General news

Beware of fake essential oils, expert warns



An Aromatherapist, Mrs Abisola Arowosola, has advised Nigerians to be vigilant when purchasing essential oils to avoid fake products capable of causing adverse effects on the body. 

Arowosola, Managing Director, Mo’s Natural Solutions, gave the advice in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Lagos.

According to her, essential oils have numerous healing properties and benefits, yet, should be purchased with caution.

To identify fake essential oils, Arowosola explained that botanical names, pricing, consistency, packaging were things to look out for when buying essential oils.

“You can do a feel test. An essential oil should not be oily. If you pour it and it feels oily, then it is fake.

“Packaging is also important. It should be stored in a glassware because of the strong chemical components of the oil. If it is in plastic, it is not original.

“Also, the cover of the bottle should have either a stopper or a dropper. This helps to control the amount of drops used.

“It is also important to take note of the price. Essential oils are not cheap even if you are getting from the farms.

“It takes a ton of plant material just to fill a single bottle of essential oil, and when the plant is rare or scarce, it makes it more expensive.

“We do not produce essential oils in Nigeria. When we add the cost of buying, shipping, customs and NAFDAC dues, there is no way you can sell cheaper here than where it is grown.

“We have to be careful of what we buy, because what we put on your skin goes into the bloodstream; so we need to beware of fake essential oils,” she said.

NAN reports that essential oils are organic compounds extracted from plants with some proven healing properties, the act of which is called aromatherapy.

According to Arowosola, aromatherapy is a holistic treatment seeking to improve physical, mental and emotional health.

“You can use aromatherapy for physiological healing, respiratory issues, heart-related issues, detoxification, skin care, hair care, insomnia, among others.

“Every essential oil has its benefits. 

“For instance, when I woke up this morning, I was still sleepy and I had a lot of work to do. I inhaled peppermint essential oil to wake me up and keep me focused.

“Whenever I get nervous, I use frankincense, neroli or rosewood oils, using a diffuser bracelet.

“For respiratory issues, you can use oils such as tea tree oil, or eucalyptus. For wounds and skin care: cistus, lavender and sandalwood are good.

“There is no point in time you do not need aromatherapy, it just depends on what you want to achieve,” she said.

Arowosola, however, advised against the ingestion of such oils without proper medical prescription or supervision.

She added that the oils must be diluted before use internally or on the skin.

“You can only ingest under the supervision of a qualified medical practitioner or an aromatherapist.

“You can also get the same benefit by using topically or through inhalation. You can inhale using a diffuser, vaporizer or a diffuser bracelet,” she said.

Oil & Gas

National Oil Corporation announces reopening of major Libyan oilfield



“NOC announces the resumption of oil production at El Feel oilfield on Sunday and confirms the lifting of force majeure on crude oil exports from the Sharara and El Feel fields starting Sunday and Monday respectively,’’ said a company statement.

Production at El Feel field will start at a capacity of 12,000 barrels per day, while the full capacity production is expected to be reached in 14 days, given the damage caused by the shutdown, the statement added.

NOC on Sunday announced the re-opening of Sharara oilfield, the largest in the country, saying its full capacity production was expected to be reached in 90 days.

Oilfields and ports of Libya were closed in January by tribal leaders in eastern Libya, who accuse the Tripoli-based UN-backed government of using oil revenues to support armed groups against the east-based army.

The NOC confirmed that closure of the oilfields and ports have caused losses of more than $5.2 billion so far.


Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
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Oil markets see further gains after OPEC+ extends production curbs



The first time it has done so since March, after major oil producers agreed to stick to their current output restrictions for one more month.

While United States brand West Texas Intermediate added around 2 per cent to reach 40.44 dollars, European Brent oil climbed nearly 3 per cent to 43.41 dollars.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna and a Russia-led group of aligned countries, known as OPEC+, decided on Saturday to keep in place an output cut of 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) until the end of July.

The group had first decided upon this reduction in April, to prop up prices that were under pressure from the coronavirus crisis and the ensuing drop in demand for transport fuel and oil-based chemicals.

While OPEC+ has achieved their aim of reversing the price decline, analysts said on Monday that the current upward trend will not be sustainable.

Oil watchers at the Vienna consultancy JBC Energy pointed out that prices have been supported by massive oil imports into China, which could bring its buying down to normal levels soon as oil becomes more expensive.

On the supply side, some Libyan oil fields are set to restart production soon, while OPEC+ member Mexico opted out of Saturday’s extension deal.

“We cannot shake the feeling that, price-wise, this market has gotten a bit ahead of itself,’’ JBC Energy said in an analysis, predicting that prices will drop unless some other price-pushing factors appear.

Edited By: Halima Sheji/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
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Oil prices rise on OPEC+ cuts, record China imports



Brent crude was up 51 cents, or 1.2 per cent, at $42.81 per barrel, by 0628 GMT, while United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 32 cents, or 0.8 per cent, to $39.87 a barrel.

Both hit their highest since March 6 earlier in the session, at $43.41 and $40.44, respectively.

Brent has nearly doubled since the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and allies, collectively known as OPEC+, agreed in April to cut supply by 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) during May-June to prop up prices that collapsed due to the coronavirus crisis.

On Saturday, OPEC+ agreed to extend the deal to withdraw almost 10 per cent of global supplies from the market by a third month to end-July.

Following the extension, top exporter Saudi Arabia hiked its monthly crude prices for July.

But Howie Lee, Economist at Singapore bank OCBC, noted that the latest deal had fallen short of market hopes for a three-month extension of output cuts.

He said both benchmarks would require stronger bullish factors to propel prices back to where they were before March 6, when they crashed after OPEC and Russia initially failed to reach an agreement on supply cuts.

“It’s a big gap there; you need a strong conviction to go from $43 to pre-crash levels,’’ Lee said, referring to Brent being above $50 before the March crash.

Low prices have drawn Chinese buyers to boost imports.

Purchases by the world’s largest crude importer rose to an all-time high of 11.3 million bpd in May.

The OPEC+ move to extend cuts to July is, however, expected to lead to a supply deficit by October, aiding prices in the longer run, OCBC’s Lee added.

Market participants are now eyeing compliance among OPEC members such as Iraq and Nigeria, which exceeded production quotas in May and June, for trading cues, analysts said.

Libya’s supply could also rise soon as two major oilfields have reopened after months of a blockade that shut off most of the country’s production.

“The potential return of Libyan output could also cause considerable challenges for the OPEC leadership,’’ said Helima Croft, Head of Global Commodity Strategy at RBC Capital Markets.

Even as oil prices recovered, they are still well below the costs of most United States shale producers, leading to shutdowns, layoffs and cost-cutting in the world’s largest producer.

The number of operating United States oil and natural gas rigs fell to a record low for a fifth week in a row in the week to June 5, according to data from Baker Hughes Co.

Nearly 30 per cent of the United States offshore oil output was also shut on Friday as tropical storm Cristobal entered the Gulf of Mexico.

The storm weakened to a tropical depression on Monday morning.

Higher oil prices could invite the reinstatement of supply, notably the United States shale, that was planned to be shut-in in June and July, BNP Paribas’ Harry Tchilingurian said.

OPEC+ faces a Catch-22 situation,’’ he said.

“The resumption of output … may moderate the pace of rebalancing of the oil market.’’


Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
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Libya’s largest oil field reopened: National Oil Corporation




NOC confirms the return of production at the Sharara oilfield south of the country, after lengthy negotiations by the NOC to reopen the Hamada valve, which had been illegally closed in January,” NOC said in a statement.

NOC said production will start at a capacity of 30,000 barrels per day, with the full capacity production expected within 90 days due to the damages resulted by shutdown.

“The Libyan economy has suffered enough from the illegal blockades, and we hope that the restart of production at the Sharara oilfield will be the first step to revive the Libyan oil and gas sector and prevent an economic collapse in Libya,” said NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla.

Tribal leaders in eastern Libya closed oil ports and fields in January, accusing the Tripoli-based UN-backed government of using oil revenues to support armed groups against the eastern-based army.

The closure of the oilfields and ports have caused losses of more than 5.2 billion United States dollars so far, NOC confirmed.

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