NNPC: FG’s Special Petroleum Force Takes off in 2017

  • Crude oil sales dropped by $26m in October

Chineme Okafor in Abuja

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has disclosed that a specialised petroleum force which the federal government said it would set up to secure crude oil and gas assets in the Niger Delta region would eventually take off in 2017.

The corporation however did not state exactly what month the specialised force would take off, but noted that it was targeting a zero vandalism of oil and gas assets facilities in the region in 2017.

It stated this in its October 2016 monthly financial and operations report which was released yesterday in Abuja.
“The Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate attacked Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) 32-inch pipeline crude oil delivery line at Effurun-Otor in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State to thwart the ongoing reconciliation between federal government and Niger Delta Community.

“Federal government is planning to establish a specialised petroleum force, comprising of coastal patrol teams, Niger Delta subsidiary police, and other paramilitary set-ups to ensure zero vandalism in 2017,” said the corporation in the report.

NNPC stated that notwithstanding some reduction in pipeline sabotage in the country, the development has however continued to reduce the government’s revenue from the sector.

According to it, “In October, 2016, there was 56 per cent drop in the number of pipeline vandalised point relative to September, 2016 (from 179 vandalised points in September to 101 in October).

“NNPC has been operating in a challenging environment which limits its aspiration to profitability. This 15th publication of NNPC monthly financial and operations report indicates a trading deficit of N16.85 billion as against September, 2016 trading deficit of N17.18 billion.

“The marginal improvement was due to improved petroleum products sales and enhanced cost control across the group. Factors that still drag NNPC performances include force majeure declared by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) as a result of vandalised 48-inch Forcados export line amongst others.”

The corporation said it was in need of Nigerians’ support especially in areas of security and infrastructure integrity, adding that a favourable business environment will allow the NPDC to reverse almost N20 billion monthly revenue it currently loses to vandalism.

On export oil and gas revenue, the corporation stated that it recorded a $25.76 million drop in the month under review.

“A total export sale of $105.74 million was recorded in October, 2016. This is $25.76 million lower than the preceding month’s performance. Crude oil export sales contributed $21.40 million (or 20.24 per cent) of the dollar transactions compared with $86.80 million contribution in the previous month. Also the export gas sales amounted to $84.34 million in the month,” it explained.

The report equally stated that in spite of the government’s liberalisation of the downstream petroleum sector, and intervention to ease oil marketers’ access to foreign exchange, the NNPC remained the major importer of petroleum products, especially petrol into the country.