- 1.6 bn litres in stock, additional 1.1 bn litres expected in 25 days Nigeriaâ€™s crude blends maintain healthy price grades, sell at average of $52/b
Chineme Okafor in Abuja
A daily record of operations of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has disclosed the corporationâ€™s plans to sustain the petrol pump price crash it started last week with a healthy build-up of stocks.
Obtained by THISDAY saturday, the records from both the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and NNPCâ€™s Crude Oil Marketing Department (COMD), indicated that, currently, the corporation had accumulated 1.640 billion litres of petrol, enough to last the country up to 46 days of petrol consumption.
In addition to the existing stock level, the records also showed that 1.125.2 billion litres of petrol were being expected for delivery to the corporation between September 5 and 30, 2017, thus suggesting the country would have an additional 32-day product sufficiency going by its current 35 million litres daily consumption rate.
Last week, the NNPC disclosed its strategic intervention in the downstream petroleum sector of the country had resulted to some drop in the prices of petrol and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), also known as cooking gas, nationwide.
According to a statement signed by its Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, pump price of petrol had dropped from N145 to between N143 and N142 per litre across the country, while the ex-depot price dropped from N138 to N133.28 at its depot.
However, a high-ranking official of NNPC told THISDAY that the price crash was occasioned by its large product stockpile, and a decision to continue to offload products to make way for those that are incoming.
The official, who craved anonymity, stated that NNPC was augmenting its importation of petrol with supplies from its refineries, majorly Port Harcourt refinery, which the records said produced about 2.127 million litres of petrol on September 5.
He noted that, the efforts would be sustained going into the yuletide season when Nigerians usually have challenges of stable petrol supplies.
Notwithstanding, the daily operational records stated that the corporation had steadily taken delivery of petrol and on September 5, received 145.1 million litres of petrol. It similarly had a total of 333,072.827 metric tons (mt) of petrol delivered into the country between August 20 and 31, 2017.
As regards petrol distribution, the records showed that 775 trucks distributed the product to states in the country on September 5, with 208 trucks sent to states in the North-central; 219 to the North-east; 225 to the North-west; 19 trucks to the South-south; and 104 trucks to the South-west.
Meanwhile, the records equally stated that the prices of Nigeriaâ€™s crude oil blends at the international market maintained healthy trends within the periods of September 4, with the lowest staying at $52.785 per barrels.
According to the document, the Bonny Light, Qua Iboe Light, and Forcados Blend traded for $52.785; $53.285; and $53.335 per barrels respectively, representing an increase of $0.440 from the prices of the previous day.
While Nigeriaâ€™s crude blends have maintained healthy price levels, Venezuela has again called for her and Libya to come under the oil production cap agreement reached between member countries of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC countries led by the Russian Federation.
According to oilprice.com, Venezuelaâ€™s oil minister, Eulogio Del Pino, told reporters at an energy conference in Kazakhstan that oil inventories were still roughly 300 million barrels higher than normal levels. Del Pino suggested that the two African countries with exemptions from the production cap agreement should be put under quotas as well.
â€œThose 300 million barrels are going to impact speculation in the market. It (the level of inventories) is still very high,â€ Pino said, while disclosing that meetings with ministers from the Middle East and Russia on this had been planned for the near future.