NNPC Commits To Product Sufficiency Nationwide at Yuletide


By Andy Nssien

Respite may soon come the way of commuters at the Ijegun-Egba axis of Lagos State following a move by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to partner with the Lagos State Government, depot owners and petroleum tanker drivers to address infrastructural challenges that have perennially hampered products evacuation from the area.

This was disclosed by the Group Managing Director of the corporation, Mallam Mele Kyari, during separate visits to tank farms at the Ijegun-Egba corridor as well as the Lagos State Government House in Ikeja, Lagos,

He said as an enabler organisation to the Nigerian economy which also guarantees national energy security, the NNPC would continue to partner with stakeholders such as the Lagos Government, to sustain the current seamless supply and distribution of products nationwide, going into the Yuletide period.

“As a responsible corporate citizen, NNPC and its partners in the Downstream have made adequate preparations and our plan is robust and we foresee a very hitch-free Christmas full of products, well into the new year’’, Kyari assured.

While addressing tank farms operators at the Ijegun-Egba area, Kyari lauded their initiative to pull resources together to fix the Ijegun Road leading to the tank farms to ease movement of trucks in the area.

Mallam Kyari said although it was a palliative arrangement, the NNPC and its stakeholders would put heads together to provide a permanent solution to the problems.

Reacting to the GMD’s visit, Governor Babajide Sanwolu expressed his support to NNPC and its stakeholders’ initiative to tackle the infrastructure challenges not only at the Ijegun-Egba, but the entire state, adding that his administration would leave no stone unturned in tackling the challenges.

“This is the first time all the stakeholders are coming together to have a long-term view of the situation. We will do everything that is required to ensure that everything goes well on that entire corridor,” Governor Sanwolu assured.

Also speaking, Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Hon. Abdullahi Mahmud Gaya, expressed the National Assembly’s support to the initiative.

At the palace of the Oba of Lagos, His Royal Majesty Oba Rilwan Akiolu I, called on International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in the Country to do more Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities in their areas of operations.

Other stakeholders on the GMD’s entourage were the National President of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Comrade Williams Akporeha and the Chairman, Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) Unit of NUPENG, Comrade Salimon Oladiti.


Total Nigeria to drive growth with solar business

Total Nigeria Plc will optimise the vast potential of its solar business in Nigeria to drive its growth and sustain improved returns to shareholders.

At the annual general meeting yesterday in Lagos, Chairman, Total Nigeria Plc, Stanislas Mittelman, said the company will use solar power to power its 60 stations in order to ensure stability of import, logistics optimisation and maximisation of its solar business.

He said the company has signed a 15-year power purchase agreement with a manufacturing company in Ogun State to provide 999k wp solar hybrid solution.

According to him, with a combined capacity of 1MW and production of more than 1 gigawatt hour of clean electricity, the company recognises the potential of solar, hence its programme of powering its stations which have been equipped with solar to supply electricity.

“We remain a brand of reference and leading energy solutions provider and we are confident that the company will continue to grow and even though the working capital reduced this year, we still remain conscious of our role in the Nigerian economy with the support of our stakeholders and shareholders and we expect to consolidate on our past achievements and deliver value to our shareholders as we are well positioned to overcome the challenges of the business environment in 2019,” Mittelman said.

Shareholders commended the performance of the company while unanimously approving distribution of N4.75 billion or N14 per share as final cash dividend for the 2018 business year. It had earlier paid N1.02 or N3 as interim dividend, bringing total dividend for the 2018 business year to N5.77 billion or N17 per share.

Key extracts of the audited report and accounts for the year ended December 31, 2018 showed that turnover increased from N288 billion in 2017 to N307 billion in 2018. Profit before tax rose to N12.09 billion as against N11.79 billion in 2017. Profit after tax dipped slightly to N7.96 billion in 2018 compared with N8.01 billion in 2017.

Founder, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Sunny Nwosu, commended the company for its improved performance.

President, Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), Bisi Bakare noted that while there was room for improvement in the company’s performance, the payment of dividend resonated with the investors friendly policy of the company.

NNPC cautions against product supply disruption

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has warned stakeholders in the downstream oil sector not to do anything that could undermine the seamless supply and distribution of petroleum products that currently prevails across the country.

The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, who made this plea at the launching of Petroleum Products Pipeline Marketing Company (PPPMC) Business Automation with SAP Modules and Web-Based Customer Express in Abuja yesterday said Nigerians must not be subjected to any form of stress in  products supply and distribution.

PPMC is a downstream subsidiary of the NNPC.

Referring to the recent incident that occurred in Calabar Depot which led to the disruption of products loading and the consequent hiccup in products supply in Cross River State for three days before normalcy was restored, Baru appealed to stakeholders, especially the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), and the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) to resolve their differences in the interest of the citizens of this country.

The NNPC, in a statement, quoted Baru as saying:  “We have stability in fuel supply, the citizens should not be punished by unions who are supposed to make life better and comfortable for their members.”

Shell, communities set to resolve dispute over OML 25

Stakeholders, including communities of Oil Mining Licence 25 in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, and Shell Petroleum Development Company have agreed on the procedures for the re-opening of the oil field.

The Memorandum of Understanding, which will be facilitated by the Rivers State Government, will be signed on July 1, 2019, and signify the final resolution of the conflict.

This was the outcome of the meeting on Thursday between the host communities of OML 25, the SPDC, service commanders and officials of the Rivers State Government on the directive of Governor Nyesom Wike.

A representative of the Governor and Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Dr Tammy Danagogo, directed the Solicitor-General of the state to draft an MoU on the premise of the resolutions reached at the meeting.

Danagogo outlined the four-key resolutions reached during the meeting on the re-opening of OML 25.

He said, “The SPDC should pay the agreed funds into an account. The permanent secretary, community affairs, has been mandated to ensure that the funds are transferred to the communities.

“The SPDC should be able to pay the available sum latest by Monday. Shell would pay N260m and N75m by Monday.

“The communities should, within seven days of signing the resolution, vacate the facility.  Also within two weeks, Shell should pay the remaining part of N1.014bn.”

The Rivers SSG added that it was resolved that the SPDC would, therefore, obtain approval from the National Petroleum Investment Management Services to pay the money that accrued between 2009 and 2013.

He added that within two weeks of signing the resolution, the state government would set up a platform for Shell and the communities to renegotiate the Global Memorandum of Understanding.

The General Manager, External Relations, SPDC, Mr Igo Weli, said the first set of funds to the communities would be paid on Monday.

He said the outcome of the financial reconciliations would be paid within two weeks of signing the resolution.

Weli added that the SPDC, in line with the resolution of the meeting, was seeking the approval of NAPIMs for payment of funds for 2009 and 2013.

The Chairman of Akuku-Toru LGA, Rowland Sekibo, said the meeting initiated by the state governor had recorded a milestone with agreement on the funds to be paid by SPDC.

The OML 25 was shut down by some indigenes of the three communities in 2017, citing alleged neglect and non-implementation of development projects by the SPDC, which had been operating in the area for some years.

Oil rises to $66, Europe snaps up Nigerian crude

The international oil benchmark, Brent crude, extended its gains on Wednesday, rising to above $66 per barrel.

Brent, against which Nigerian crude oil is priced, gained $1.69 to settle at $66.74 as of 4.30 pm Nigerian time. It plunged to around $60 per barrel early this month.

Outages at North Sea oilfields have helped put competing Nigerian oil on pace to arrive in Europe at the highest levels in seven months in June, according to Refinitiv Eikon data and traders.

Nigeria is set to export about 905,000 barrels per day to the continent this month, the most since a roughly five-year high of about one million bpd in November, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

Norwegian and UK offshore fields in the North Sea normally provide a steady supply of lighter crude to refineries feeding northern Europe’s major economies and are traditionally more competitive than Nigerian grades due to their proximity.

But planned maintenance on Norway’s Ekofisk oilfields this month slashed exports to just one cargo from the usual 10 to 15. Flotta, another of the 12 North Sea fields, closed for repairs over two weeks in late May.

“Nigerian grades are normally middle-distillate-rich and with Ekofisk having undergone maintenance, Nigeria is meeting European demand for this type of crude,” Ehsan Ul-Haq, lead analyst for oil research and forecasts at Refinitiv, was quoted as saying.

Supply of the five North Sea crude grades that underpin the dated Brent benchmark is set to fall to around 720,000 bpd in June, from 948,000 bpd the month before.

The contamination of a pipeline carrying Russian Urals crude in April interrupted flows to central and eastern Europe for a month and left stocks in need of replenishment.

Higher volumes to Europe have provided an unexpected boom, with Nigerian exports to the United States on the wane for a decade due to increased US shale oil production, and demand relatively steady in Nigeria’s key markets, India and Indonesia.

“(Europe) always tends to act as the clearing house at lower value than the East,” one trader selling Nigerian crude said.

Though European petrol margins were said to have been middling and especially poor among southern European refiners, several factors might mesh in coming months to support Nigerian differentials, which stand near multi-year highs.

Traders said the possibility of a permanent shutdown to the fire-stricken Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery in the city, though it was a consistent importer of Nigerian crude, would increase demand for petrol refined in Europe.

Egina, heavy sweet crude from a new offshore field, was said to have proved consistently popular among refiners in northwest Europe.

“Exports of the grade primarily go to Europe, specifically the Netherlands and France, which combined took around 155,000 bpd in May, or 83 per cent of the grade’s exports,” said Mercedes McKay, analyst at energy consultancy FGE.

Nigeria, others need more oil exploration – Sahara Group

A subsidiary of Sahara Group, Asharami Energy, has said oil and gas businesses in Africa need to intensify exploration efforts to guarantee reserve replacement and enhance capacity to meet growing demand and global competition.

The company’s Managing Director, Olajumoke Ajayi, said operators needed to adopt new technology, explore alternative cost-saving measures, ensure sustainable community relations, and build diverse multidisciplinary teams to ensure successful exploration projects.

According to her, Africa’s large volumes of undiscovered oil and gas make the continent a veritable frontier for investment.

In her presentation at the Oil and Gas Council’s Africa Assembly in Paris, she cited the downturn in global oil prices and the corresponding negative effects on investor funds and returns as factors that had made a good number of exploration and production companies in Africa cut down on investments, delay Final Investment Decision or totally stop embarking on new capital projects.

Ajayi said, “Consequently, producing companies continue to pump oil from operated mature fields, thereby depleting existing reserves with non-corresponding efforts for reserve replacement via new exploration discoveries. The big question remains whether or not E&P players should commit to exploration and how players can justify this commitment in the face of lower oil prices.”

She said the compelling case for the relevance of hydrocarbons in the future, in addition to huge investments on new technology, responsible and intentional community engagement, would play a significant role in creating a stable and conducive environment for exploration and production.

“Sahara Group’s exploration success story is being driven by a combination of technology, innovation and community management expertise. At Sahara, we are intentionally committed to creating a sustainable balance between our projects and host communities to ensure the creation of shared value for all stakeholders,” she added.

According to her, strategic community engagements eliminate community interference in operations of capital projects that may lead to significant downtime; and ensure that the host community understands its role as a project stakeholder and treats projects as commonwealth source for the people, among others.

Buhari removes Kachikwu, appoints new NNPC board chairman

Image result for Buhari removes Kachikwu, appoints new NNPC board chairmanPresident Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Dr Thomas John as the acting alternate chairman of the Governing Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, bringing to an end the tenure of the former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu.

NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, who announced this in Abuja, stated that the new board chairman would hold the position until the appointment of a new Minister or Minister of State for Petroleum Resources by the President.

Baru also said the new chairman’s appointment was with immediate effect.

The GMD said, “Dr John, a former Group Managing Director of the NNPC, is before the appointment, a member of the NNPC Governing Board.”

Baru added, “He (John) will hold the position of the Acting Alternate Chairman of the Governing Board until a new Minister of Petroleum Resources or Minister of State for Petroleum Resources is appointed to assume the Chairmanship or Alternate Chairmanship position, respectively in line with Sections 1(3) and 2(1) of the NNPC Act. The new appointment takes effect immediately.”

The NNPC had seen series of changes in various management positions in recent weeks. Last week, the President appointed Mr Mele Kyari as the new Group Managing Director of the corporation, who would assume office after the end of the current GMD’s tenure on July 7, 2019.

The President also appointed seven new Chief Operating Officers for the corporation.

Oil rises to $65 ahead of crude stock data release

OIL prices ticked up on Tuesday after the United States (U.S.) market opened on anticipation that data due later would show decline in crude stocks.

Erasing earlier losses linked to concerns over waning demand, Benchmark Brent crude futures went up 32 cents at $65.18 a barrel. WTI crude futures rose 24 cents to $58.14 a barrel.

Sending a bullish signal, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday that U.S. crude oil inventories likely fell for a second consecutive week last week.

The numbers came ahead of crude stock data from the American Petroleum Institute (API), an industry group, and the Energy Information Administration (EIA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Energy, due on today.

“The market is waiting for inventory data later today (yesterday). If we get a signal that declines are continuing that will be positive,” for oil prices, said Giovanni Stauvono, analyst at Swiss bank UBS.

Weighing on prices, hopes for progress in the trade war between China and the U.S. during this week’s G20 meeting were dampened by a senior U.S. official saying President Donald Trump was “comfortable with any outcome” from the talks.

“The likely failure to reach a mutually acceptable trade agreement will raise demand concerns that will dishearten oil bulls,” PVM analyst Tamas Varga said in a note.

Demand concerns were briefly overcome last week when Brent climbed five per cent and U.S. crude surged almost 10 per cent, its strongest week since 2016, after Iran shot down a U.S. drone, adding to tensions stoked by previous attacks on oil tankers in the area.

Washington has blamed the tanker attacks on Iran, which denies having any role.

Trump targeted Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other top Iranian officials with sanctions on Monday. Iran said this move closed the path of diplomacy.

Meanwhile, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies including Russia appear likely to extend a deal on curbing output when they meet on July 1-2.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said international cooperation on crude production had helped stabilise oil markets and was more important than ever. He also expressed concerns about demand.

African Oil, Energy Pool capacity hits $90m

African Oil, Energy Pool capacity hits $90mThe African Oil and Energy Pool has an underwriting capacity of $90 million as at December 31, 2017, African Insurance Organisation Secretary-General, Ms. Prisca Soares, has said.

She made this known during the organisation’s conference in South Africa.

She called for patronage of the pool’s business, noting that this is required from across the continent.

She stated that while the African Oil and Energy Pool suffered three significant losses in 2016 and 2017 impacting the two financial years, it is anticipated that the destabilising effect should start changing in the short term.

She further disclosed that the pool provides needed capacity and underwrites businesses in Africa and some international markets.

As at the year ended 2017, the pool had 51 underwriting firms from 14 African countries as members, she added.

Similarly, Ms Soares revealed that the African Aviation pool in the period under review has an underwriting capacity of $17.5million for each risk and patronage is required from across the continent.

She said after the drop in income, which was partly due to falling premium rates, there was the growth in 2017 continuing into last year.

She also said the pool underwrites business from many African and international airlines and has membership of 52 underwriting firms spread across Africa as at December 31, 2017.

She said: “The general aviation industry was not left out in the recent sophistication in risk exposures and cyber risk exposure for instance became a new area of focus for aviation companies.

“In Africa, the challenges of infrastructure, operational costs and need for cooperation between airlines are still prevalent, but efforts at having open skies agreement  with stabilisation of the aviation sector in many African countries should lead to future growth.

“The African Aviation Pool continues to provide much needed capacity to the African aviation industry.’’

She disclosed that the manager of the Oil and Energy Pool and the Aviation Pool is the African Reinsurance Corporation.

Oando: USNC urges SEC to follow due process

The United States-Nigeria Council for Food Security, Trade and Investment has called on the Securities and Exchange Commission to follow due process in the issue involving Oando Plc.

In a statement made available to our correspondent on Friday, the USNC said, “Oando Plc, as a founding member of the council and as an active and valued participant in the council’s activities, plays an important role in promoting business and direct investment in Nigeria.

“While the body is committed to strengthening the commercial relations between the United States and Nigeria, it recognises the importance that strong capital markets play in attracting foreign investment, creating new jobs and stimulating economic growth.

‘If a regulatory body for the capital market is perceived to be stifling the market, it will have a detrimental effect on the ease of doing business, business growth and sustenance, deter new business and international investment, all of which will eventually translate to economic decline.”

According to the statement, the market is disturbed and investors are concerned that there is a capital market regulator that seems to lack a corporate governance structure and seems to apply compliance, fairness and equality as it likes, on its own discretion as opposed to approved, tried and tested processes and procedures.

“With the case gaining international attention, there is mounting pressure on both the SEC and the Federal Government of Nigeria to ensure that the SEC’s treatment of Oando does not serve as a deterrent to the international investing community,” the body said.