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Nigeria economy on good trend as Bonny Light crude oil hits $67.10 a barrel

Earlier indications that Nigeria’s economy will look good this year are still emerging. The latest is the price of Nigeria’s Bonny Light crude oil which is currently cruising at $67.10 per barrel to become the highest priced product among members of Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Already, manufacturers are said to be getting seamless access to forex since the third quarter of 2017, meaning that the manufacturing sector is getting on stream better when compared to situation in first quarter of last year.

Alanysts say apart from Bonny Light crudes, other Nigeria’s oil grades such as Brass River and Qua Iboe also appreciated in value to sell at $65.32 and $61.22 per barrel respectively on Wednesday at the international market.

Observers say if the trend continues, the Nationall Assmbly may be encouraged to raise further the 2018 budget benchmark.

United Arab Emirate’s Murban; Algeria’s Saharan Blend and Qatar Marine also recorded impressive performance to settle at $66.83, $67.05 and $66.83 per barrel respectively.The Bonny Light is in high demand specifically by American and European refineries. It is therefore a major source of income for the oil-rich nation.

The very low sulfur content of Bonny Light crude makes it a highly desired grade for its low corrosiveness to refinery infrastructure and the lower environment impact of its byproducts in refinery effluent. At a broader level, at the New York Mercantile Exchange, United State West Texas Intermediate (WTI), crude futures traded at $60.45 a barrel during the trading hours of yesterday, recording its highest since June 2015.

Brent crude futures recorded a one per cent decrease in price at $66.81 a barrel yesterday, after hitting $67.29 a barrel few days ago.West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent, two major crude oil benchmarks, account for 70 per cent of the weighting in the Standard and Poor’s (S&P) Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (GSCI) energy index.

OPEC Secretary General, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, during the association’s yearly general assembly, attributed the improvement in prices of crude oil to the declaration of cooperation by OPEC and non-OPEC members.

According to him, “Together with our non-OPEC partners, we have co-authored a new chapter in the history of this industry, one that is about cooperation, stability and sustainability. Our work together over the past year has forged new relationships between OPEC and non-OPEC countries, which never existed in the past. This has led to new friendships, new opportunities and laid the groundwork for ongoing future cooperation. We can be very proud of what we have achieved working together.

“The decisions we made were historic and mark the first time in the history of the industry that 24 OPEC and non-OPEC producers have joined forces to help contribute to improving oil market stability. I am happy to say that we can now firmly put to rest any suggestions that this process we have started and the Declaration of Cooperation could not be successful,” Barkindo, former NNPC boss noted.