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APPO seeks collaboration among African countries on oil, gas



African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO) has called for more collaboration among African countries in order to maximise the continent’s oil and gas potential for the benefit of its citizens.

The Nigeria News Agency  reports that Dr Omar Ibrahim, Secretary General, APPO, made the call on Tuesday at the Fourth Sub Saharan Africa International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (SAIPEC) in Lagos.

The conference, organised by the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), has the theme: “Oil and Gas as an Enabler for Economic Transformation in Sub Saharan Africa.”

Ibrahim noted that more hydrocarbon discoveries were being made in Africa, which could be harnessed to meet the continent’s social and economic needs.

He said that unfortunately, the world was moving toward renewable energy with deliberate policies aimed at reducing investments in exploration, refining and processing of crude oil.

Ibrahim said Africa had over 600 million people without access to energy, stressing that such policies would only spell doom for the continent unless its governments embark on strategic collaboration.

“We need to take our destinies into our hands because very soon we might not have the technology to bring out the crude, and even if we manage to do that, there will not be a market for our product.

“No foreign government or international oil company is willing to transfer their technology to us.

“APPO believes that we need to domesticate oil and gas technology in our continent and encourage local content development in our oil and gas industry,” he said.

According to him, African countries can collaborate in areas of human capital, infrastructure development and data sharing.

Also speaking, Mr Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) said Africa had the resources and population to achieve sustainable development.

Wabote said collaboration among the countries was pivotal toward actualising the objective, noting that efforts such as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) should be encouraged.

He also disclosed that the NCDMB and Waltersmith Petroleum Oil Limited 5,000 barrels-a-day modular refinery being developed at Ibigwe in Imo State would begin production in May.

The executive secretary said the project had attracted the government of Equatorial Guinea, whose Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, Mr Gabriel Lima, recently visited Nigeria to learn more about its workings.

On his part, Mr Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said oil had served as key enabler to the economic transformation of many nations like Norway, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar among others.

Kyari, represented by Mr Yusuf Unman, Chief Operating Officer, Gas and Power, NNPC, said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration had made it a priority to diversify the country’s economy.

He said: “In order to achieve this objective, it means more money will be required from the oil and gas to fund new economic projects outside the oil and gas industry.

“In the upstream, we are increasing oil production from 2.3 million bbl/day to 3 million bbl/day.

“At the same time we are working with partners to significantly reduce our cost per barrel in order to improve the flow of the needed revenue to support economic diversification.

“The recent passage of the Deep Offshore Act into law has set the industry on the path of growth.

“By that singular action, we have succeeded in creating stability and confidence around our hitherto unpredictable fiscal system.

“We believe this will attract the needed investment in the upstream and support the realisation of our aspiration to increase our nation’s oil reserve to 40 billion barrels by 2025.”

Earlier in his address of welcome, Mr Bank-Anthony Okoroafor, Chairman, PETAN, said effective integration of regional governments and extracting companies could transform Africa’s economies and the lives of its citizens.

Okoroafor said SAIPEC was designed to showcase the available opportunities in the Sub Saharan African oil and gas industry and present a platform to discuss how to unlock these opportunities.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Oluwole Sogunle

Oil & Gas

Downstream operators renew quest for total deregulation of sector



Operators in the petroleum downstream have told the Federal Government to take advantage of the unique opportunity provided by the crash in global crude oil prices to fully deregulate the sector.

They also called for a legislative framework to address compliance, enforcement and pricing in the importation of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), to ensure that market forces solely determined the cost of the product for Nigerians.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the operators spoke at the Nigerian Petroleum Downstream Summit webinar, hosted by Oil Trading and Logistics (OTL) Africa Downstream.

Mr Adetunji Oyebanji, Chairman of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, said the crash in crude oil price was a unique opportunity to take fundamental decisions to revolutionise the downstream.

Oyebanji, who is the Managing Director of 11Plc, said the government must allow private sector input in deliberations leading up to full market deregulation.

He explained that the government never stopped marketing companies from importing PMS, adding that market forces were responsible for their decision.

“We need a framework to avoid past mistakes. When government retains control of prices, it brings pressure on itself and this is not sustainable.

“Take in the following numbers: N10 trillion has been spent on subsidies in 15 years,” he said.

Also, Hajiya Amina Maina, Chief Operating Officer of MRS Holding Ltd., said the company had invested in West Africa’s largest petroleum jetty facility in anticipation of deregulation.

Maina said the facility had capacity for 100,00MT LR2 vessels to save cost, improve efficiency and transfer savings to consumers, adding that deregulation would provide the best time for depot operators to put their investments to work.

Dr Billy Gillis-Harry, President of the Petroleum Products Owners Association of Nigeria, said the group supported total deregulation and that it would be wrong to assume that retail outlets operators were indifferent to the initiative.

He, however, argued that pressure from deregulation weighed heavily on last-mile operators as they were the operators in direct contact with consumers.

Mr Emeka Akabogu, Chairman of OTL Africa, explained that the legislative framework was critical because the prices of crude would rise definitely in future, which might result to another subsidy regime.

“There must be a legislative framework that addresses compliance; that addresses enforcement and also addresses a pricing formula.

“This is important so that at any point in time, no matter how high the crude price becomes at the global market, the formula will help to adjust the price to protect the market,” he said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Silas Nwoha (NAN)




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NOSDRA is investigating cause of fire at OML 95 says D-G



The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) on Monday said that the ongoing fire at Ororo oilfield at Oil Mining Lease (OML) 95 is being investigated.


Mr Musa Idris, Director-General of NOSDRA, in a telephone interview with News Agency of Nigeria confirmed that the fire outbreak started at the weekend.


He said that a Joint Investigative Visit (JIV) to ascertain the cause of the inferno had been convened.


“The well head of Ororo OML 95, operated by Guarantee Petroleum Co Limited, caught fire on Saturday.


“The company has engaged Haliburton and Chevron Nigeria Limited to assist it in extinguishing the fire.


“It will certainly take at least six weeks in the earliest to accomplish that.


“Chevron itself battled a similar fire outbreak on well head last year and  it took it eight weeks to extinguish the fire through an indirect well.


“Joint Investigation will, however, be carried out because of the emergency nature,” Idris said.


The NOSDRA D-G  stated that no life was lost in the incident as all crew were evacuated early.


The oilfield is located at the shallow offshore off the shoreline of  Ondo near Ojumole.


The oil asset was operated by Chevron Nigeria Limited but acquired by  Guarantee Petroleum Co. Limited, an indegenous firm, following the divestment by Chevron from OML 95.

Edited By: Donald Ugwu (NAN)

OML-95-FIRE-225×300.jpg 225w,×1024.jpg 768w,×1536.jpg 1152w, 1215w” data-lazy-sizes=”(max-width: 225px) 100vw, 225px” data-lazy-src=”×300.jpg”>

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Mixed reactions trail FG’s deregulation of downstream oil sector



Some experts in the Oil and Gas sector have expressed concern over Federal Government’s pronouncement of deregulating the downstream oil and gas sector without a law backing it.

Prof. Wumi Iledare, the former President, Nigeria Association of Energy Economics (NAEE) told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Sunday that government needed to back the deregulation with a new law.

“Deregulation has to be backed by dissolution or discontinuation of an existing regulation or law.

The Petroleum Act 1969 as amended, empowers the Minister of Petroleum to set the price and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) Act is the enabler as from the name.

He noted that when the downstream oil sector was properly deregulated, it would be in the gazette for full implementation.

“To deregulate, there must be a regulation gazette not implied from executive order or in the front pages of the newspaper.

“You cannot have an unstructured PPPRA and Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) and claim to have a deregulated downstream,” he said.

Mr Joseph Nwakwue, the Chairman, Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Nigerian Council, argued that the government was yet to deregulate the downstream, especially as there was yet to be an amendment or change in the existing legislative framework.

“Deregulation?  That is a tall one. Do you fix prices in a deregulated market?

“To deregulate, the downstream would require change in the existing legislative framework and market structure in my humble opinion.

“We may have set the pump price at cost recovery levels but have not taken the necessary steps towards deregulating the sector.”

Meanwhile, Dr Billy Gills-Harry, the President, Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN) said government should make open the terms of the deregulation to enable marketers carry out their functions in line with the guidelines.

“There is no hard and fast rule as to how a particular policy can be reviewed. Most policy is mostly an executive exercise or order.

“If the Minister of Petroleum Resources, which is President Muhammadu Buhari, is speaking through the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Slyva to say that deregulation has started; we cannot fault it.

“The only thing we can say is that, what are the rules? What are the extant laws backing it? What are the situations that would   make sure that this deregulation stands?

“What would be the role of the PPPRA then? What would PEF be doing? Those are the questions,’’ he said.

According to him, the minister is not wrong if he says that deregulation has started.

“The only thing I will request him to do is to engage PETROAN and other stakeholders.

“This is because in the petroleum sector, PETROAN is a very critical stakeholder because we are the last mile in the distribution chain before the consumers get the products for their vehicles or get gas in their cylinders to cook,’’ he said.

NAN reports that Sylva had on May 14 announced that deregulation of the downstream oil sector took effect on March 19, with the reduction of the pump price of the Premium Motor Spirit also known as petrol.

He said the PPPRA would continue the pricing modulation of petroleum products to protect the interest of consumers and not allow profiteering among marketers.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Grace Yussuf (NAN)

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NNPC tasks newly-recruited graduate trainees on commitment



Malam Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has urged the organisation’s newly recruited graduate trainees to be  committed to their duties.

The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC,  Dr Kennie Obateru, made this known in a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja.

He said that Kyari, through a virtual platform session with the new employees in Abuja, as part of their onboarding programme, advised them to go the extra mile in achieving extraordinary results for the NNPC.

“This is a company you will love to work for. But more than that, you will stay here and build a very fulfilling career.

”I have been around here for 29 years, and I have enjoyed every moment of it,” Kyari said.

The managing director  said that  it was also imperative for the new staff to work harmoniously with old ones in making the corporation become the National Oil Company (NOC) of choice.

He enjoined the graduate trainees to come up with ideas that would assist NNPC in crude oil exploration, refining, marketing, supplying and distribution of petroleum products.

Kyari, who described the trainees as excellent minds that represented the corporation’s future,also assured them of top management support, adding that the NNPC had always promoted gender equality.

“From top down of the corporation, gender inclusiveness is reflected”, he said.

Kyari said that it was important for them to always to uphold the  corporation’s values of respect for the individual, integrity, transparency, accountability and professional excellence.

He said that the corporation was committed to creating the right environment for the new entrants’ career growth and development.

According to the statement, one of the trainees, Safula Karanga from Gombe State, in response, commended Kyari for his good  leadership stlye that was also reflected in the recruitment process.

Karanga also thanked the NNPC Chief for the corporation’s medical interventions to the 36 states of the Federation in the fight against COVID-19 transmission.

Another entrant, Oluwatobi Ayo Yusuf, from Lagos State, according to the statement, thanked the NNPC for the vision of providing a level playing field for all the participants in the recruitment process.

Yusuf said that the recruitment process was the most transparent exercise that he had ever participated in Nigeria.

Similarly, Onianwa Vin-Kingsley, is quoted as saying that the recruitment was remarkable, urging  other public and private organisations to emulate the NNPC in their recruitment processes.

Another trainee, Onyeulo Ikenna, a first-class graduate of Chemical Engineering, is quoted as saying  that he was happy for  the employment without knowing any godfather.

Enyi Ada, from Rivers State, according to the statement,  also said that her  NNPC  recruitment experience had  removed her earlier fear  that the COVID-19 pandemic would disrupt the recruitment.

“We are a special people who have been onboarded at a challenging time like this,” she said.

Bolarinwa Simeon, a civil engineer, also said that the  recruitment process was transparent and credible from the computer-based test interview.

Suleiman Mahmud, on his part, is quoted as describing the appointment as miraculous, because he  applied on the last day of the submission of application.

Edited By: Victor Asije/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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LPG penetration: FG to roll out policy in June – Sylva



The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, says  the Federal Government will roll out its policy on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG),  also known as Cooking Gas, toward the end of June 2020, to ensure its penetration across the country.

Sylva made the disclosure in Abuja on Thursday while briefing newsmen on the performance of the sector.

He said that government had planned to roll out the policy  around  the end of April 2020  but could not because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We had a roll out date in April ending, but because of the COVID-19, gathering was not possible; we have moved it to May ending, but we are not seeing the possibility of it going to happen.

“We have now considered to roll out in June ending. We are going to start, and a lot of jobs will be created through it, ” the minister said.

He said that under the policy, government planned  to set up 32,000 Micro Distribution Centres (MDC) for LPG across the country.

Sylva said that 5000 youths across the country would be trained in the business, especially in fabrication of the material, and would be given starter packs  to be able to sell the products.

According to him, some of the illegal retailers of the product will be incorporated in the programme to help in achieving the aim of penetration in all areas in the country.

He said that the programme would create a lot of jobs in the country and encourage more Nigerians to use LPG.

On acreages (oil wells),  Sylva said  that the petroleum ministry had got approval from the Presidency for the award of marginal oilfields.

“The oil well award will be conducted this year on the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

“The Federal Government would conduct  major oil bid rounds, especially after issues surrounding the fiscals and other issues have been addressed,’’ he said.

Sylva said that work had been concluded on the PIB, and the petroleum ministry was on the verge of presenting it to the President and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval.

He said it would, thereafter, be presented to the National Assembly.

Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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We deregulated downstream oil sector in March — Sylva



The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva says the downstream oil sector was deregulated on March 19, with the reduction in the pump price of the Premium Motor Spirit(PMS) also known as petrol.

Sylva made the clarification at a ministerial briefing giving a score card of the performance of the sector in Abuja, on Thursday.

He said that the monthly price modulation introduced by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) was to ensure that Nigerians benefited from the development in the sector.

“I am not just announcing deregulation today , let us try and understand ourselves about deregulation, deregulation I said took effect on the March 19, what we announced was already deregulated we all know,

“Fortunately, we have completely deregulated the product supply system, so we took out subsidy from PMS.

“At this point, I see some kind of paradox because we started by trying to avoid or stop product smuggling across our borders, so, with deregulation and removal of subsidy, I see us getting to the point where we might be encouraging the development of market even outsider our borders.

“Now, NNPC is no longer bearing the burde,” he said.

He added that the PPPRA pricing regulation was strategic as government would not allow the marketers to determine the price to sell the products wholly.

“ The PMS and petroleum products are very strategic commodities, so you cannot allow the price of this commodities to be determined only by marketers.

“It is government responsibility to protect the consumers, anywhere in the world, if you want to buy anything, you have what you call the recommended price.

“The consumer protection agency will fix a price, so that nobody will profiteer on the people. So, if you allow marketers to just go ahead and fix prices as they like, it will not be good for our people because this commodity is very central to the lives of our people,’’ he said

Sylva noted that the regulator would always determine products price bearing in mind what marketers had spent to give space for them to make profit and also ensure that consumers were protected.

“If you say that PPPRA should not at list work with the marketers, the marketers can decide to profiteer on the people.

“Look at one problem that we have been having with the marketers , today we drop down the price of PMS because the landing cost came down and the landing cost of AGO (Diesel) also came down but the marketers have refused to bring the price down.

“ We have been having a running battle with them to bring their price down because the landing cost has also reduced but they refused,’’ he added.

The Minister noted that government has the right to protect the consumer adding that the PPPRA was established to play that role.

On no price template for the month of May, he said that the PPPRA was instructed not announce any price as it was not necessary.

“Yes, we told PPPRA not to announce any price because it is not necessary, after all FAAN determines the price of airline tickets, they don’t announce all the time, they just discuss with the marketers and they increase the ticket price

CBN regulates interest rates with the banks, so, that way PPPRA will be working with the marketers and ensure that the best pricing is achieved for the consumers but as I said, government is also mindful of the fact that prices can go up and also go down,’’ he added.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that due to the global crash in oil price, the PPPRA announced that it would be issuing monthly price modulation for the pump price of PMS and other products.

In March, the price of PMS was reduced from N145 to N125 per liter, on April 1, it issued a price band of lower N123 and higher N125 per litre and in May no price adjustment was announced.

Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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NLNG signs contracts with Consortium for Train 7



The Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) has signed the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contracts for its Train 7 Project with the SCD JV Consortium.

Mrs Eyono Fatayi-Williams, NLNG General Manager, External Relations, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja, on Wednesday.

She said that the consortium comprised affiliates of Saipem, Chiyoda and Daewoo.

Fatayi-Williams said the execution of the EPC contracts triggered the commencement of the Detail Design and Construction phase of the Project.

This, she said, was expected to increase the capacity of NLNG’s current six-train plant by 35 per cent, from the extant 22 Million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA) to 30 MTPA.

She quoted Mr Tony Attah, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NLNG as saying that the EPC contracts represented yet another milestone in NLNG’s journey.

The CEO said it was a journey toward achieving the vision of being a global LNG company, helping to build a better Nigeria.

He said: “With the award of the EPC contracts to our preferred bidders (SCD JV), we are guaranteeing that our country remains significantly on the global list of LNG suppliers.

” This singular act clearly demonstrates our shareholders’ determination and resolve to sustain the economic dividends that NLNG’s monetisation of our vast natural gas reserves offers our great country Nigeria,” he said.

Attah further expressed confidence in SCD JV consortium’s proven competence.

He said that the demonstration of an understanding of NLNG’s business philosophy by the consortium would positively influence the execution of the project and ensure zero harm to people, environment and host communities.

Also, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Malam Mele Kyari, commended the NLNG’s successes and its operating model.

“Nigeria LNG’s successes since it started operation in 1999 continue to prove that the company operates a unique business model that is profitable to all its stakeholders.

NNPC and the other shareholders — Shell, Total and Eni — are proud to be a part of this exceptional Nigerian brand that stands out in the global market,” Kyari said.

According to him, it is for this reason that President Muhammadu Buhari instructed through the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources that NNPC, as a shareholder, must do everything possible to support all  other shareholders .

He said that the president also instructed the NLNG’s management to secure the much-needed public confidence from all critical stakeholders, especially the critical agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria and international investors, to pursue the company’s ambition of adding a seventh train to its existing production capacity.

” I encourage every stakeholder involved in execution of the Train 7 Project, especially the SCD JV consortium, NLNG Train 7 Project Team and the Company’s Management to leave no stone unturned in making this project a reality,” he said.

The train 7 Project, upon completion, would  support the federal government’s drive to generate more revenue from Nigeria’s proven gas reserves of about 200 Trillion Cubic Feet (Tcf) and further reduce gas flaring in the country’s upstream oil and gas industry.

The construction period was expected to last approximately five years, with first LNG rundown expected in 2025.

NLNG is an incorporated Joint-Venture owned by four shareholders, namely, the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by NNPC; Shell Gas B.V.; Total Gaz Electricite Holdings France; and Eni International.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)


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NNPC records N211. 62bn from products sales in February – Report



The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it recorded ₦211.62 billion sale of white products in February.

The white products are Kerosene, Diesel and Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol.

The corporation disclosed this in its Monthly Financial and Operation Report (MFOR), released in Abuja on Tuesday.

The sales, it said, were made by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), the corporation’s downstream subsidiary company in charge of bulk sales and distribution of petroleum products.

It noted that the ₦211.62billion figure was significantly higher compared to the previous month’s record, which stood at ₦151.79billion.

It also indicated that total revenues recorded from the sales of white products for the period, February 2019 to February 2020, stood at about ₦2.6 trillion.

According to the report, petrol contributes about 98.06 per cent of the total sales value of about ₦2.5trillion.

The report stated that about 1.7billion litres of white products were sold and distributed by PPMC in the month of February compared with about 1.2 billion litres sold in January.

“This comprised about 1.7 billion litres of PMS and 1.09million litres of AGO.

“Also, there was sale of 0.01million litres of special product, Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO) in the month.

“Total sale and distribution of white products for the period February 2019 to February 2020 stood at about 21billion litres, and PMS accounted for 20.8billion litres or 98.73 per cent,” it said.

The report further noted that during the period under review, a total of 32 pipeline-points either malfunctioned or were vandalised.

This, it said, represented about 47 per cent decrease from the 60 points recorded in January.

“These comprised of 22 pipeline breaches, eight weld failures and two pipeline ruptures.

“Mosimi area accounted for 78 per cent of total cases, the Port Harcourt axis 16 per cent, and all other routes accounted for the remaining 6 per cent,” it said

On natural Gas off-take, commercialisation and utilisation, it noted that out of the 241.74 Billion Cubic Feet (BCF) of gas supplied in February, 146.54BCF was commercialised.

This consist of 35.83BCF and 110.71BCF for the domestic and export market respectively.

The report noted it translated to a total supply of 1,235.56 million Standard Cubic Feet per day (mmscfd) of gas to the domestic market and 3,817.40mmscfd of gas supplied to the export market for the month.

The report further said that 699mmscfd was delivered to gas-fired power plants to generate an average power of about 3,064MW, compared with January, when an average of 640mmscfd was supplied to generate 2,683MW.

The report also indicated an increased trading surplus of ₦3.95billion compared to the ₦1.87billion surplus posted in January.

The 111 per cent growth in the month, the report stated, was largely attributable to improved performance of the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), as a result of its low expenses put at over 100 per cent.

Other reasons cited in the report for the increased trading surplus were the reduced deficits post by the downstream units, refineries, as well as the NNPC corporate headquarters.

Edited By: Moses Solanke/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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NCDMB to clamp down on illegal deployment of expatriates in oil, gas sector



The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) says it is intensifying efforts to monitor and evaluate activities toward identifying operators involved in illegal deployment of expatriates in the oil and gas sector.

The NCDMB, in a statement issued on its Twitter account on Tuesday and obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, warned that erring operators would receive appropriate sanctions.

NCDMB will intensify monitoring and evaluation activities to identify companies violating the statutory provisions of the DPR manpower supply permits and perpetuating illegal expatriate deployments.&

“This is with a view to invoking appropriate sanctions and penalties as specified in the Immigration Act, 2015 and Immigration Regulation, 2017 as well as the NOGID Act,’’ it said.

The statement said the Ministry of Interior and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), had been notified of the illegal use of the Statutory Oil and Gas Industry Service Permits issued by the DPR.

It explained that the permits were issued to supply “Nigerian professionals only” and not to be used by operators and contractors to supply expatriates to the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

The statement said: “The permits clearly indicate that they are not to be used to deploy expatriates under any circumstance or guise.

“It is also disturbing that operators and major service providers promote this illegal practice by entering into contract agreements with these manpower supply companies to source expatriates for positions which in several cases had been earmarked to be occupied by Nigerians.”

According to the statement, the practice circumvents laid down statutory approval processes and compliance with requirements for obtaining expatriate quota positions.

It therefore warned the companies to henceforth ensure that no expatriates were deployed under such manpower supply contracts under any guise.

The statement said companies seeking to engage expatriates in the sector must ensure that they obtained the relevant approvals from NCDMB.

It said thereafter such companies should apply for expatriate quota and temporary work permit or other entry permits from the interior ministry and Nigeria Immigration Service.

It added that companies deploying expatriates in the industry must ensure full compliance with the guidelines and requirements of the ministry of interior and NCDMB.

It listed the guidelines to include registration with the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Joint Qualification System (NOGICJQS) as well as biometrics enrolment of all expatriate personnel in their employment.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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IPMAN confirms purchase of PMS at N108 per litre ex-depot price



The President,  Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo says its members have started buying Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol at N108 ex-depot price as announced by NNPC.

Okoronkwo made this known in an Interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja, on Sunday.

NAN recalls that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had on May 6, announced a reduction in the ex-depot price of PMS from N113.28k per litre to N108.00K per litre across all its products loading facilities.

Ex- depot price is the price at which the depot owners sell the commodity to retail outlets across the country.

Okoronkwo said that the development was welcomed and seen as a partial deregulation of the downstream oil sector.

“We have started getting the product at the ex depot price of N108 as announced  by the NNPC.

“It is a welcome development but it is not that exciting because it looks more like you will buy products high and sell cheaper.

“The new price is only good for those buying in high volumes,’’ he said

He noted though that the price of PMS had gone down, adding that if it goes up in the global market, it would also go up in the country.

According to him, the marketers are currently planning to start importation of petroleum products in the country and that if the sector is properly deregulated, it will help to drive price of the product.

“When the market opens, marketers will go and buy products and come home and sell,’’ he said

IPMAN president said that the current development had brought to fore the need to revamp the nation’s refineries to boost local refining capacity.

He called for investments in construction of modular refineries, urging the Federal Government to ensure that the three major refineries in the country were rehabilitated.

However, the National President, Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN), Dr Billy Gillis-Harry said that their members were still buying the product at the old price of N113.

“First, N108 per litre had been announced by the PPMC as ex-depot price; we have the communication both from the PPMC and the PPPRA. But the reality is that there is no implementation of that as it is today.

“Our members have been loading from the refineries at the last price which is about N113 per litre.

“The idea was that they are going to do a credit note back to marketers. Right now, that has not been implemented. The normal thing is to do credit note back to marketers,’’ he said.

He said that the association was also advised by PPMC on May 7, to send back old forms for the purchase of products

“You know marketers, what we do is that sometimes we buy up to 10, 20 trucks ahead. Now, those ones have been locked up there, we have not loaded. .

“Basically, when the forms are returned, they would be regularised to the current N108 or whatever it is. But right now, that has not been done,’’ he said.

He  noted that after the new ex-depot price, the PPPRA had not issued a band at which marketers could sell the pump price.

“Normally, they give a lower band, say N123 per litre and a higher band, say N125.

“That has not been done. And in my capacity as the national president of PETROAN, I am reaching out to marketers, our members, to try to reach out to the authorities to be able to know exactly what the scenario is.

“ That is the reality. We today will assume that there is some level of partial deregulation by this process,’’ he said.

It will be recalled that the PPPRA said it would be releasing monthly petroleum products price modulation that would reflect the global market fundamentals.

Gillis-Harry also said that marketers in the nearest future might venture into importation.

“We form highest base of clients for petroleum ex-depot purchases. This is because it is our members that form IPMAN, major marketers, NNPC Retails outlets. If we do not have products from NNPC, we would fall back to DAPPMA members.

`’If DAPPMA members are not readily available, our members would not starve the public of our essential services.

“So, the chances of us pulling our resources together to bring in cargo from time to time until a designated time frame for onward distribution to our members directly would not be ruled out.

“We are already getting to  that, we are already talking to consortium of banks, we are talking to foreign partners to be sure that we have the right marketing prices and to be sure that the Nigerian public is not starved at anytime of petroleum products,’’ he said.

NAN reports that the NNPC had been the sole importer of petroleum products in country since 2016.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Ese E. Ekama (NAN)



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Kwara border communities seek review of FG’s restriction on petroleum products 



Residents of border communities in Kwara on Saturday called for a review of the restriction on petroleum products in the area by the Federal Government.

The residents told the News Agency of Nigeria in separate interviews that traders, particularly transporters, were using the opportunity to hike prices of goods and services.

Mr Toyin Mohammed, a resident of Kosubosu in the Baruten Local Government Area of the state, said that until the directive was reviewed, the people of the area would continue to experience hardship.

Mohammed further told NAN that only filling stations in Ilesha-Baruba were allowed to move petrol.

According  to him, the development is seriously affecting other communities in the area.

The resident, who commended government for checkmating smuggling in the area, however urged the federal government to extend the movement of petroleum products to Okuta.

This, he said, would serve other communities in the border area.

Another resident, Mr Ishiak Bio, lamented that the situation had soared the cost of transportation to and from the area.

For instance, he said transport fare from Kosubosu to Ilorin had soared up to N5,000 from N2,500, which is 100 per cent increase.

“Our people are suffering here due to lack of petrol. We learnt that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has further reduced pump price of petrol, but we don’t feel the impact here.

“Petrol black marketers sell a litre of petrol for between N300 and N350 despite the reduction,” Bio cried.

Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Oil & Gas

COVID-19: Oil firm donates bags of Rice to NATA, in Bayelsa



Ammasco Oil Company, Nigeria Limited, on Thursday donated 15 bags of 50kg rice to the Nigerian Automobile Technicians Association (NATA), Bayelsa Chapter, to cushion effect of COVID-19 pandemic .

Receiving the rice in Yenagoa, the state Chairman of NATA, Mr Panebi Abalaba, commended the oil firm for the kind gesture in this trying times.

“We are here to receive what Ammasco gave as palliative. They have been giving gifts even before the COVID-19 stay-at-home directive by the Federal and state governments.

“Before now, they have been empowering the automobile association, especially NATA.

“This time, they decided to give us bags of rice without our asking. God will surely bless them,” he said.

The Secretary of NATA in the state, Mr Abdul Eyinfunjow, said that  Ammasco was a partner and friend of the automobile association.

“They cannot do without us, because we are the people to tell motorists the kind of oil that is best for their cars.

“So, definitely if we are sick, Ammasco is also sick, that is the reason they brought this palliative worth thousands of Naira for us in this time  that people are asked to stay at home for their safety,” he said.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Ifeyinwa Omowole (NAN)


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Nigeria needs to increase local refining capacity, says IPMAN



The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) says Nigeria needs to increase its local refining capacity to mitigate the impact of the crash in global crude oil price on the nation’s economy.

IPMAN’s President, Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo,  told the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Lagos that the Federal Government should  encourage investment in establishing modular refineries in the country.

“It is not all gloom. This will allow many people to see the opportunities on how to come into refining our products locally, and we believe the government can encourage this by giving them incentives.

” When we refine here locally,  we can even sell below what we are selling now to Nigerians which will be good for our economy.

“We need more modular refineries so that we can be able to enjoy these our God-given  resources,” Okoronkwo said.

He noted that the recent reduction of Ex-Depot Price of Premium Motor Spirit by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) from N113.28k per litre to N108.00K per litre was not surprising due to the removal of subsidy.

Okoronkwo said: “The announcement of the new ex-depot price is what you should expect in a deregulated regime.

“There is no more subsidy and it is the market value that determines the price.

“We have started the journey to totally deregulate the market like what is obtainable in AGO (diesel) and we will get there gradually.”

He also explained why some marketers were still selling the PMS at N125 per litre  in spite of the reductions made in recent weeks to the product.

Okoronkwo said: “It is not about compliance with the price reduction because some people can even sell below the current price.

” The market is not being regulated again so it depends on the individual marketer to do what will attract customers.

“There is availability of product and customers and they have the right to choose where they want to buy fuel, and these filling station owners know that,”he said.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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COVID-19: Content board donates N70m to PTF



The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has donated N70 million to the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to support government efforts in containing the disease.

Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary, NCDMB, made the disclosure in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.

Wabote said a letter communicating the donation had been handed over to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha.

He explained that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, who is also the Chairman of the NCDMB Governing Council, was passionate about the oil and gas industry’s support in the fight against COVID-19.

He noted that in spite of the board’s recent donation of ambulances and medical supplies to its host states of Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers, the board considered it necessary to approve additional support to the national effort.

Responding, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation thanked NCDMB for the donation and assured that the items would be used judiciously in furtherance of the national response.

Mustapha added that medical equipment and relief materials were required in all states of the country.

He regretted that COVID-19 had become the biggest health challenge of our generation and every available resources would be required to contain it.

He charged Nigerians to take personal responsibility and obey all the guidelines issued for the easing of the lockdown.

Mustapha stressed that countries that had overcome the virus achieved the feat through the active cooperation of their citizens.

The SGF hinted that the pandemic had provided the perfect opportunity for Nigerians to promote Local Content in all facets of the economy.

He said that all countries of the world were scrambling for ventilators, test kits and other medical consumables, thereby spiking the cost of the items.

He said the development has underscored the urgency to focus on the local production of all critical items we need as a nation.

He added that focusing on local content in key sectors of the economy would also help to stop capital flight and create much needed jobs locally.

He confirmed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had begun to introduce a number of funding packages designed to promote medical, pharmaceutical and hospitality businesses.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Oil & Gas

NNPC reduces ex-depot price of petrol



The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced a reduction in the ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) from N113.28k per litre to N108.00K per litre across all its products loading facilities.

This was contained in a statement issued by the corporation’s spokesman, Dr Kenny Obateru in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said the Managing Director of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Musa Lawan, disclosed that the new ex-depot price of PMS reflects the company’s market strategy.

According to him, the strategy will help to make more sales while complying with the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency’s (PPPRA) price template.

Lawan explained that the new price regime would enable PPMC to boost its sales volumes from the billions of litres of Petrol it had in storage while providing affordable price to millions of customers.

He said the new price was arrived at after extensive review of market realities by the PPMC internal price review unit.

The PPMC boss however pointed out that the price of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), otherwise called diesel, which had already been deregulated was determined by market forces.

On March 18, 2020, the NNPC reviewed its PMS ex-coastal, ex-depot and NNPC Retail pump prices.

Thus, effective March 19 NNPC ex-coastal price for PMS was reviewed downwards from N117.6/litre to N99.44/litre while ex-depot price was reduced from N133.28/litre to N113.28/litre.

Edited By: Bayo Sekoni/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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IPMAN team to curb movement of adulterated products — Official



The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) says it has set up a monitoring team to curb movement of adulterated products by tanker drivers across the country.

Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo, President, IPMAN told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Monday that the move was part of its efforts to restore sanity to Nigeria’s petroleum sector.

He said the adulterated products were usually gotten from vandalised petroleum pipelines by some unscrupulous persons or from illegal refineries scattered across the creeks.

Okoronkwo said: “Tanker drivers are one of the major problems in the industry, because without them, these nefarious activities will not be possible.

“Sometime ago, we visited President Muhammadu Buhari and he told us that our members were not doing the right thing in checkmating crude oil theft.

” So when we went back,  we discovered that what the president was saying was right and that some of them were carrying adulterated products and products from illegal refineries.

“That is why we decided to set up the monitoring team to check these products, especially where they are coming from and where they are going.”

According to him, most of the tanker drivers are now aware that the team is stationed in strategic places to monitor their movement, and this will restore sanity to the industry.

He said, however, that the move was still being resisted by some persons for selfish purposes, when all hands should be on deck to move the petroleum sector forward.

“This team has come to stay because we want to be able to monitor the activities of our members and expose those who are engaging in illegal activities.

“We don’t want our members involved in things that negatively affect Nigeria’s economy and our environment, ” he said.

On the partial relaxation of lockdown of business activities by the government, he said IPMAN was happy with the development, but would be happier if citizens  are able maintain the safety protocols.

Okoronkwo said: “Naturally we are happy that activities will gradually pick up following weeks of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

” We want it to be a win-win because while our members will be able to record more sales, Nigerians too should do what is right by observing social distancing, using face masks, washing their hands regularly and using sanitisers.

“Together we will beat this pandemic, but in order to do this, we all must play our parts  so that we can get our country back on track.”

Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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NCDMB boss bemoans impact of COVID-19 on oil, gas industry trainings



The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has advised companies handling trainings in the Nigerian oil and gas industry to reposition themselves.

According to a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by Mr Obinna Ezeobi, Supervisor, Media and Publicity, NCDMB, Mr Simbi Wabote, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, gave the advice while speaking recently at a webinar.

Wabote urged the companies to redesign their training modules in order to overcome the challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic and crash of crude oil price.

According to him, the webinar, organised by the Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria (OGTAN) had the theme: “Challenges, Opportunities and New Realities for O&G Trainers’’.

Wabote warned that the twin challenge of COVID-19 pandemic and low price of crude oil might remained for a considerable time.

He noted that oil and gas training would be negatively impacted because most face to face programmes would no longer hold and there would be delayed learning interventions, loss of businesses, revenue and jobs.

The executive secretary said that most oil and gas trainings would likely take place in virtual classrooms and would require virtual machines, simulators and dongles.

He added that such trainings would demand high cost of set up but the operational cost would be lower over time and learning costs would become cheaper.

Wabote said that virtual learning models might lead to lower assimilation by the trainees and reduced profits for the companies at the onset.

He listed critical requirements for oil and gas training in this regime to include, expanded spaces for ongoing trainings, reduced number of students per classroom, increased cost of instructors, face masks, hand sanitisers, hand gloves, soaps and water.

Wabote identified the negative impact of the prevailing circumstance on OGTAN members to include stoppage and cancellation of training programmes, delay in payments, reduction in the number or trainees and higher cost of administering programmes.

“Other effects may include, abandonment of physical classrooms in spite of huge investments already made, need for new capitalisation to acquire infrastructure, absence of high speed internet and need for retraining of faculties,” he said.

He also warned that there would be shortage of training opportunities because the oil industry was suffering from no new projects and crash in oil price, hence no funding for trainings, competitive rivalry and lack of certainty in training opportunities.

Wabote said the new regime of virtual training would attract new and global competitors, some with advanced technologies.

He advised local players to explore collaborations, international accreditations, quality, cost and differentiation.

For ongoing trainings, the executive secretary advised OGTAN members to implement COVID-19 safety measures, redesign time table and number of trainees per class, provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and redesign On-the-Job Trainings (OJT) and laboratory events.

He said: “For medium term plans, training firms are to redesign hands-on classes and leverage technology, move majority of theoretical trainings online, retrain faculties for virtual training and provide infrastructure.

“Other strategies are to expand the market place, advertise online, get international students and include trainings required in the other sectors of the economy in their offerings.’’

Wabote also recommended that training companies should consider partnerships, consider jointly establishing a global virtual university with hubs around the world and mergers and acquisition of smaller players.

He said that on NCDMB’s part, the board would provide tablets or laptops in future virtual trainings and would consider a special funding for the acquisition of training technology.

According to him, a special e-learning centre will be established in the Board’s Specialised Centre in Yenagoa, Bayelsa and a new trainees’ handbook and new human Capacity Development Guideline will be launched.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)



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COVID-19: NNPC-Agip begins construction of 200-bed infectious diseases hospital in Yenagoa



The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)-Agip Joint Venture, on Saturday inaugurated the construction of a 200-bed capacity infectious diseases hospital for the South-South Zone.

Speaking at the event, Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum, said that the project was part of the Nigerian Oil Industry Coalition led by the NNPC to support the nation’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sylva said that the oil industry was contributing about N21 billion worth of support provided through the internal procurement processes of contributing companies.

Sylva said that Bayelsa was considered a suitable site for the project given its pioneering role in the history of the region and the contribution of about 40 per cent to onshore crude oil output.

The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, said that the Corporation was working with its Joint Venture partners, across the upstream, Midstream and Downstream Sectors to support the health sector.

He said that the NNPC-led intervention had allocated the N21 billion worth of support to various International Oil Companies, Indegenous operators with Joint Venture stakes across the oil sector.

Kyari explained that the infectious diseases hospital sited on 1,586 square meter space would serve as zonal isolation centre for the COVID-19 and would serve as reference hospital for communicable diseases after the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his speech, Mr Lorenzo Fiorillo, Managing Director, Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), said that the outbreak of the corona virus had put a lot of strain globally on health care systems and personnel.

Fiorillo who spoke through Mr Macwon Jitubo, Head of Community Relations, NAOC, said that the company remained sympathetic to the threat posed by the coronavirus resulting to millions of deaths worldwide.

“Eni, the parent company of NAOC considers people to be at the core of its culture and fundamental to its business, aware that creation of reciprocal values is possible through the sharing of objectives.

“We are certain that the Oil and Gas industry as a whole shares in these values.

“It is for this reason that we are here today at this difficult period to perform the ceremony which will engender a valuable medical asset to the South South region of the country,” he said.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa, who earlier applauded Sylva for attracting the project to Bayelsa performed the ground breaking ceremony with dignitaries.

Mr Chukwuemaka Nwajiobi, Minister of State for Education, represented the Chairman of Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to Government of Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha at the occasion.

Edited By: Fela Fashoro/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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NNPC commiserates with victims of Obalende fuel tanker fire incident



The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has commiserated with families of the victims of Friday’s fuel tanker fire incident at Obalende area of Lagos.

According to a statement issued in Lagos by the corporation’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs, Dr Kennie Obateru, NNPC wishes all those that sustained injuries in the incident quick recovery.

Obateru explained that all the injured people had been taken to the hospital while further investigation was on to determine the cause of the accident.

He said: ” A fuel truck belonging to NPPC’s petroleum products retail affiliate, NNPC Retail Limited, was involved in the road accident while conveying petrol from the Satellite depot to the NNPC Mega Station in Ikoyi, Lagos.

“The mishap, which occurred around 5p.m. Friday, led to the inferno which consumed the petrol -laden truck in front of a hospital and gas station.”

Obateru expressed appreciation to the good spirited people of Lagos around the scene of the incident and fire service personnel who brought the fire under control.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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May day: Sylva commends Nigerian workers



The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has commended Nigerian workers and described them as the heartbeat of the nation.

He made the commendation in a statement signed by his media aide Julius Bokoru in Abuja on Friday in commemoration of this year’s workers day celebration.

He said workers are the heartbeat of a nation, the pulse, and the fulcrum that keeps everything in place and going.

“Though sometimes the motivations may not be in the fullest, Nigerian workers are spurred on by an innate sense of service and patriotism.

“The unyielding, raw sacrifices workers make are also acts of humanity.

“From the manual day labourer, who would brave the scorching sun, to the civil servant who would linger deep into the night, punching computer keys at the office can be found a recurring theme of personal sacrifice,” he said.

The minister also appreciated the Nigerian health workers who are at the trenches of the war against COVID-19.

Sylva said health workers were risking their lives to keep all safe and by the dictates of the time, were certainly doing extra hours in making sure Nigeria remained safer and healthier.

He commended all Nigerian workers and prayed for God’s continued blessings for our people and nation.

Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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