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Oil & Gas Industry / Breaking News - President Buhari Scraps SURE-P
« on: November 04, 2015, 09:32:47 AM »

President Muhammadu Buhari has scrapped the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) and also ordered the Presidential Committee and workers of the agency to close shop. The President’s order was delivered to the SURE-P Committee through a letter from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

As expected, The President has ordered a probe into their activities, funding and expenditure of the agency. President Muhammadu Buhari in the letter directed the panel to wind down the operations of SURE-P on or before October 31, 2015 and submit a comprehensive report of its activities to The Presidency.



Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has cancelled all bids submitted by 44 firms for the refining of Nigeria’s crude oil abroad. The NNPC has also adopted a new regime of direct crude sale and purchase of petroleum products.

The NNPC formerly operated the Offshore Processing Arrangement (OPA), also known as crude swap, where crude Oil meant for domestic refining is sent to offshore refineries in exchange for petroleum products. The NNPC in a statement issued by its Group General Manager Public Affairs Division, Ohi Alegbe, stated that the new policy is “designed to enshrine transparency and eliminate the activities of middlemen in the crude oil exchange for product matrix”.

The Statement also read that “NNPC on Tuesday announced the replacement of the Offshore Processing Arrangement (OPA) option in preference for the more efficient Direct Sale-Direct Purchase (DSDP) alternative which allows for the direct sale of crude oil by NNPC, as well as direct purchase of petroleum products from credible international refineries”.

“NNPC came to this informed position after the evaluation exercise of pre-qualified bidders revealed that most of the 44 companies earlier shortlisted for the next stage of the tender process only had affiliations to refineries abroad, a situation which introduces toll on the value chain.”

“If allowed to subsist, the development would in turn constitute a significant value loss to the federation by way of accruals,  In this regard, only bonafide owners of refineries identified in the ongoing OPA Tender Evaluation process will be further engaged”.

“The identified refineries will be subjected to due diligence and analysis by NNPC-appointed consultants to confirm suitability in line with international best practice,” Alegbe said.

It will be recalled that The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) had raised an alarm that Nigeria lost $966 million in the last four years through swap deals.

The NNPC stated that the call for commercial bids issued to the 44 shortlisted bidders had been withdrawn with immediate effect.



Nigerians Are Building Fireproof, Bulletproof, And Eco-Friendly Homes With Plastic Bottles And Mud

These colorful homes are bulletproof, fireproof, and can withstand earthquakes. They also maintain a comfortable temperature, produce zero carbon emissions, and are powered by solar and methane gas from recycled waste.

Plastic is everywhere. In fact, the environment is so riddled with it, researchers predict that 99% of all birds on this planet will have plastic in their gut by the year 2050.

It is not enough to persuade people to use less, plastic needs to be repurposed and reused to be kept out of landfills. Despite informative infographics, emotional statistics, and recycling programs, many nations – especially the United States – continue to toss plastics into landfills without much care.

This unfortunate reality has spurred many to get creative with the discarded byproducts of society. Some have used plastic waste to construct marvelous sculptures and raise awareness about the issue, while others are re-purposing it entirely to construct eco-friendly homes.

As reports, the housing crisis has become so bad in Nigeria, nearly 16 million units are required to address the shortage. Because crafting traditional homes would be far too expensive for most, locals adopted the idea put forth by two NGOs and are now building plastic bottle homes.

The solution not only cuts costs for building a house, it is beneficial for the environment.

Founded by Kaduna-based NGO Development Association for Renewable Energies (DARE), with help from London-based NGO Africa Community Trust, the project is solving two problems at once by addressing the homelessness issue and helping the environment. Not only will there be less plastic in landfills, the house is designed to produce zero carbon emissions.

In addition, it is completely powered by solar panels and methane gas from recycled human and animal waste.

To create a two-bedroom bottle house, workers fill plastic bottles with sand and then hold them together using mud and cement. This forms a solid wall that is stronger than cinder blocks.

That’s not all: These colorful homes are bulletproof, fireproof and can withstand earthquakes. They can also hold a comfortable temperature year round.

The buildings can be built to three stories, but no higher, due to the weight of the sand-filled bottles. And, of course, the magnificent diversity of recycled bottles give each house a unique and bright look.

A two-bedroom house requires 14,000 bottles to complete. To put this into perspective, Nigeria throws away three million bottles every day. Clearly, there are plenty of bottles which can be repurposed to build every individual in their own abode.

At least Nigeria isn’t as wasteful as the United States, which discards 130 million bottles per day. That’s 47 billion bottles every year – nearly 80% of which end up in the landfill.

If the United States were to save these bottles and repurpose them into houses like folks in Nigeria are doing, 9,257 houses could be built per day. That is nearly 3.4 million houses a year, reports Off Grid World. With 3.5 million people living on the streets in the U.S., is this the solution needed to remedy the homelessness crisis?

See more images below.



About a week ago, Denmark made the absolute most out of a particularly windy 24 hours by harnessing its power and producing not only all of its own electricity needs for the day, but enough extra to spread between three neighboring countries.  To be exact, the sustainable wind-power technologies harnessed and collected 144% of one days electricity needs.

Denmark had previously developed its wind-power plants but on that particularly windy day, it reached 116% of its domestic electricity demands through wind farms and then exceeded even that impressive surplus, reaching 140%, causing Denmark to export excess power to Norway, Germany, and Sweden.

80% of the excess energy surplus was given in equal parts to Norway and Germany and Sweden received the remaining 20%.  Germany and Norway possess hydropower systems with storage capabilities and were thus able to store the extra away for later use.

80% of the power surplus was shared equally between Germany and Norway, which can store it in hydropower systems for later use. Lucky Sweden received the remaining fifth of excess power. Oliver Joy, a spokesman for trade body the European Wind Energy Association:

“It shows that a world powered 100% by renewable energy is no fantasy. Wind energy and renewables can be a solution to decarbonization – and also security of supply at times of high demand.”

Take a look at this graphic below which reveals that on the day when 140% of the power needs were produced, the systems weren’t even functioning at 100% of their potential power.  The Danish transmission systems operator, provides minute by minute constant reading of the renewable power in the national grid system provided this information, saying that the full capacity is 4.8GW.  This is quite amazing.

Denmark possesses excellent potential to be the next European country in line to begin relying heavily on wind power.  Chief Commercial Officer of the Ecofys Energy Consultancy, Kees Van der Leun commented that there’s a current surge in the development of wind farms being installed. He projected that by 2020, Denmark is well on its way to potentially producing half of its electricity from renewables.  5 years away seems like nothing!

Though many are celebrating with Denmark’s impressive achievements, a little healthy competition never hurts- in fact it could be a momentous force in the wave of renewable power source development in Europe overall.  The Guardian explains that the British may view Denmark’s wind power developments as a threat to its own wind industry.

Not everyone is likely to be happy about this news, however. As The Guardian shares, the British wind industry is likely to view the Danish achievement with envy. This is no doubt because David Cameron’s government announced a withdrawal of support for onshore wind farms from next year, and planning obstacles for onshore wind builds.

“If we want to see this happening on a European scale, it is essential that we upgrade the continent’s aging grid infrastructure, ensure that countries open up borders, increase interconnection and trade electricity on a single market,” said Joy of the European Wind Energy Association.

Approximately 75% of Denmark’s wind power capacity is currently coming from onshore wind farms which are strongly supported by the government. This could certainly be one instance where competition could move things in a direction that is beneficial for the well-being of the earth, as well as for all the inhabitants of her.   It’s a bit mind boggling to see so clearly how attainable sustainable power sources really are, and to then look around at the constant fossil fuels we are burning through as if they are inexhaustible.

Kudos to Denmark for being yet another European country leading the way when it comes to development and implementation of sustainable and green technologies.  Let’s hope the rest of the world catches up soon.


For President Buhari, forming the cabinet is the easy part for obvious reasons. Getting the economy up and running again won't be a child's play. According to Teriba, the problems he inherited from the past administration is quite intimidating. Among the tests he'll face is the matter of the 2016 budget, whose presentation to parliament is already running late. Crude oil theft and the fuel subsidy trouble, with the fraud associated with it, will be crying out for attention, not to mention the destructive insurgency in the North-East. Government will need to find alternative sources of income to make up for dwindling oil revenues.

Civil society organisations in Nigeria had an unusual meeting in Abuja on October 29. They didn't gather to demand social justice or political reforms. The agitation was over the deplorable state of the economy. Led by Clem Nwankwo of the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, the group decried the "steady and continuous decline of the Nigerian economy" since President Muhamadu Buhari reported for duty on May 29. Should we be concerned?

Truth be told, the economic indicators are not looking too good. The Nigerian Stock Exchange's All-Share Index is down 15 percent since the inauguration of the new administration on May 29. In other words, investors have lost about one trillion naira or $5 billion as share prices continue to fall. The naira has also been officially devalued by more than 20 percent against the US dollar in the past year. The National Bureau of Statistics put the gross domestic product in the second quarter of this year at 2.4 percent, down 1.6 percent from 4.2 percent in the same period a year ago. To put this in perspective, GDP averaged about 7 percent annually for almost a decade before the downturn set in this year. The country's foreign exchange reserves have dropped 30 percent since last year to $30 billion, according to data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria. It may well be harsh to blame President Buhari for the state of the economy. He took over at a time of falling prices of crude oil - the country's top revenue earner and main export product.

But it's his response or body language, in current parlance, to the economy that irks many observers. Beyond his commendable stance against corruption, the CSOs believe the President has not done much to reassure Nigerians and foreign investors that he has a game plan for reviving the economy. The fact that the ministers who will help steer the ship are yet to be assigned portfolios strengthens this argument. As Nwankwo, their spokesman, put it, "the major challenge we are currently facing is that we cannot see the urgency of ‎this administration to improve the (depressing economic) situation." Nor does it appear that it has a good grasp of the issues, he added. For instance, the decision of the central bank, backed by the government, to control the foreign exchange market rather than devalue the currency in the face of the persistent pressure on the local currency, has elicited criticism from both local and foreign analysts.

As we wait for the ministers to take office, all eyes will be on the persons who will be in charge of key ministries such as finance, trade, mines, transport, aviation, works, agriculture and industries. The occupiers of these positions matter a lot to economic observers. Journalists and analysts will show more than a keen interest in certain ministries because if the financial markets like them, sentiments toward the government may turn positive.

To be fair, the whole world is experiencing economic slump. Some nations are even in a worse state than Nigeria. It's so that Nigeria does not become one of such basket cases that the Buhari administration needs to act fast. "This regime should do quick, wake up and address the problems", Ayo Teriba, chief executive officer of Economics Associates, an economic think tank, pleaded. To make up for lost time, Mr. President will do well to inaugurate his cabinet this week without further delay. Thank God the Senate has cleared the ministerial nominees. So after five months of waiting, the wheel of government machinery should therefore begin to turn again. This will ease everybody's concerns. Foreign investors can then decide to either invest in the country or go elsewhere. Local businesses can expect to be paid money owed them and bid for new contracts while millions of unemployed youths can expect to get hired as economic activities resume.

As we wait for the ministers to take office, all eyes will be on the persons who will be in charge of key ministries such as finance, trade, mines, transport, aviation, works, agriculture and industries. The occupiers of these positions matter a lot to economic observers. Journalists and analysts will show more than a keen interest in certain ministries because if the financial markets like them, sentiments toward the government may turn positive. As a result, the floodgate of foreign direct investments could be opened. But if they are disliked, foreign investors may likely prevaricate. This was why four South African presidents from the late Nelson Mandela to Jacob Zuma retained Trevor Manuel as Finance Minister for 13 years between 1996 and 2009. It was also why former President Olusegun Obasanjo hired Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to head the finance ministry and why Goodluck Jonathan anointed her as Coordinator of his Economic Team, a powerful position that was until then unknown in Nigeria. Businesses and financial markets usually seek any information on these pivotal ministers to help understand them and so be able to predict their policy bearing. The reason is because markets dislike surprises. They prefer people they know and can trust. If they are former colleagues on Wall Street or the City of London, or Ivy League classmates, or pro-business eggheads whose temperament they can forecast, fine.

For President Buhari, forming the cabinet is the easy part for obvious reasons. Getting the economy up and running again won't be a child's play. According to Teriba, the problems he inherited from the past administration is quite intimidating. Among the tests he'll face is the matter of the 2016 budget, whose presentation to parliament is already running late. Crude oil theft and the fuel subsidy trouble, with the fraud associated with it, will be crying out for attention, not to mention the destructive insurgency in the North-East. Government will need to find alternative sources of income to make up for dwindling oil revenues. Otherwise, it will be impossible to fulfill campaign promises. And away from the usual lip service paid to diversifying the economy, it's this administration that will have to actually do it. Unemployment must be confronted, inflation must be tamed, and exchange rate stabilised. Then with corruption, despite President Buhari's body language, we don't need a prophet to know that corruption won't be an easy nut to crack.

Premium Times


The Federal Government has blamed high population growth for the country’s inability to meet the energy needs of its citizens and business outfits.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachi Lawal, who laid the blame in a speech at the inauguration of the Nigeria Energy Calculator developed by the Energy Council of Nigeria in Abuja on Wednesday, said effective planning was strategic to sustainable energy development in the country.

Lawal, who was represented at the event by the Director of Public Relations, SGF office, Ijeoma Onuagu, said concerted efforts must be made by all stakeholders to address the nation’s intractable energy crisis.

He said, “The growth in energy demand far exceeds supply principally due to high population growth rate and expansion of economic activities. It is in realisation of the dire need for enhanced energy security in the country that the Federal Government adopted the dual strategy of increasing capacity as well as diversifying the energy supply base.

“In line with the government’s agenda for change, this administration is committed to ensuring that all national resources are optimally mobilised to power our development aspiration.”


Oil & Gas Industry / NNPC deploys 10m litres of fuel to Northern states
« on: October 30, 2015, 08:31:20 AM »

Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, says it had deployed 306 truckloads of Premium Motor Spirit, also known as fuel, which is about 10 million litres of the product, to some northern states in the country.

The corporation, in a statement by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ohi Alegbe, said the deployment was to quell the queues noticeable in some petrol stations in some northern states, following rumours of an impending fuel scarcity.

NNPC stated that within the last 48 hours, petrol products trucked out to most major cities across the country, especially in the Northern part of the country, had been increased considerably to accommodate some noticeable shock in the system as a result of the growing panic demand for petroleum products in the affected cities.

It said: “We can confirm that an additional daily supply of 306 trucks of PMS, which is the equivalent of over 10 million litres of petrol, has been injected to provide extra daily supply to Kano, Minna, Suleja/Abuja, Gusau, Katsina and Kaduna.

“Similar steps have been taken to consolidate the prevailing stable fuel supply situation in the Gombe, Bauchi, Jos, Yola and Maiduguri axis.”

NNPC, however, advised members of the public to refrain from panic purchase of petroleum products, noting that there was enough products in store to satisfy demand.



At least 300 residents of Yotomi Golden Estate, in the Ofada, Mowe area of Ogun State, have been thrown into complete darkness.

The problem, they say, started after they led a delegation to the manager of the Owode service hub of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, Mr. Kole Olanipekun.

They alleged that Olanipekun, who was annoyed with the protesters, sent officers to disconnect their power and put them in total darkness.

The residents, who spoke with PUNCH Metro, asked for an urgent intervention in the matter and the restoration of their electricity.

The women leader of the community, Mrs. Olaide Sobogun, said the problem of poor power supply had been on for more than four years.

She added that the problem escalated in September, 2015 when the unit consumption per household suddenly moved up to 200 units.

She said, “The Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company has put us in perpetual darkness because we protested after they brought crazy bills to us.

“They billed each consumer N4,000 a month ago and we held a peaceful protest at the front of our community that they should reduce the tariff. Their officer said he was only a marketer and he directed us to their Owode office.

“When we got there, their manager said he knew we didn’t consume more than N1,500 worth of power per month, but that he had a target of N11.8m.

“He said he would have to get the money from the consumers, and it was unfortunate we had to bear the burden. He said it was an order from the Sagamu district, and if we could not pay, we should go back to our villages.

“Before we knew what was happening, some officers came to the estate and disconnected our electricity from the source without informing us or giving us any letter to warn us.”

A resident, Mr. Oduberu Oluwakemi, explained to PUNCH Metro that before the protest, the community hardly got electricity supply.

Oluwakemi said the people in the community had been suffering for a long time, adding that most residents relocated from Lagos State to the area due to harsh economic conditions.

He said, “Most of us here left Lagos because of high cost of living. Here, we pay just N2,500 for a two-bedroomed flat a month. So, tell me, how reasonable is it for somebody to be paying N2,500 as rent and N4,000 for electricity? The IBEDC has turned us to a cash cow.

“We get power supply for a maximum of seven days in a month. Neighbouring villages, which pay far less money get more power supply.”

Oluwakemi, who claimed to spend N550 on transport to town every day, lamented that many of the people in the village were low income earners and deserved better treatments.

Adebayo Devis, a bricklayer, told PUNCH Metro that life was becoming more difficult for the residents.

Our correspondent was shown three letters that the residents had written to IBEDC.

The letters, dated September 28, October 9, and 23, 2015, decried the alleged exploitation of the residents and the fraud being perpetrated through a disproportionate estimated billing regime foisted on the community.

The October 23 letter detailed a breakdown of the Yotomi Estate electricity bill.

In January, the residents were billed N1,382 for 47 units per family, which rose to 71 units of N1, 768 in February.

After a protest action, the bill reduced to 15 units in May at N866. But the bill took a sharp increase from June and rose to 200 units in September at N4,240.

A senior citizen, Mrs. Oyedotun Gbenuade, said despite the high fee, they were always deprived of power supply, even while villages around had electricity.

She said, “I use only a deep freezer, a single bulb and a fan and yet, they say I should pay N4, 240 every month!”

Another resident, Pastor Akinrinmade Tunde, said the electricity official had advised them to get prepaid metres.

He, however, added that the people could not afford the N24,000 demanded for the meters, and appealed that the electricity tariffs be reduced pending when the dwellers would be able to get the money.

He said, “We have written to the National Electricity Distribution Commission, the headquarters of the IBEDC, and even copied the state governor and this is 17 days after, and we have yet to get any response.

“Instead, the power company is telling us to prepare ourselves, that our next bill will be N6,000. We are not asking for free electricity, the question we want to ask is, what changed between May, when we were using 15 units and September, when it rose to 200 units?”

In his reaction, the manager of the Owode unit of the IBEDC, Olanipekun, said the residents chased away the officials sent to distribute electricity bills to the community.

He said, “They drove away our officers that were supposed to distribute the bills and this was despite using our electricity. They haven’t paid the September bill. We asked them to get prepaid meters so that nobody would be cheated but they refused. They said we should take our electricity.

“Yet, they continue to use power without paying and there is no way we can continue to allow that. They have written so many letters and copied me and obviously I am awaiting instruction from my superiors.

“If they are ready to sit with us and talk on how they will pay their outstanding bills, then we will restore their power.”


Oil & Gas Industry / LPG to become available in abundance soon – LPGAN
« on: October 30, 2015, 08:22:18 AM »

The president of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association of Nigeria (LPGAN), Dapo Adesina has said that Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) otherwise known as cooking gas will soon flood the market, The Nation reports.

Adesina dismissed allegations that the scarcity of the product was caused by technical problems, instead he said market forces were responsible for the shortage and slight increase in the price of LPG by operators.

He said the expected supply of LPG would be coming from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) based in Bonny, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Adesina noted that the supply is imperative in order to buoy availability and minimise the stress consumers have gone through in recent times to obtain the product.

Energy Mix Report


…says prosecution of looters will deter others

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said in New Delhi, India that despite the fall in oil prices, his administration remains fully committed to maintaining macro-economic stability and improving investor confidence in Nigeria.

At an interactive session with Chief Executives of Indian companies with interests in Nigeria, Buhari expressed belief that with its abundance of human and material resources, the Nigerian economy does not have to suffer unduly from low oil prices, despite its severe impact on government revenues.

“What is required of us, to which we are strongly committed, is the implementation of tight expenditure controls, effective fiscal and monetary policies, including the husbandry of scarce resources which our introduction of the Single Treasury Account has began to address.

“We are aware some of these measures may hurt operations of some businesses in the short term, but we believe they are right for a sustainable economy,” the President said.

He noted that India has been a dependable ally and friend of Nigeria and urged the Chief Executives to expand their companies’ investments in the country in order to turn the engagements into a win-win situation for both countries.

“We can increase and diversify the current volume of our bilateral trade beyond US$16.36 billion, and diversify to other critical sectors such as agriculture; green technologies in power generation; infrastructure; information and communications technologies; the services sector; education; industry, especially textiles and solid minerals among others,” the President said.

Bihari also urged the Indian Chief Executive Officers to accept the changes in policy being introduced by his administration and observe all extant Nigerian laws in running their business in the country.

He, however, warmed that his administration would not tolerate the importation of sub-standard goods, especially foods and medicines, into Nigeria.

The President also reaffirmed his administration’s resolute commitment to curbing corruption, plugging all loopholes in public sector accounting and deploying available resources for the good of all Nigerians.

Addressing members of the Nigerian community in India, Buhari declared that the recovery of stolen funds and prosecution of persons who have been indicted for corrupt practices would also continue to be vigorously pursued.

The President said that he expected the ongoing recoveries and prosecutions to serve as a deterrent to others who nurse the ambition of seeking public office solely for illegal personal gain.

Buhari assured the gathering that his administration fully recognized the devastating consequences of the illegal diversion of public resources meant for national development into private bank accounts, and was doing all within its powers to stop such diversions.

“The anti-corruption campaign will be on-going for many years. We are committed to the enthronement of good governance that plugs the loopholes in public sector accounting, and the use of scarce resources for public good.

“We are determined to demonstrate exemplary leadership that will make our citizens to change their ways in a manner that lays a solid foundation for reconstruction and development.

National Mirror

General Discussion / Re: InstaForex -
« on: October 29, 2015, 12:57:10 PM »
Can I trade directly from my bank account?

Oil & Gas Industry / Power generation drops to 660mw at Egbin plant
« on: October 29, 2015, 09:14:47 AM »

Power generation has dropped from 813 megawatts to 660 at the Egbin Power Plant in Lagos State, an official said yesterday.

The plant, the nation’s biggest power generating outfit, has the capacity to contribute about 1,000 megawatts to the national grid.

An authoritative source at the plant told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the drop was as a result of the ongoing maintenance of Egbin lines by the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC).

The source said the plant was advised by NGC to step down its generation due to the ongoing repairs at its lines.

“Egbin Power Plant, the nation’s biggest power generating outfit, has the capacity to wheel out 1,000 megawatts to the national grid.

“The ongoing maintenance at the NGC lines had stalled wheeling out of 1,000 megawatts generation to the national grid,’’ the source said.

According to the source, the development may also affect the general power generation output on the stations which receive gas from NGC.

Contacted for comments, Mrs Seun Olagunju, the Director, Public Affairs, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), confirmed to NAN on phone that the national power generation output now stood at 4, 274 megawatts.



International concern is mounting over the mismanagement of Nigeria’s oil industry funds, with the corruption watchdog, Global Witness, urging the help of the United Kingdom to recover funds lost by Africa’s leading oil and gas producer in the famous but controversial Malabu oil deal.

A letter cited by Reuters has asked UK’s Crown Prosecution Service, CPS, to freeze the assets of those involved in the Malabu oil deal through which Nigeria lost more than a billion dollars due to lack of transparency.

Global Witness revealed in its recent report titled, ‘How to Lose $4 billion’ that in Nigeria and two other African countries – Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola – lucrative oil and mining assets worth $4 billion were awarded to companies with hidden owners, thereby diverting vast resource revenues to unknown private pockets.

Under this arrangement, Nigeria lost $1.1 billion in the Malabu oil deal, the loss coming due to lack of beneficial ownership transparency in the oil and gas industry, Global Witness said in its report.

Reports have indicated that more than half of the $1.1 billion (N171.32 billion) paid to Malabu Oil and Gas for the procurement of one of Nigeria’s richest oil fields, OPL 245 by Royal Dutch Shell and Italian firm Eni was used to bribe Nigerian politicians and intermediaries who helped to secure the controversial deal.

According to Italian prosecutors, some of the N83 billion ($533 million) slush money was used to buy private jets and armoured vehicles.

“We are investigating many money transfers to many people in various countries who received sums that vary from millions of dollars to thousands of dollars,” Reuters quoted the letter to the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service as reading.

British prosecutors acting on the request to freeze the assets of those involved in the Malabu oil deal, have already frozen two accounts with combined sum of N29.5 billion ($190 million) belonging to the chief intermediary, Emeka Obi.

Former oil minister, who was convicted for money laundering in France, Dan Etete, owns Malabu Oil and Gas. The company was incorporated five days before the oil block was awarded to it in 1998 during the regime of military dictator, Sani Abacha.

With regard to how anonymous companies made $1.1 billion disappear in a single deal in Nigeria, Global Witness noted that “in 1998, the then Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dan Etete, awarded a company called Malabu Oil and Gas a huge oil block off the West African coast called ‘OPL 245’, without publicly declaring that he was the owner of the company.

“The OPL 245 block was said to have been purchased in 2011 by European oil companies, Shell and Eni, who paid $1.1 billion into an account set up by the Nigerian government”.

The report stated, “The government agreed to transfer the same amount to a Nigerian company called Malabu Oil and Gas, which was secretly owned by a former oil minister, Dan Etete. Malabu eventually passed $800 million of the money to a network of Nigerian companies with anonymous owners, which were apparently vehicles for paying others involved in the deal”.

Shell and Eni had always denied paying money to Malabu, however, Global Witness said court evidence arising from suits brought against Malabu for unpaid fees by the middlemen involved in facilitating the deal showed that they knew that the funds would go to the company.

Global Witness noted that the OPL 245 deal had now been investigated by authorities in three countries, saying the Nigerian House of Representatives in a 2014 vote called on the government to cancel the deal, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission “is also investigating, and recently questioned Dan Etete.”

“With a new government now in power publicly committed to rooting out corruption, there is a risk that Shell and Eni may have their exploration rights revoked because of the way the block was acquired,” it said. It also added, “This iconic case demonstrates why EITI must embrace beneficial ownership disclosure as a matter of urgency”. Global Witness said if the EITI required disclosure of beneficial owners, it would pave the way for real transparency in the country.

Source: SweetCrudeReports


The new wave of openness and transparency pervading the operations of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, received fresh impetus yesterday with the public harvesting of 278 bids submitted by indigenous and foreign firms seeking to secure contract for the sale and purchase of the 26 Nigerian crude oil grades on offer.

The process, which was covered live by all major television networks in the country had in attendance representatives of the bidding companies with officials of the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP; Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR; Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, NEITI; Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NDCMB as well as members of the civil society attending as independent assessors.

Speaking at the flag-off of the event, Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, stated that the essence of the public bid process was to consolidate on the new promise of setting a new agenda for the corporation anchored on the tenets of transparency and efficiency in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda for the oil and gas industry.

“The essence is to ensure that nobody needs to call me personally as Ibe Kachikwu for him to get crude allocation. So, you can imagine the burden it takes off my shoulders. It means a good amount of my time will now go into other relevant areas of operation where the country needs me most,” Kachikwu said.

Throwing more light on the process, Mallam Mele Kyari, Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division of NNPC, said with the new measure put in place, the incidence of brief case companies and hawking of Nigerian crude would become a thing of the past.

“The idea is to select companies that are credible, capable with track record and would not go to hawk our crude. We are going to get as close as possible to the end users of our crude. What this means is that we are going to eliminate all those transactions that are not necessary,” Mallam Kyari stated.

Representative of the DPR, Mrs. Folashade Odunuga, commended NNPC for the transparent manner it conducted the bid process noting that as the regulator of the industry, the DPR was impressed with the new wave of transparency sweeping across the value chain of the corporation.

The contract for the engagement of qualified and reputable companies for the sale and purchase of Nigerian Crude Oil grades is conducted in consonance and in pursuance of the provisions of the Public Procurement Act 2007 and the BPP guidelines.

As part of the pre-qualification requirements, interested companies were expected to demonstrate the possession of minimum annual turnover of $750m and net worth of at least $300m, ability to establish an irrevocable Letter of Credit for the payment of any allocated Crude Oil subject to the contract terms as well as the ability to pay an initial deposit of $2.5m representing the first lifting deposit upon signing of the contract agreement among other requirements.

The 26 grade of Nigerian Crude Oil on offer include: Bonny Light, Forcados Blend, EA Blend, Bonga, Qua Iboe Light, Yoho Blend, Erha and Escravos Light.

Others are; Pennington Light, Agbami, Brass Blend, Abo, Oyo, Okono Blend, Amenam Blend, Akpo Condensate and Usan.

The rest include: Atam Blend, Okwori, Okoro, Ima, Ukpokiti, Obe, Okwuibome, Ebok and Asaratoru.

Oil & Gas Industry / Refineries can’t access crude oil, says Kachikwu
« on: October 28, 2015, 08:54:33 AM »

The refineries are not performing optimally because they are unable to access crude oil for refining, Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Emmanuel Kachikwu, said yesterday.

He said the four refineries are battling with obsolete equipment and are unable to take crude oil for refining into finished products.

Represented by the Executive Director, Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Mrs Aisha Katagwu at the ninth Oil Trading & Logistics (OTL) Expo in Lagos, Kachikwu said the Corporation is working hard to improve pipelines security, restructure its corporate centres, provide transparent and accountable operations, improve efficiency among its workforce. He added that the state-run oil firm was also taking other measures to stop leakages/wastages in the system.

He said the NNPC unbundled PPMC because it wanted to reduce crude oil exports and achieving other objectives that would aid the growth of the industry.

Kachikwu said the Corporation is exploring how it could improve the growth of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) market, in view of its importance to the economy.

“We are looking at the LPG market to promote growth. As it is, the country is depending on kerosene for consumption. But we  are seeing the need to grow the LPG sub-sector of the oil and gas industry because it is cleaner, friendlier and cheaper. Besides, the LPG sector would create jobs for the economy.” he added.

Former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Odein Ajumogobia, said there have been discrepancies in the number of litres of petrol consumed in the country per day.

He said there was a time the country was said to be consuming 30 million litres of petrol per day, adding that all of a sudden the figure has risen to 43 million litres per day.

Source: The Nation Online

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