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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ghana's Vessel Returns From Nigeria Without Oil

Government recently held a major conference and promised that its first crude oil consignment from Nigeria would arrive on Wednesday, October 7. 750,000 barrels of crude oil was the amount expected.

But, the Statesman can report that the chattered vessel sent to Nigeria tolift the crude oil left Nigerian waters empty last Thursday for Ghana.It arrived in Tema empty after being chased out of Nigerian territorial waters by the Nigerian Navy. according to our sources in Nigeria. The reason a Nigerian Navy source gave was that the ship had no legal order to load in the WEst African country.

An earlier report that reached The Statesman indicated that while the vessel docked in Nigeria for weeks waiting to lift the supposedly clinched crude consignment to Ghana, it was incurring port charges and bunkering/operational costs, etc. It is estimated that this whole futile adventure has cost the people of Ghana some $1,000,000 for both chatter cost and waiting charges at the Nigerian port.

The Nigerians, like the Indian government, are very unhappy with the Ghanaian government. The Mills administration, which has a manifesto pledge to stop Nigerian company Sahara Oil from lifting crude to Ghana has stubbornly refused to rescind on that decision while expecting Nigeria to be sympathetic to its oil woes, even though Ghana had reneged on earlier oil deals with its neighbour.

President Mills recently went to Venezuela, after the UN General Assembly ostensibly to look for alternative supply sources. But, sources say nothing was achieved there since the government went there with no programme of clarity. Promises of crude oil from Libya too have turned out to be empty barrels.

Meanwhile Will Connors of the Wall Street Journal reports that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries Secretary General Abdalla Salem El-Badri said Friday that current high oil prices weren't due to lack of supply but to speculators, and said OPEC wouldn't intervene or push extra supply into the market.

"If we see the price is going up because of a shortage of crude oil in the oil market, I'm sure OPEC would intervene and correct this," El-Badri told Dow Jones Newswires said in an interview in Abuja, Nigeria after two days of meetings with his Nigerian counterparts. "But what we are seeing at this time is not a shortage in the oil market." El-Badri instead placed most of the blame for rising oil prices on speculation.
Source: The Statesman

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