NNPC Lists NLNG Train-7 among Top Priority Projects for 2018

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• Fuel scarcity: IPMAN calls out members against sharp practice

By Chineme Okafor in Abuja

After years of waiting on the sidelines, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Friday said it would concentrate most of its investment efforts in 2018 on some mega oil and gas projects including the Train-7 of the Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas Ltd. (NLNG).

 NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, stated in London when he received an award conferred on him by Forbes Magazine, that asides the expansion of the NLNG train, the corporation would also concentrate its investment efforts on the Bonga South West/Aparo, Zaba-Zaba, and Bosi deep-water projects, as well as other critical gas projects and gas pipelines.

Baru, also said a possible divestment of the federal government’s equity in the Joint Venture (JV) and development of modular refineries were amongst the investments the corporation would undertake in the coming year.

A statement from NNPC’s Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, in Abuja, contained this. It also noted Baru’s call on foreign investors to partner with the NNPC  in these multi-billion dollar projects.

 Recently at the World LNG Summit in Portugal, the Managing Director of NLNG, Mr. Tony Attah, stated that the company was making steady progress on the Final Investment Decision (FID) NLNLG Train 7.

According to Reports, the Train 7 would upon its completion increase NLNG’s annual production capacity from its current capacity of 22 metric tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 30mtpa.

Notwithstanding, Baru, stated the NNPC would be aggressive in its investment plans for 2018, and would require international collaboration.

“Our programme for 2018 is very aggressive and will require cooperation from the international community in supporting our activities through technical and financial collaboration,” said Baru.

He added: “Today, the confidence of investors is being restored, thanks to good governance provided by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. I therefore call on you all to utilise this golden opportunity made possible by our supportive president.”

He also stated that the NNPC had in the last three years harvested about $3.7 billion in alternative financing agreements from its business collaborations with international investors. He said this was aimed at sustaining and increasing Nigeria’s daily oil production.

According to him, the alternative financing approach had yielded positive results and improved Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in Nigeria.

He equally stated that the alternative financing arrangement had deepened the participation of local banks in funding the upstream oil and gas sector considering that the funds were syndicated from both local and international banks and lenders.

He commended the local and international lenders and the Joint Venture partners for their continued faith in Nigeria and their support towards providing the funding.

On the Forbes award to him as the ‘2017 Africa Oil and Gas Man of the Year’, he said: “This award is so special to me. It is an award to Nigeria which fills me with immense national pride. It also reinforces the long-established and far-reaching impact of the NNPC in national, regional and global economic growth and stability.”

Meanwhile, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has called out its members to desist from potential illegal acts that could destabilise the free-flow of petrol distribution and sales in efforts to curb the sudden scarcity of petrol in the country.

Linking the scarcity to instances of panic buying and hoarding, IPMAN said the long queues were partly due to panic buying and hoarding of products by some depots owners and marketers in the country.

It indicated it would not tolerate its members engaging in such unwholesome practices, adding that despite the availability of the products in the country, some depots owners were the high demand for petrol during the festive period to create artificial scarcity to dupe Nigerians.

Its National Secretary, Danladi Pasali, said in a statement he sent to THISDAY that it national executives were abreast with efforts being made by the government to clear the scarcity, and would support it to see to its end.

The association however reminded the NNPC that there were still hitches in the current distribution system, and that such still allow some depots owners to determine prices on products that belongs to NNPC.

It equally said it was ready to assist in ensuring smooth distribution once the products was made available to them at affordable prices.

“We are calling all our members that engaged in sharp practices to desist in doing so in the interest of the masses and country at large,” the statement further stated, while encouraging the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to step up its supervisory role on marketers at all levels.