15 January 2017, Abuja – The renewed search for crude oil in the frontier inland basins has started impacting the monthly trading financials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), its monthly financial and operations report for November 2016 has disclosed.
Specifically, as a result of the fresh oil search activities, the NNPC, in November, incurred additional cost of N1.87 billion over the October figures, pushing the deficits in the review month to N18.72 billion.
The monthly report, released last week in Abuja, stated that Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL), NNPC’s subsidiary, which is in charge of hydrocarbon exploration services and provision of seismic data acquisition, has witnessed an increase in its operating costs, following oil search activities in the frontier basins.
The report stated that despite an improved revenue generation profile, upholding its oil finds in the frontier basins contributed to the deficits recorded by the NNPC in the month.
According to the report, “The corporation has been operating in challenging situations which limits its aspiration to profitability. This 16th publication of NNPC monthly financial and operations report indicates a trading deficit of N18.72 billion. This represents an increase of N1.87 billion in trading deficit as against October, 2016.”
It explained that, “The marginal increase in the trading deficit was due to an upsurge in IDSL operating costs attributed to the on-going mobilisation activities in both Benue Trough seismic data project located in Bauchi and Party 05 in Elele, Rivers state, despite an improved revenue generation.”
Apart from the oil finds, NNPC, however, added that there were other activities that contributed to its deficit business closure in November.
“The strike action by Bristow Helicopters workers delayed the planned lay-time of Okono Blend resulting to nil NPDC offshore export sales for the month. Other factors that pulled down NNPC’s performance include force majeure declared by SPDC (Shell Petroleum Development Company) as a result of the vandalised 48inch Forcados export line after the restoration on 17th October, 2016 amongst others,” it stated.
While the Federal Government in 2016 renewed its desire to grow Nigeria’s oil reserves with exploration in the Chad Basin, and Benue Trough, the IDSL, which undertakes seismic data procession and interpretation, as well as reservoir management services in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, was awarded the job to acquire over 500 square kilometers of 3D seismic data acquisition in the first instance from the basins.
NNPC also stated that it was collaborating with the Republic of Niger to share geological data that could boost its ongoing exploratory activities in the Chad Basin and Benue Trough.
It disclosed that it was in discussion with the Chinese company that is operating the Agadem, Niger Republic oil field for the construction of an over 1, 000 kilometres alternative crude oil supply pipeline to its Kaduna Refinery.
Past reports on Nigeria’s oil exploration in the frontier basins indicated that between 1977 and 1996, the NNPC commenced exploration activities in the Chad Basin during which 23 wells were drilled and only two wells – Wadi-1 and Kinasar-1, recorded non-commercial gas discoveries before exploration was suspended in the Chad Basin in 2000 for lack of commercial finds.
Similarly on the Gongola Basin, the government had between 1993 and 2000 awarded blocks in the basin to Chevron, Total and Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), and they reportedly acquired 3,153km of 2D seismic data, drilled one well each and made a non-commercial gas discovery in one of the wells – Kolmani River-1, before they suspended operations and abandoned the blocks.
Meanwhile, the corporation also gave an update on the operations of some of the country’s crude oil lifting terminals that have been impacted by acts of vandalism in the Niger Delta region. It said both Brass and Forcados were still shut.
“Forcados terminal; a force majeure declared since 15th February, 2016 was still in place in October 2016 due to the damage on the 48” sub-sea export which triggered a disruption in cargo lifting. The force majeure is still in place pending repairs of the line and stable/uninterrupted crude oil production
“Brass terminal; the force majeure declared on 22nd May, 2016 was still in place in October 2016 as a result of the sabotage on the Clough Creek-Tebidaba pipeline. Some wells were shut down from 1st to 31stOctober, 2016 for maintenance of critical equipment. A total of about 95,000bopd was shut in throughout the month of October 2016,” it explained in the monthly report.
In another development, NNPC has said 50 companies submitted bids to provide sea-worthy tug boats on charter basis for its maritime operational requirements in Lagos, Warri and Port Harcourt.
A statement from its Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Ndu Ughamadu, in Abuja explained that the public bid opening was held at the corporation’s headquarters, and had in attendance representatives of the bidding companies with officials of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), and some members of the civil society organisations as observers.
- This Day