By Adedapo Adesanya
Oil prices fell on Monday as concerns about demand were stoked by the rapid global rise in Omicron coronavirus infections and rise in crude supply from Libya and Kazakhstan.
Brent crude lost 83 cents or 1.02 per cent to trade at $80.92 per barrel while the United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell by 49 cents or 0.62 per cent to sell at $78.41 per barrel.
Demand worries sparked afresh as a new round of fears in the face of the nearly 2 million new coronavirus cases discovered in the last 24 hours, defying high vaccination rates.
This concern pushed off gains recorded last week following protests in Kazakhstan that hit production at the country’s Tengiz oilfield while pipeline maintenance in Libya lowered production to 729,000 barrels per day from a high of 1.3 million barrels per day last year.
The world’s largest oil exporter, China recorded its first local transmission of the Omicron variant over the weekend in the city of Tianjin.
According to analysts, the high rate of transmissibility, combined with China’s address of the coronavirus with lockdowns, could bring the country’s first-quarter growth down by 0.6 to 0.7 percentage points to a bit over 4 per cent year-on-year.
Also, Kazakhstan’s largest oil venture Tengizchevroil (TCO) is gradually increasing production to reach normal rates after protests limited output and this impacted prices yesterday.
In addition, production in Libya ticked up on Monday as it rose to 900,000 barrels per day from 729,000 barrels per day after the completion of repair work on a pipeline, the country’s oil ministry said amid continuous blockade.
The pipeline that was repaired links two oil fields to the Es Sider export terminal. Its shutdown for repairs took 200,000 barrels per day offline, which coincided with field outages caused by blockades that shaved off more barrels from Libya’s total.
Last week, oil prices found support from rising global demand and lower-than-expected supply additions from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia, a group collectively known as OPEC+.
OPEC’s output in December rose by 70,000 barrels per day from the previous month, versus the 253,000 barrels per day increase allowed under the OPEC+ supply deal. That deal restored output cut in 2020 when demand collapsed during COVID-19 lockdowns.
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FG says Lagos Marine Bridge rehabilitation is 66% complete
The Federal Government, on Saturday, January 22, revealed that the ongoing rehabilitation works on the Marine Bridge Apapa, Lagos, is at 66% completion stage.
According to NAN, this was made known by the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos State, Mr Olukayode Popoola, during an interview, where he said that the rehabilitation of the bridge was being done in phases.
Popoola said that 24 expansion joints and 120 bearings had been replaced in previous phases adding that the new phase of rehabilitation works that began on Monday, will have 40 additional bearings and 6 expansion joints being replaced.
What the Federal Controller of Works is saying
Popoola during the interview said, “For this particular section that we just closed, we are going to replace 40 bearings and six numbers expansion joints. Previously, we have changed 120 bearings and 24 number expansion joints. The repair is a carryover from last year.
“The contract was awarded in September 2019, and the contractor started work in October, 2019 with the rehabilitation of failed sections of the bridge. The contractor has achieved 66.19 per cent completion and so far.
“Repair works have been carried out on two sections of the bridge with the replacement of 120 bearings, 24 expansion joints and the resurfacing of 610m of asphalt.
“The partial closure of the bridge on Monday is to allow the contractor rehabilitate the damaged section, which will involve the replacement of 40 bearings and six number expansion joints.’’
Popoola explained that the repair works in the new phase would be completed by April 2022.
He appealed to motorists to obey traffic regulations around the construction zone where traffic was partially diverted to avert gridlock.
In case you missed it
Recall that a few days ago, the Lagos State Government announced that it will partially close the Marine Bridge from Monday, January 17 to Saturday, April 2, 2022, for emergency repair works on the infrastructure.
The government stated that the partial closure was to allow the Federal Government carry out routine maintenance works on the bridge infrastructure.
The rehabilitation work on Marine Bridge first began on September 29, 2021, with the diversion of traffic for a period of 12 weeks to allow the Federal Government commence emergency repair works on different sections of the bridge.
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