A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

NNPC disowns firms purportedly shortlisted for crude oil term contracts

*Crude oil laden tankers.

OpeOluwani Akintayo

22 May 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has disowned 50 international and indigenous firms purportedly shortlisted to lift Nigeria’s oil under the 2018/2020 crude oil term contract.

As at Wednesday last week, news did the round that fifty companies including Oando, MRS, Total, and others, were awarded the contract to lift Nigeria’s crude oil.

However, in a response on Monday, NNPC’s spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu, said the list was “not official”.

Companies on the controversial list include AA Rano, Aipec Oil and Gas Limited, AMG Arkleen, Augusta, Barbedos, BB Energy, Bono Energy, Calson, Cassiva, Cepsa, Cretus, Emadeb, Eterna, Gladius Commodities, Glencore, Hinstock, HPCL, Leighton, Levene, Litasco, Master Energy, Matrix, Mocoh, North West, Ocean Bed (Sahara), Petraco and Petrogas.

Also included in the list are Propetrol, Prudent, Sacoil (Efosa Energy), Seer, Setena Energy, Setraco, Shoreline, Sahara, Socar, Sonara, Trafigura, Ultimate gas (Rahamaniyya), Vitol, Voyage, West Africa Gas, Zitts and Lords, ZR Energy (Trafigura), Obat Oil and gas, and Duke Oil.

The 26 Nigerian crude oil grades on offer included Bonny Light, Forcados Blend, EA Blend, Bonga, Qua Iboe Light, Yoho Blend, Erha and Escravos Light. Others are Pennington Light, Agbami, Brass Blend, Abo, Oyo, Okono Blend, Amenam Blend, Akpo Condensate and Usan. The rest include Atam Blend, Okwori, Okoro, Ima, Ukpokiti, Obe, Okwuibome, Ebok and Asaratoru.

The companies were expected to join NNPC to lift about 950,000 barrels per day (bpd) within the two-year period.

Some of the contracts were said to cover deals struck by the NNPC with various governments, including China, India, South Africa, Turkey, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Liberia, Niger, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Togo, and Malawi.

However, according to Ughamadu, NNPC is yet to release the list, saying that the official list of winners is “not yet ready”.

“The authentic list will be released soon,” he added.

At the bids opening ceremony in January, Ughamadu had said that winners would be selected as licensed off-takers to trade on Nigeria’s equity crude for a 24 months period.

During the exercise, the NNPC Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, told prospective bidders that the exercise was to promote greater participation of Nigerian enterprises while preserving world-class standards.

The NNPC Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division, Mele Kyari, also listed some of the conditions potential off-takers were expected to meet under the 2018/2019 crude term contract.

These include possessing a minimum annual turnover of $500 million for 2016 and net worth of $250 million for 2016, apart from having the 2015 & 2016 audited accounts.

Mr. Kyari said prospective off-takers was expected to equally demonstrate the capacity to establish an irrevocable Letter of Credit (LC) subject to contract terms, adding that successful bidders would join in lifting over 700,000 barrels per day of crude oil by NNPC on Free on Board, FOB basis.

Other conditions for lifting were on the marketability of Nigeria’s crude oil in the international market, particularly in Europe, which has remained the major market for Nigeria’s 26 crude oil grades.

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