The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says it has lifted the ban it placed on 89 filling stations belonging to Petrocam Trading Nigeria Ltd. for violating the agency’s rules and regulations.
Mr Ahmed Shakur, the acting Director of DPR, told newsmen in Lagos on Monday that the filling stations were reopened following an agreement between the management of the firm and the agency.
Shakur said that since the firm had met the agency’s guidelines for gas operations in the country, it has no option than to reopen the filling stations.
The acting director, who did not state when the infraction was committed, said that the agency sealed the filling stations after the company, on its own, unsealed its gas plant in Ayobo, a suburb in Lagos State.
“We immediately sealed the firm’s 89 filling stations nationwide and ensure that there was no supply of petroleum products to the company.
“As at today, the company has complied with the rules of the department, and they have showed remorse for their actions, hence the lifting of the ban,” he said.
The DPR chief reiterated that the agency has zero tolerance for any act of infraction.
DPRK to withdraw from inter-Korean liaison office: KCNA
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) will withdraw from the inter-Korean liaison office because South Korea has not acted enough to stop groups from sending anti-Pyongyang leaflets into the DPRK’s territory, a DPRK official said late Friday night.
The decision was announced by a spokesperson of the United Front Department of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party (CCWP) which oversees relations with South Korea, the Korean Central News Agency reported.
“First Vice Department Director (of CCWP) Kim Yo Jong Friday gave instructions to the field in charge of the affairs with South Korea to start examination for the technical implementation of the content mentioned in the statement,” the spokesperson said.
On Thursday, Kim Yo Jong, who is the younger sister of DPRK‘s top leader Kim Jong Un, warned Seoul that the North would close the liaison office or even withdraw from the inter-Korean military agreement signed in 2018 if the South didn’t take swift measures against the hostile action of sending the anti-Pyongyang leaflets into the DPRK.
“It was May 31 when the anti-DPRK leaflets were openly flown but the nonstop disposal of dirty rubbish from the South side has exhausted us so much as to come to a clearer conclusion that enemies are enemies after all,” the spokesperson said.
Therefore, “as the first thing, we will definitely withdraw the idling north-south joint liaison office housed in the Kaesong Industrial Zone,” the spokesperson said, adding more punitive measures will be followed.
“Our people are feeling towering rage and disgust towards the act of scattering anti-DPRK leaflets by the ‘defectors from the north’ and the South Korean authorities’ connivance at it,” the statement said.
“We do not hide that we have had long in mind decisive measures to fundamentally remove all provocations from the south and to completely shut down and remove all the contact leverage with the south side,” the spokesperson stressed.
DPR warns petrol stations in Niger against selling PMS above approved price
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in Niger, on Friday, warned that any filling station in the state selling Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) above the approved pump price per litre would be sanctioned.
The DPR’s Operations Controller in the state, Alhaji Abdullahi Jankara, gave the warning while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria in Minna.
He said that filling stations were expected to be selling petrol at between N121.50 and N123 per litre, as approved by the Federal Government.
“The new order means that filling stations can sell fuel for between N121.50 and N125 per litre, depending on the oil company.
“Government announced the current pump price of between N121.50 and N123 per litre of fuel, as against the former price of between N123.50 and N125 in order to completely de-regulate the sector,” he said.
Jankara said that many of the over 1,000 filling stations in the state were already complying with the new pump prices.
“We go out regularly to monitor petrol stations, without notice, to ensure that they comply with the rules and regulations guiding their operations,” he said.
The DPR chief said that fines paid by defaulting petrol stations were between N100,000 and N5 million, depending on the offence committed.
A survey by NAN in Minna on Friday revealed that major oil marketers, such as the NNPC, Total, Oando, Matrix and others, were still selling petrol at between N123 and N125 per litre, asvagainst the current rate of between N121.50 and N123.50 per litre.
An authoritative source at the NNPC mega filling station in Minna, who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that the station was still selling PMS at N123 per litre.
“We have yet to receive circular on the new price. As soon as we get it, we will carry out the directive,” he said.
NAN recalls that from the old price of between N143 and N145 per litre of PMS, government reduced it to between N123.50 and N125 per litre.
NAN also reports that government had further slashed the price of the commodity to between N121.50 and N123.50 per litre.
DPRK warns S. Korea against sending anti-Pyongyang leaflets
A senior official of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has threatened to scrap the military agreement with South Korea unless Seoul stops sending anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the demilitarized zone, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Thursday.
Kim Yo Jong, sister of top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un and the first vice department director of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, on Thursday issued a statement warning against the senseless act of scattering anti-DPRK leaflets in the frontline areas by “defectors from the north,” said the report.
“The South Korean authorities must be aware of the articles of the Panmunjom Declaration and the agreement in the military field in which both sides agreed to ban all hostile acts, including leaflet-scattering in the areas along the Military Demarcation Line,” said the statement.
Before long the nation is to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the June 15 joint declaration, it said, warning that “if such an act of evil intention committed before our eyes is left to take its own course under the pretext of ‘freedom of individuals’ and ‘freedom of expression,’ the South Korean authorities must face the worst phase shortly.”
The statement also warned that the North will completely withdraw from the Kaesong industrial project and shut down the joint liaison office in the North’s border city, unless Seoul stopped such actions.
The North-South relationship warmed up in 2018 when their leaders held three meetings on inter-Korean cooperation. But the cooperation stalled after Kim Jong Un failed to reach an agreement with United States President Donald Trump during their meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, in 2019.
S. Korea urges civic groups to stop distributing anti-DPRK leaflets in border area
South Korea‘s unification ministry urged local civic groups on Thursday to stop distributing leaflets criticizing the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) near the inter-Korean border area as it threatens the lives and property of people living near the border.
Unification Ministry spokesman Yoh Sang-key told a press briefing that the government has taken measures to stop the scattering of anti-DPRK leaflets that had led to an escalated tension in border areas.
Yoh said most of the floated leaflets were found in the South Korean territory, noting that the fallen leaflets caused environmental pollution in border area and imposed a burden on people living near the area who had to collect the wastes.
He noted that such acts endangering the lives and property of people residing near the border should be stopped, saying the government has reviewed the revision of relevant law to fundamentally stop the acts that escalate tensions in border area.
Under the Panmunjom Declaration, the leaders of South Korea and the DPRK agreed to stop all hostile acts in areas near the military demarcation line (MDL), including the distribution of anti-DPRK leaflets.
Nigeria’s proven gas reserve now 203.16tcf, says DPR
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) said on Wednesday that Nigeria’s proven natural gas reserve had become 203.16trillion cubic feet (tcf), while crude oil reserve was 36.89billion barrels (bb) as at Jan. 1, 2020.
Auwalu said the new figures represented a marginal increase of 1.16tcf in proven natural gas reserves representing 0.57 percentage increase from previous 202tcf recorded on Jan. 1, 2019.
According to him, the DPR has set new targets of 210tcf by 2025 and 220tcf by 2030.
He said that crude oil reserves declined by 82million barrels representing 0.22 percentage decrease when compared to the 36.97 billion barrels recorded during the same period in 2019.
The director also explained the rationale behind the ongoing bid rounds for 57 marginal oil fields being conducted by the regulatory agency on behalf of the Federal Government.
Auwalu said :”These are fields that have been unutilised and we believe that this was overdue because the last time Nigeria did bid round for the marginal fields was in 2003.
“Between that time and now, a lot of professionals have come into the industry and some companies who were among the 24 successful companies are now considered oil producing companies.
” So, there is a lot of appetite to invest in Nigeria and the government also needs revenue because the benchmark for the 2020 budget has been revised to $27 per barrel.”
He said since the bidding was only for indigenous companies, it would help in boosting the Nigerian economy and also create jobs for the people.
Auwalu also clarified that the marginal fields embroiled in litigation were not part of those in the fresh bid round, adding that it however included some of the previous 24 that were not utilised by successful bidders.
He said: “The bidders were given awards and not licences, and they were to develop the fields within 10 years.
” Some of these companies failed to achieve the conditions for the awards. In 2013, they were granted an extension to 2015. Thereafter, another extension was granted to them till 2018 and they could not bring the field to production.
“Technically, the government is losing, so that is why they were brought back for bidding and it is an opportunity for the previous bidders to bid again and have another 10 years to develop them again.”
Auwalu maintained that the bidding process which was being done electronically would be transparent, stressing that only competent companies would emerge as winners.
He also disclosed that over 200 companies had expressed interest in Nigeria’s 96 gas flare points for various commercial purposes, which would increase government’s revenue while addressing environmental challenges.
Alleged oil theft : DPR hands over 9 vessels to Navy, EFCC
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) said nine vessels allegedly involved in oil theft had been handed over to the Nigerian Navy and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mr Sarki Auwalu, Director, DPR, made the disclosure on Wednesday during an online interactive session with the media on topical issues in the oil and gas industry.
Auwalu said the DPR had initiated Crude Oil and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Tracking (COLT) to track vessels coming in or going out of the country in order to curb oil theft.
“They are under the Western Naval Command. We have arrested several vessels and some of the vessels are for oil thieves.
“We are working with the Nigerian Navy and we quickly alert the Navy whenever we see any suspicious vessel during surveillance,” he said.
Auwalu said that other measures were being implemented by the regulatory agency to improve accountability in the oil and gas sector, which include the National Production Monitoring System (NPMS) that focuses on data gathering.
“We have been able to track online/real time data of what our productions are and so we are now in the position to say what is the production done by this country.
“All our fields are largely tracked online now. So, it is not true that Nigeria cannot account for what it is producing, be it crude oil or gas, ” he said.
DPRK fully supports China’s decision on national security legislation for Hong Kong
The Foreign Ministry of the Democratic People‘s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has said that it fully supports China‘s decision on national security legislation for Hong Kong, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Saturday.
It is a legitimate step that China has adopted the Decision on Establishing and Improving the Legal System and Enforcement Mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to Safeguard National Security, which is based on the Constitution of the People‘s Republic of China and the Basic Law of the HKSAR, at the third session of the 13th National People‘s Congress (NPC), the KCNA quoted a spokesperson for the ministry as saying.
“We fully support the measures taken by the Party and government of China for safeguarding the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of the country and achieving stability and prosperity of Hong Kong based on the policy of ‘one country, two systems,'” the spokesperson said.
“This is the product of a plot by the external force and its vassal forces that seek the division and disintegration of China by tarnishing the image of a socialist country and fomenting and escalating a social disorder,” the spokesperson added.
“Since Hong Kong issue is one pertaining thoroughly to the internal affairs of China, any country or force has no rights to say this or that about it. We categorically oppose and reject foreign interference detrimental to the security and the social and economic development of Hong Kong,” the report continued.
DPR in Osun to enforce use of face masks at filling stations
Daboh said the enforcement of the use of face masks in public places, including filling stations, was aimed at assisting government in curtailing the spread of the virus in the state.
He said since petrol attendants would be interacting with different motorists at the filling stations, there was need for them to put on masks and also observe other safety guidelines.
The controller said that petroleum marketers would also be sensitised on other safety guidelines such as the use of hand sanitisers and social distancing at filling stations.
Daboh said the department would continue to support government’s efforts within its area of operations to minimise the spread of the virus.
“We will soon embark on the enforcement and sensitisation of petroleum marketers at filling stations in the state.
“This effort is to assist government at minimising the spread of the virus in the state.
” There is no doubt that large number of people usually go to filling stations to buy fuel and that is why we want to ensure that both the attendant and their customers make use of face masks,” he said.
Daboh also warned marketers against under-dispensing of products, saying anyone caught in the act would be dealt with in line with the law.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)
DPRK’s ruling party holds military meeting to boost armed forces
The ruling party of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has held a military meeting on measures and policies to improve the country’s armed forces to defend its sovereignty and stability, the state news agency reported on Sunday.
According to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the fourth enlarged meeting of the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) set forth “new policies for further increasing the nuclear war deterrence of the country and putting the strategic armed forces on a high alert operation.”
DPRK’s top leader Kim Jong Un chaired the meeting, the report said, without mentioning the exact date.
The meeting also discussed “crucial measures for considerably increasing the firepower strike ability of the artillery pieces of the Korean People’s Army,” the KCNA reported.
At the meeting, Kim “put main emphasis on thoroughly realizing the party’s monolithic leadership” over the army, and signed seven orders including reorganizing the military commanding system and enhancing the roles of major military educational institutions.
The meeting elected Ri Pyong Chol as vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission, the report said.
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