•Raises average daily evacuation to 71.74m litres
•Company resumes pumping of products through Atlas-Cove to Satellite pipeline
•After adjustments, NMDPRA refuses to disclose official petrol pump price to Nigerians
In its sustained effort to wet the country with petrol and finally end the current scarcity and queues being experienced in the past few months, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) has ramped up supply of products to major and minor depots across the country with another 502.21 million litres last week.
The latest volume of supply is coming after the NNPC had penultimate week pumped 450 million litres to marketing companies in proof of its claim that the cause of the scarcity was distribution rather than supply.
The company disclosed this in its nationwide weekly petrol evacuation and dispatch report for Week 6, 2023, which it posted on its Twitter handle. It disclosed that its average daily evacuation for the week stood at 71 million litres.
Relatedly, NNPC has also disclosed that it had perfected plans to resume the pumping of petrol to depots through the Atlas-Cove pipeline, otherwise known as the System 2-B pipeline, from yesterday (Monday).
Also, in what appeared to be a case of denying Nigerians the right to know, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) refused to disclose the actual official pump price of petrol.
With the latest supply of 502 million litres to marketers between February 4 to 10, for onward dispatch to filling stations, it means that NNPC has within two weeks pushed 953.13 million litres to the market.
According to the report, the national oil company increased the average daily volume of product evacuated from all major and minor depots and terminals in the country to 71.74 million litres in seven days.
Analysis of the figures showed that the average volume of petrol evacuated daily at the terminals increased by 7.32 million litres to 71.74 million litres in Week-6 from the 64.42 million litres evacuated in Week-5, 2023.
The report indicated that 87 per cent of the evacuation took place at the top 31 loading depots, with a minimum evacuation of 5 million litres from StockGap terminal in Apapa, Lagos and a maximum evacuation of 71.53 million litres at Pinnacle Oil, Lekki.
The NNPC’s report stated that 28 other loading depots evacuated 13 per cent of the total volume as DANMARNA Petroleum Company recorded the maximum evacuation of 4.86 million litres, while Swift Oil and Gas had the lowest evacuation of 40,000 litres.
However, NNPC has also disclosed that it had perfected plans to resume pumping of petroleum products to depots through the Atlas-Cove pipeline, otherwise known as the System 2-B pipeline, from yesterday (Monday).
The Executive Vice President, Downstream, NNPC, Mr. Adeyemi Adetunji, gave the hint while speaking on Arise News Channel, where he fielded questions bothering on the current petrol scarcity and efforts being made to address it, alongside the Southwest Zonal Coordinator of the NMDPRA, Mr. Ayo Cardoso.
Adetunji said they had brought back the Atlas-Cove to Satellite pipeline since last week and planned to extend similar feet to other locations including Mosimi.
“In terms of the depots, we ensure that the pipeline issues we had with vandalism on our pipeline, we are also working on those. As recent as last week, we’ve brought back the Atlas-Cove to Satellite depot pipeline.
“What you call the System 2B. We’ve brought that back and all things are in place to ensure that from tomorrow, we start to load out products from the Satellite depots in Lagos State.
“We are also going to extend that to other parts, to Mosimi, and indeed, other pipeline systems are being worked on preparatory to having the Build, Operate and Transfer scheme that we have to do a comprehensive rehabilitation again of all the pipelines and depots,” Adetunji said.
While apologising to Nigerians over the fuel scarcity and queues being experienced, the NNPC EVP reiterated that the cause was not supply but distribution.
He assured that there was sufficient volume of petrol to serve the country for the next 27 days, noting that they have 1.6 billion litres in stock.
He explained, “We do have enough PMS. As of today, we have 1.6 billion litres of petrol in the country which is equivalent to about 27 days of sufficiency of the product. So with 27 days, we can supply Nigeria with adequate petrol even if we don’t import any litre going forward.
“But that’s not the case. We do import on a daily basis and by the end of this month of February, we expect about 2 billion litres of petrol in the country in stock, that is, daily stock, which is about 33 days of sufficiency.”
Meanwhile, the NMDPRA has bluntly refused to disclose the actual official pump price of petrol.
NMDPRA’s Zonal Coordinator, Southwest, Mr. Ayo Cardoso, who also fielded questions during the Arise News interview on Sunday night, refused to state the current official pump price of petrol when asked to do so.
Cardoso, who admitted that the federal government had adjusted the components of the pricing template to reflect the current change in macroeconomic indices and to give marketers improved margin, insisted on not disclosing the actual pump price to Nigerians, claiming that the government would disclose the actual price by the right “quarters.”
Cardoso said, “I will start by saying that the initial template that we use to determine the official price has not changed but the factors surrounding it, the reality right now shows that that particular template is not workable. So, the federal government has now adjusted the template.
“But what is happening right now is that, for reality sake, the marketers and the oil companies now came together and said, this is not working, what do we do to make sure that the populace does not suffer? And they all decided that in order to have some margin, there has to be some adjustments to the official price.
“So, if you ask me what is the official price, what I will be telling you is that this is an adjustment on the price based on market reality and the agreement of stakeholders. A meeting held two weeks ago, everybody came together to decide the going price and to look at the margin that would be appropriate for the public to be able to buy fuel, and for the marketers as well to be able to make some gain.”
He attributed the adjustment to the non-disclosed pump price to rise in the cost of transporting fuel from the high sea to the depots using a smaller vessel.
According to him, the cost of chattering those vessels around January was about $19,000 per day, but that the cost has gone up to about $60,000 in Lagos-Lagos while at Warri, Port Harcourt, Calabar, the price jumped from $30,000 in January to about $80,000.
He said the additional cost of that translated to the biggest problem that warranted the stakeholders to come together to agree on a margin that would be workable for everybody.
Cardoso maintained, “So, I will not want to say, this is the official price. But an adjustment was made on the official price and it varies from one state to the other after the meeting.
“Just like I’ve said before, I want to let you know that government has not categorically come out and said they have changed the price. What is happening is just an adjustment to market reality. And it’s actually based on business decisions and for the marketers to have some margin.
“For us in NMDPRA, it’s just to ensure that the whole place is wet and that we enforce compliance to the agreed principles at the meeting. I cannot tell you right here that this is the official price but the pump price has been adjusted based on market reality and that’s what we’re following.
“So, that price which varies from one state to the other is what we are going to monitor and ensure that every marketer sells according to what was agreed upon. If government wants to come out and say, this is the official price, that will be done by the right quarters.”
But the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, had told journalists in Lagos last Friday during an inspection tour of some filling stations that the actual pump price of petrol remained N184 as obtained in all NNPC stations, adding that whatever price NNPC was selling was the current pump price.
“Today, I went to an NNPC filling station and they are selling at N184 and that’s what all NNPC stations are selling. So, that is the price and all NNPC stations, 900 of them are selling at that price. But of course, you have all these sharp practices in the system and we’re trying to see how we can address them,” Sylva said.