Africa’s top crude oil exporter Nigeria’s excess crude account (ECA) has dropped to $72.41m as of 7 July, a figure that was announced by the country’s finance minister just a day after seven people were killed in an explosion at the Gbetiokun oil field in southern Niger Delta region.
As of 20 November 2019, ECA, which holds dollar reserves from crude sales above the benchmark price, held $324.54m.
Nigeria has been running down on its oil savings account in a bid to support the country’s economy, which has been badly impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak.
Crude oil sales create 90% of foreign exchange earnings in the country, Reuters reported.
The World Bank predicts that the country’s economy will sink by 3.2%-7.4% this year. This is, however, based on the severity of the coronavirus outbreak.
A total of 30,748 cases and 689 deaths have so far been confirmed in Nigeria.
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The oil field explosion that led to fatalities occurred at OML 40, operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) and the Elcrest joint venture.
According to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the explosion occurred during the installation of a ladder on a platform.
NNPC stated: “The bodies of casualties have been deposited in a morgue in Sapele while families of the personnel involved are being contacted by their employers: Weld Affairs and Flow Impact, which are consultants to NPDC.”