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FG gets $29 billion from SPDC as NDDC gulps $1.8b in four years – THE GUARDIAN

The company’s General Manager, External Relations, Igo Weli, made this known in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, at the 2017 Swamp West Hub Integrated Stakeholders Engagement Forum for Tarakiri/Egbema/Oporoma Community Leadership.

Weli, represented by the Assets Manager, Swamp West Hub, SPDC, Mesh Maichibi, restated, the economic contribution from SPDC JV partners to the Nigerian government between 2012 and 2016 was $29 billion.

“We also know that we have NDDC and the NDDC was set up to develop basically the Niger Delta and the Federal Government has come up with a law where all the oil companies must pay certain amount to the NDDC for them to use in development.

“As a company, as a joint venture partner, we have contributed $1.8bn into NDDC’s fund within the period. And the expectation is that this fund will be used for the development of our communities’ socio-development, roads, bridges and all of that. That is part of the joint venture development that we have,” he said.

Weli said such disturbing situations could hamper development of the region, urging the people to cooperate with oil companies in order to achieve maximum benefits.

“We have had situations where our facilities were shut down. We have had situations where our assets have been blocked, not by outsiders but by those us from this region.

“The money that comes into our state and local governments is from production of oil and gas. We want all of us to help each other. When there is money in the state, there will be investment and development.

“If we allow these things such as oil bunkering, theft and vandalism to happen, the resources that accrue to the state will also go down and it will affect every sector of the state and local economy. That is why we are here. We want to talk. I want to show you some statistics of what we as a company have done towards the development of the region.’’

At the second second forum titled ‘EA Hub Integrated Stakeholders Engagement Forum for Iduwini/Mien/Kou/Bassan-West Cluster community, Weli said the essence of the forum was to get feedback from the communities.

Represented by the Shell’s Stakeholders Relations Manager, Dr. Alice Ajeh, he said: “The essence is to have continuous conversation with our communities, critical stakeholders for the feedback they have been giving us over time.

“They want us to have a continuous dialogue and this is one of the ways we feel we can bring all of them together to really think about the future of the Niger Delta, not just individual community issues, but collective issues of our future in the region.

“This is just for us to think about the future and therefore, the decisions they will arrive will help us to know the basis of working with them. When they understand what it is they will like the future to be like, whatever programme we are putting in place, they will ensure that they work so that the future will be better for us.’’

Also speaking, the EA Assets Manager, Dele Adigun, said that having engagement with their host communities had always been high on Shell’s agenda.

Adigun said there was the need to work collaboratively with the host communities to ensure sustainable peace and development in the region.

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Federal Government targets N3.6 trillion investments in oil, gas infrastructure – THE GUARDIAN

“The Institute has a lot of role to play in the gas policy in terms of training and development of local human capital. This Policy would lead to the harnessing of the country’s vast gas resources and the stopping of gas flaring in Nigeria”, he said.
Kachikwu stated that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is being considered in phases by the National Assembly.
“The Bill itself covers everything from the overhaul of NNPC to taxes on upstream projects, to regulatory framework of the oil and gas sector. I want to state firmly that PTI would be properly captured in the Bill”, he added.
He emphasized the need for local content development in the oil and gas sector, adding that “PTI tends to collaborate with Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), which has been mandated to construct a model modular refinery using local materials and technology.
“This refinery would be used for experiential training and for teaching purposes. The Institute would once again be involved in the training and re-training of personnel of NNPC thereby cutting off capital flight through local training in conformity with the Change Mantra of this administration.”
In his welcome address, the Principal/Chief Executive, PTI, Prof. Sunny Iyuke, disclosed that 48 students graduated with distinction, and 347 students graduated with upper credit.
He said that the institute would be collaborating with several universities within and outside the country in the Postgraduate Diploma and Masters of Science Programme in engineering.
He added that the institute and Wits University in South Africa were also finalising arrangements to commence Post Graduate Diploma and Masters in engineering.
Iyuke noted that this collaboration, no doubt, would break the HND ceiling for our teeming graduates and further boost our human capacity development.
He appeal to the oil and gas industry operators to take full advantage of the graduation ceremony to recruit the best who have been trained and are market ready.
He also made an appeal to Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) to complete the hostels, new academic building, renovation of the printing press and the installation of training equipment, which are on ground in various departments.
“I wish to appeal to Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to furnish the hostel donated to PTI and hand it over. It is my prayer that these challenges will be met before the commencement of the 2017/2018 Academic session,” he added.

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OPEC concessions: How Kachikwu led global outreach to boost Nigeria’s oil revenues – PUNCH

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Bitcoin smashes through $6,100 to hit a new record high – CNBC

At the same time, there are rumors that China could reverse its ban on cryptocurrency exchanges which is also giving bitcoin a boost.
Bullishness around bitcoin continues despite big business figures like JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon calling it a “fraud” and saying that people who invest in it are “stupid”.
In an unscientific survey carried out by CNBC this week, nearly half of the more than 23,000 people who voted said bitcoin is heading to over $10,000. Former hedge fund manager Michael Novogratz told CNBC in a recent interview that he sees bitcoin heading to $10,000 in the next six to 10 months.
Bitcoin has also been helped by favorable regulation in Japan which recently allowed companies to accept the digital currency as payment. Around 57 percent of the trade in bitcoin was executed in Japanese yen on Saturday, according to industry website CryptoCompare.
But the virtual currency has also suffered regulatory setbacks including China banning cryptocurrency exchanges.
Still, the price of bitcoin has risen over 500 percent year-to-date.

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There’s a change coming in Brussels — and it could be crucial for the euro zone – CNBC

Behind closed doors some names have started to emerge with the incumbents set to step down at the end of the year. The roles up for grabs will be the president of the Eurogroup (which brings together the finance ministers of the 19 countries that share the euro) and the president of the Euro Working Group (a less-known position, which decides the agenda of the Eurogroup).
Why do we care?
Both positions are key for the stability and future of the euro zone (the monetary bloc of 19 nations), and will oversee new rules that could be applied to European banks and could affect how Greece’s debt is restructured.
Furthermore, they will influence who will take the presidency and vice-presidency of the European Central Bank (ECB). In Europe, there’s always a “battle” of nationalities between member states when deciding which seat goes to whom.
The Eurogroup and Euro Working Group are “spiders in the web and often mediators between different countries and different interests,” Carsten Brzeski, chief euro zone economist at ING, told CNBC via email.
Who will replace Dijsselbloem?

Emmanuel Dunand | AFP | Getty Images
Eurogroup President and Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem
Jeroen Dijsselbloem is the current chief of the Eurogroup and the decision on who will replace him is expected at the start of December.
The Dutch politician is leaving in January and one of the 19 sitting finance ministers will take his role. At the moment there are five names being mentioned the most: the Spanish Finance Minister Luis de Guindos, the Portuguese Finance Minister Mario Centeno, the Slovak Finance Minister Peter Kazimir, the French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and the Luxembourg Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna.
Luis de Guindos has previously run against Dijsselbloem in the last election for the presidency, but failed to get enough support from his colleagues. He is also often mentioned as one of the potential names to fulfill the vice-presidency of the ECB and therefore may shy away from the Eurogroup.
Mario Centeno didn’t rule out the Eurogroup presidency in an interview with CNBC back in May. In his favor is the fact that he’s from the Socialist Party in Portugal, because currently the majority of the big European positions are in the hands of the center-right and EU officials tend to strike a balance between nationalities and political affiliations when distributing European roles.
Peter Kazimir is also from the left but he is often viewed, just like Dijsselbloem, as a center-right man. He has been one of the most critical ministers of Greece’s bailout program, incentivizing structural reforms and tough economic measures. This could hurt his chances if indeed ministers look for a president from the “traditional” left.

Eurogroup president: Now a good time to make euro zone more solid  5:13 PM ET Fri, 13 Oct 2017 | 03:00
The same applies to France’s Le Maire. It’s not a secret that the French President Emmanuel Macron is keen on securing some key roles for France. The skills of Bruno Le Maire are indeed a plus, such as his fluency in German, but he is also perceived as a right-wing politician. He belonged to the Les Republicains party and is in charge of fulfilling deep reforms in France.
Socialist parties across Europe haven’t had great results in the past few elections and have struggled to get into government. Therefore there aren’t many options from the left that could take the Eurogroup presidency. In this case, Pierre Gramegna from Luxembourg could emerge as the winner. He belongs to one of the founding members of the European Union and is from a liberal party.
What about the Euro Working Group?
The group has been in the hands of an Austrian man, Thomas Weiser, who has been crucial to overcome many stones in the Greek bailout program.

There seem to be two countries potentially taking this role: France and Finland. However, this role requires moving to Brussels and the French representative doesn’t seem keen.
So what about the ECB?
It is still early to discuss the future of the ECB, given that the mandate for the current president comes to an end only in October 2019. Before that, Europe will have to choose the vice-president of the ECB – currently in the hands of Vitor Constancio. The Portuguese man will end his reign in May of next year.
“In the entire musical chair game of upcoming nominations for European top jobs, the vice-presidency at the ECB is important. It could be a counterweight to the president. It could also be a way to give a smaller euro zone country a top job,” Brzeski said.
Again, Spain’s de Guindos is seen as a potential candidate.
What’s known at the moment is that it’s not certain that Germany will get the presidency of the ECB, despite many media reports pointing towards Jens Weidmann, the governor of the German central bank, as the most likely name to take the most important seat at the ECB.
“For Germany, or at least for the German public, the ECB presidency is highly symbolic,” Brzeski said.
“Even though a German ECB president could be a bit too much of German dominance in Europe, Germany could use the ECB presidency as change for agreeing to a set of more controversial measures when it comes to further euro zone integration,” Brzeski added.
However, some argue that Germany will want to have someone from outside its country to put the blame on whenever the course of monetary policy doesn’t fit its interests.
BY  Silvia Amaro

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Here’s how bond markets could react to the ECB next week – CNBC

Its findings, claimed to be broadly consistent with that of Reuters, suggested that the most market neutral scenarios are either an additional 20 billion euros for 12 months, 30 billion euros for nine months or 40 billion euros for six months.
Citi analysis predicted any larger, and therefore “super-dovish,” extension could drive 10yr Bund yields back down by 25 basis points to around 0.20 percent. This would be close to the year-to-date lows.
Conversely, Citi claimed that any limited, and therefore “super-hawkish,” extension could push 10yr Bund yields back up by close to 25 basis points to 0.70 percent. This level has not been seen since 2015.
Citi concluded that the neutral level of quantitative easing (QE) that the ECB could introduce while maintaining market calm was around 250 billion euros. Despite the findings, the research team at Citi believes the central bank will extend by a total of just 150 billion euros and will not specify a monthly purchase rate.
This would lead to a near term sell-off of 10-year bunds corresponding to a 15 to 20 basis point rise in the yield on the sovereign paper.
The bank added that the size of the purchases would provide a signal to investors on whether QE is most likely to come to a hard-stop or be open to continuation.
“For example, 20 billion euros per month would imply that QE could immediately end once the extension is complete. In contrast, 40 billion euros per month is far more likely to require a further taper,” read the note.
Draghi’s press conference, which will immediately follow the ECB governing council meeting on October 26, will screen live on CNBC International.

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Kazakhstan plans to launch its own cryptocurrency – CNBC

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