.
Oil markets are well supplied and high prices are the result of speculation, a weak dollar and geopolitical problems, Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) president Chakib Khelil said on Monday. "As for Opec, indications show that there is no shortage [of supply]," he told a public forum on energy.
Indonesia said on Tuesday it may quit the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) as its declining crude oil output prevents the country from meeting its Opec quota and has reduced its influence in the cartel. Indonesia is Asia-Pacific's only member of Opec, but its crude oil output has fallen in recent years.
Representatives of the world's leading gas producers are discussing Russian proposals for greater cooperation, according to the Iranian Oil Ministry. Ministers from the Gas Exporting Countries Forum are meeting amid speculation that members are considering an Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec)-style club for gas producers.
Oil rose to a record high above $118 on Tuesday, boosted by a jump in oil demand last month from China, the world's second biggest energy consumer, and worries about supply from key producers Russia and Nigeria. United States light crude for May delivery was up 26 cents at $117,74 a barrel by 10.05am GMT, after an all-time peak of $118.05.
Oil eased to under $105 a barrel on Friday, but stayed within sight of its record high from the previous session, with a tumbling United States dollar, fund flows and Opec's (the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) reluctance to pump extra crude providing support.
Ministers of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) on Wednesday agreed to keep oil output steady and said record high prices had been driven by factors that were beyond their control. United States crude hit a record of $103,95 a barrel on Monday and was trading above $101 on Wednesday.
The price of New York crude oil hit an all-time high point of $103,05 per barrel on Friday owing to record weakness of the dollar, but then fell back, traders said. And the price of gold reached an historic peak of $976,32 per ounce. "This was part of a broad-based commodities run based on the continued weakness of the dollar," said Petromatrix analyst Olivier Jakob.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) on Friday lowered its projections for growth of oil demand this year in response to a slowdown in world economic momentum. Opec, in its February report, said demand would likely grow by 1,43% this year rather than its previously estimated 1,52%.
The world oil market could be set for a lengthy slowdown, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Wednesday, signalling a sharp shift in the climate that pushed the oil price to $100 last month. "Just as the demand shock of 2004 shaped the oil market for the next three years, so too could the pending slowdown," the IEA said in its monthly review of oil trends.
Erai Maggi does not look like a villain who is destroying the planet; nor does he look like a hero who is saving the world's poor. Wearing jeans and work boots, he can be found on a typical day driving a battered Fiat car on one of his farms south of the Amazon rainforest.
Venezuelan President Hugo ChÃ¡vez stopped oil exports to Exxon Mobil on Tuesday, escalating a multibillion-dollar fight with the United States company two days after threatening to cut off all supplies to America. The anti-US president's retaliation for Exxon's legal offensive pushed oil prices higher in late trading.
Gunmen aboard a speedboat attacked a security vessel as it travelled to a major oil industry port in Nigeria's Niger Delta, killing a Nigerian sailor, security sources said on Thursday. About 15 unknown gunmen attacked the vessel late on Wednesday as it travelled along the Bonny river towards Onne.
Libyan leader Moammar Gadaffi urged a sweeping reform of government on Sunday, saying most of the Cabinet system should be dismantled as it had failed to manage the North Africa's country's windfall oil earnings. Gadaffi said that big projects were behind schedule and so ordinary people should themselves devise a new way of sharing out oil revenues.