By Michael Eboh with Agency Report
The rebound in the price of crude oil in the international market continued yesterday, fuelling fears of a further hike in the price of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol, in Nigeria.
Specifically, the price of Brent, the benchmark crude oil, rose to $48.89 per barrel yesterday, from $45.52 per barrel recorded last Wednesday, when the Federal Government announced the hike in the price of fuel, representing an increase of 7.2 per cent.
To this end, the Department for Petroleum Resources, DPR, has warned petrol station owners to be vigilant, as unscrupulous individuals are on the prowl, cashing in on the fuel crisis and new pump price to defraud station owners.
This was even as the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, disclosed that the country’s crude oil production has fallen by almost 40 per cent to 1.4 million barrels per day, a loss of about 800,000 barrels per day, due to militant attacks on pipelines and other facilities.
Addressing members of the House of Representatives, Kachikwu said, “Because of the incessant attacks and disruption of production in the Niger Delta, as I talk to you now, we are now producing about 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd). We were at 2.2 million bpd but we have lost 800,000 barrels.”
Crude oil prices had in the last few days recorded a significant rebound, rising to a six-month high. The rebound was attributed to the shutdowns and disruption in crude oil export in Nigeria, with Goldman Sachs saying that the market has ended almost two years of oversupply and is now in deficit.
Data obtained from Reuters, disclosed that supply disruptions around the world of as much as 3.75 million barrels per day (bpd) have wiped out a glut that pulled down oil prices by as much as 70 per cent between 2014 and early 2016.
The report stated that Venezuela’s oil production had already fallen by at least 188,000 bpd this year; in the United States, crude production had fallen to 8.8 million bpd, 8.4 per cent below 2015 peaks as the sector suffers a wave of bankruptcies, while in China, output fell 5.6 per cent to 4.04 million bpd in April, year-on-year.