- Â Denies selling crude oil to ghost trading companies
Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) thursday disclosed that it can now account for every barrel of crude oil sold from Nigeria, because it has achieved a 98 per cent automation of all transactions involving the supply, marketing and sale of the various grades and blends of the countryâ€™s oil across the world.
A statement from NNPCâ€™s Group General Manager, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, in Abuja, quoted the corporationâ€™s Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division (COMD), Malam Mele Kyari, to have stated this.
Kyari, explained in the statement that the crude oil transactions automation exercise would be concluded in 2018, after which the NNPC would have achieved an end-to-end monitoring of every barrel of crude oil Nigeria sells.
â€œToday at a click of a button we can tell you how much crude oil is sold, at what price, who bought it and where it has gone to,â€ said Kyari in the statement.
According to him, NNPCâ€™s projection was to operate a completely paperless crude oil data management regime in line with the ongoing transformation of its processes.
He said reforms which include open bid process of customer selection for lifting and purchase of Nigeriaâ€™s crude oil grades and emplacement of efficient crude for product import processes had been initiated in the corporation, adding that these has led it to save $1 billion in one year as well as, introduce improved pricing system that has also evolved into a robust and auditable pricing mechanism in the corporation.
Kyari further stated that the reform had led to the harmonisation of Nigeriaâ€™s crude oil data and lifting information, and provision of access to major internationally recognised reporting agencies like Plat and Argus Media to achieve real time reporting of Nigeriaâ€™s crude oil transactions.
He said this development had equally enabled the country to eliminate the perennial disagreement he said it had with its major stakeholder – the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on actual production and lifting figures.
Kyari, assured that the NNPC would continue to engage members of the public and other critical stakeholders to keep them abreast of innovations in the supply, marketing and sale of the various grades and blends of Nigeriaâ€™s crude oil across the world.
Meanwhile, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, has also said the corporation has been able to checkmate attempts by petrol marketers in the country to ride on the existing supply gaps to create artificial scarcity of the product.
Baru, stated in another statement from Ughamadu, that when the NNPC noticed the rising challenges which he said the marketers were already taking advantage of, it had to increase its supply volumes and that its daily petrol supply has gone up to 80 million litres from about 30 million litres.
According to him, the supply hiccups were propelled by rumours of an alleged planned increase in the price of petrol.
Petrol marketers, he added, made attempts to cash in on the situation by suddenly hoarding products.
â€œBut we swiftly swung into action by doubling our supply nationwide. At the time the rumour started, we had about 30 day sufficiency. The normal daily supply to the nation is 700 trucks, equalling about 27 to 30 million litres per day,â€ he said.
Baru, further informed that the NNPC had enough products to last up to 30 days, and that at least a billion litre of petrol laden cargoes were on their way to Nigeria, and should berth by the end of December to bolster the countryâ€™s 30-day supply sufficiency.
Meanwhile, NNPC has denied engaging companies without legal existence to lift and sell Nigeriaâ€™s crude oil grades in its 2017 to 2018 crude oil term contracts.
NNPC in response to a story in this regards, stated that the companies in question – AMG Petroenergy Limited, Brittania-U, Cassiva Energy, Hyde Energy, Masters Energy, Bono Energy Ltd and Sahara are not ghost companies and that they lifted only 8.8 million barrels of crude oil valued at $436.35 million as against the 67.2 million barrels of oil valued at $3.5 billion the report claimed between January-October 2017 from NNPC.
It said in a statement from its Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, yesterday in Abuja that the companies were duly registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) with their registration numbers.
â€œContrary to the assertions, NNPC duly entered into the 2017/2018 crude oil term contracts with the companies in their appropriate registered corporate.
â€œFurthermore, the companies collectively lifted a total of 8.8 million barrels of crude oil valued at $436.35 million as at 30th October 2017 contrary to the claim that 67.2 million barrels were lifted,â€ said NNPC which claimed the report was intended to disparage it.
â€œThe corporation wishes to place on record that all crude oil lifting transactions are backed by irrevocable letters of credit issued by investment grade banks and, therefore, all payments are pre-secured. The liftings by the seven companies and all other off-takers are bound by these requirements,â€ it further explained.