Lagos task force arrests 43 suspected bunkerers with fake diesel

Operatives of the Lagos State Task Force at the weekend nabbed 43 alleged oil thieves and sealed off a property with 2.5 million litres of adulterated diesel at Alausa, Ikeja.

Chairman of the task force, Olayinka Egbeyemi, a Superintendent of Police (SP), disclosed that the agency acted on a ‘Save our Soul (SOS) petition submitted to its office on illegal activities of oil thieves at Plot 8, Elephant Cement Way, Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja.

Egbeyemi disclosed further that the arrested 43 suspects were caught while mixing original diesel with kerosene and selling at a reduced price to members of the public.

The Guardian gathered that the adulterated diesel was responsible for series of engine issues experienced by private and commercial vehicles owners in the country.

According to Egbeyemi, investigation with available documents (reciepts) revealed that this illegal business has been going on for over seven years.

“These people have been selling adulterated diesel to members of the public, particularly big companies across the state and this has been responsible for engine breakdown often experienced by these companies. Adulterated diesels worth 2.5 million litres were fully loaded inside gallons and six different trucks with registration numbers FST 615 XR, EPE 672 XC, DKW 05 XA, KTU 750 XN, BDG 717 XA, FKJ 327 XH and XR 95 LSD”.

The task force boss enjoined members of the public to report to appropriate government authority any illegal activities around them through the Lagos Emergency Toll-free lines ‘112’ or ‘767’.

According to him, technicians around the area complained that activities of the illegal oil bunkerers were responsible for a fire outbreak that destroyed properties, including 18 vehicles around the area recently.

Mr. Anjorin Babalola, a mechanic, disclosed that they were afraid to make a report to government because the notorious oil thieves were threatening them.

However, in a swift reaction, diesel dealers in Alausa have accused the task force of lying to the public that they engage in adulterated diesel businesses, saying they are not bunkerers, but citizens engaged in legal business.

One of the diesel dealers, who spoke on behalf of other partners, Kehinde Alabi, said the task force invaded the storage facility illegally on Saturday and arrested 43 of their boys and later released 26 of them.

He said the taskforce earlier sealed up the yard and re-opened it on Saturday as the property belonged to former Military Governor of Lagos, Raji Rasaki, who happened to own an office in the premises.

According to him, one of the storage facilities being used was owned by Rasaki’s son, saying that “how could we engage in illegal business when the place is owned by Raji Rasaki?”

He added that they could not have been involved in such illicit act selling adulterated diesel considering the location of the business.

He debunked the allegations by the task force, noting that their activities at the location were certified by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC).


Source: The Guardian

Abuja, Bayelsa, Borno, pay highest prices for diesel in January.

The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, has said that Abuja, Bayelsa, Delta and Cross Rivers recorded the highest average price of N240.52 for diesel in January 2017.

A report released Wednesday by the NBS said the average price paid by consumers for automotive gas oil, known as diesel, increased to N240.52 in January 2017 from N196.20 in December 2016.

The increase, the bureau said, represents 22.56 per cent on the basis of year-on-year and 50.06 per cent on month-on-month basis.

Further analysis revealed that states with the highest average price of diesel were Abuja and Bayelsa where consumers paid N270, followed by Delta (N256.77) and Cross River (N256.36).

Meanwhile, states with the lowest average price of diesel were Enugu (N230.78), Adamawa (N230.50) and Lagos, Oyo, Taraba were consumers bought the product at N230 in the period under review.

The NBS also said on Wednesday that average price paid by consumers for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) known as petrol increased by 35.7 per cent year-on-year in January.

This is contained in “Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol) Price Watch for January” released by NBS in Abuja.

The report stated that Petrol increased by 35.7 per cent year-on-year and 1.35 per cent month-on-month to N148.7 in January 2017, from N146.7 in December 2016.

It noted that states with the highest average price of petrol were Borno, which sold the product for N164.09, Oyo; N161.00 and Ebonyi N156.47.

“States with the lowest average price of petrol were Kogi, which sold at N144.67, Ekiti and Imo, N144.64; and Abuja which sold at N144.20?

The states with lowest average price sold the product below the recommended price of N145.

Fuel prices are collected across all the 774 local governments across all states and the FCT from more than 10,000 respondents and locations.

The report reflected prices households actually bought fuel together with the prices reportedly sold by the fuel suppliers.

The average of all these prices is then reported for each state and the average for the country is the average for the state.

Electric cars to weaken demand for petrol within the decade

Oil companies underestimating the global market for electric vehicles could be caught unaware by weakened demand for petrol within a decade, analysts said Wednesday.

Falling costs of electric cars and renewable technology may halt growth in oil demand from as early as 2020, they argued in a report.

The current boom in electric vehicles is on track to displace two million barrels of oil per day by 2025, they calculated.

By 2035, that figure could quintuple, with electric cars accounting for a third of the road transport market, said the report, jointly issued by financial think tank Carbon Tracker and the Grantham Institute, both in London.

The power and road transport sectors account for about half of fossil fuel consumption, so growth in solar energy and electric vehicles can have a major impact on demand.

“Electric vehicles and solar power are game-changers that the fossil fuel industry consistently underestimates,” said Luke Sussams, a senior analyst at Carbon Tracker.

“Very few companies or institutions in the energy industry are really considering the upside if the technology explodes and grows exponentially,” he told AFP.

Oil and gas giant BP, for example, predicted last week that oil demand from cars would continue to rise well into the mid-2030s.

In 2035, electric vehicles will only make up six percent of the global car fleet, it said in its 2017 Energy Outlook.

Other fossil fuel companies have made similarly rosy forecasts for oil demand.

Non-industry analysts are split on how quickly electric vehicles will displace those powered by internal combustion engines.

The 29-nation International Energy Agency (IEA), formed after the 1973 oil crisis, sees relatively modest growth, resulting in an eight percent market share — about 150 million vehicles — by 2040, and only 1.3 million barrels of oil displaced per day.

– Exponential growth –
Even their prescriptive “450 ppm” forecast — a blueprint for energy growth deemed consistent with capping global warming at two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) — only foresees 710 million electric vehicles by that date.

Holding warming to 2C is the core goal of the 196-nation Paris climate treaty.

But the IEA’s poor track record for forecasting solar and wind growth suggests estimates for electric cars may be too conservative as well.

“The IEA and the oil companies are still playing catch up on renewables,” said Sussams. “Every year they are upgrading their assumptions around renewable energy penetration.”

The IEA’s last revision was in October 2016.

Private forecaster Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s estimates, by contrast, are much closer to the new figures: a 22 percent market share for electric vehicles by 2035.

The disagreement on how quickly fossil fuel companies may face falling demand — and possibly stranded assets — is built into the assumptions behind the forecasts.

“We assume the electric vehicles will be cheaper than oil-burning combustion engine vehicles from 2020 onward,” explained Sussams.

The Carbon Tracker model also presumes very rapid growth, and an absence of bottlenecks, such as a shortage of charging stations.

China — the largest market in the world for electric vehicles — sold more than half-a-million in 2016.

“That is close to exponential growth,” Sussams said.

The forecasts are also in line with those of major car makers, including Tesla, GM and major European manufacturers.

The 60-page report — entitled “The disruptive power of low-carbon technology — notes that a 10 percent loss of the power market-share caused the collapse of the US coal mining industry.

Similarly, Europe’s five major utilities lost more than 100 billion euros ($105 billion) in value from 2008 to 2013 “because they were unprepared for an eight percent growth in renewable power.”


Source: AFP

GUARDIAN: Petrol price template crumbles as PPPRA is in disarray.

The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), which controls the cost of petrol in the country, is in disarray and this is disrupting the implementation of the existing pricing template.

The Guardian learnt in Abuja yesterday that the disruption in the system is caused by a lack of mechanism for a quarterly price adjustment, absence of a board and failure by government to appoint a substantive executive secretary. It was learnt that these factors have contributed more to the collapse of the pricing template than the lack of forex for fuel imports. The current open market price of petrol is above the N145 per litre.

The rising cost of crude oil in the international market has renewed pressure on government to increase the pump price as subsidy is staging a gradual comeback. The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has almost become the last resort in the supply chain following the inability of independent marketers to access foreign exchange for fuel imports.

The General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, said a lack of a properly instituted modulation scheme would continually lead to price increase.

“Any modulation scheme that is based on import will always lead to consistent price increment,” he said, urging government to build fund from crude oil savings to ensure that modulation is done.

He said the Ibrahim Mantu committee indeed recommended the modulation scheme in 2005 and how it should be operated but that the Olusegun Obasanjo government opted for Petroleum Support Fund.

While a board has been announced for the agency, it is yet to be inaugurated which has made the review of petrol price modulation for the sector impossible.

This has also rendered the Acting Executive Secretary of the Agency, Victor Shidok confused as he has not appointed a substantive general manager, operations, because he is not sure whether he will return to the position or not.

This development has led Mr. Olasupo Agbaje to combine both Operations and Corporate Services Departments, which is seen as detrimental to the functionality of the organisation.

The Chairman, Petroleum Downstream Sector, Ken Abazie, said though PPPRA may not have released another guide for the industry, the available template, which was released in May last year, had made provision for variance and movement that may affect petrol price.

According to Abazie, the current template for petrol would still allow marketers to import and make profit. “But if marketers continue to get forex either from the parallel market or black market, the price of petrol may soon be above the common man,” he added.

The Executive Secretary of Major Oil Marketers Association, Thomas Olawore, said that many marketers were no longer working on the template as they had stopped the importation of petroleum product for a long time.

“What we do now is to rely on NNPC for product due to the high cost of sourcing foreign exchange. It is true there is a major difference between the landing cost of petrol and the regulated price; we don’t know how NNPC is coping with the difference. For now, we depend on NNPC,” he said.

The NNPC yesterday said its Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna refineries were expected to pump about 5.3 million litres of kerosene into the market as the three refineries resumed operations.

In an exclusive interview with The Guardian in Abuja, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Product Marketing Company (NPMC), Farouk Ahmed, said the Warri and Port Harcourt refineries had resumed production while Kaduna refinery was also expected to come on stream.

“Port Harcourt refinery is producing between 2.2 and 2.3 million litres per day, Warri is also producing the same while Kaduna is producing 700,000 litres per day,” he said.

Confirming the resumption, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Ndu Ngamadu, in a statement quoted the Managing Director of the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC), Solomon Ladenegan, as saying Warri Refinery had been doing well since the Crude Distillation Unit (CDU) was revved up last Saturday.

According to him, the plant now refines two million litres of kerosene and three million litres of diesel daily.

“This morning, we have pumped the products to PPMC and they have started loading. They are going to load up to one million litres of DPK and AGO. The products are there in the tank and we are doing everything to get them to the market,” Ladenegan disclosed.

Also, the Managing Director of the Paort Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC), Dr. Bafred Enjugu, said Port Harcourt Refinery was producing three million litres of AGO daily, in addition to millions of DPK being churned out by the refinery daily.

While the question of potential scarcity rages, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), which began a three-day warning, strike called it off the same day.

At the end of the emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, the President of NUPENG, Igwe Achese, said the warning strike was intended to draw government attention to the massive termination of appointments of workers in the oil and gas sector as a result of divestment of assets and disobedience to labour laws by International Oil Companies (IOCs).


Source: Guardian

Nigerian Navy seizes 253,000 litres of stolen diesel.

Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder in Port Harcourt on Tuesday impounded 253,000 litres of illegally refined diesel loaded in two vessels and one wooden badge.

Cdr. Raphael Ekuma, the NNS Pathfinder Base Operation Officer, paraded four suspects and the vessels before newsmen in Onne, Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers.

The two vessels–MV Omiete VI and MV Wood Pecker– and a wooden barge had suspected stolen diesel worth N36.68 million.

Ekuma said the arrest was part of ongoing clampdown on oil theft, piracy and pipeline vandalism in Rivers and its environs.

“In continuation of our clampdown on oil thieves and illegal oil bunkers, troops of NNS Pathfinder impounded two vessels MV Omiete VI, MV Wooden Pecker and a wooden barge with combined 253,000 litres of stolen diesel.

“On Oct. 14, we received information on activities of illegal bunkering activities at Wogono in Okirika LGA and immediately deployed our gunboats to the area.

“Upon arrival, our gunboats discovered that MV Omiete was already loaded with 100,000 litres of diesel and another wooden barge alongside it had 120,000 litres in it.

“Three suspects were arrested in connection with the vessel and barge in the course of the operation,” he said.

Ekuma added that on Monday, troops on patrol seized a vessel, MV Wood Pecker, at Abonema wharf laden with 33,000 litres of illegally refined product believed to be diesel.

He said that crew members on board the vessel on sighting naval patrol team jumped inside the sea and escaped arrest.

“But luck ran out of one of them who is currently in our custody and undergoing interrogation’’ he said.

Ekuma said the four suspects would be handed over to relevant government agencies for further investigation and prosecution.

Also speaking, Commodore Obi Egbuchulam, the Commander of NNS Pathfinder, said the Naval headquarters gave directives to end illegal bunkering in the shortest possible time.

He said the clampdown was in line with the directive and assured that the fight would be won.

Egbuchulam called on members of the public to continue to provide information that would lead to the arrest of oil thieves while giving an assurance that their identities would be protected

South Africa’s Petrol Price To Drop By 7.4% In August

The retail price of petrol in South Africa will decrease by 7.4 per cent from August 3, the energy department said on Friday.

The department also said that the price of wholesale diesel will go down by 6.3 per cent.

The department said the price of petrol will fall by 99 cents to 12.35 rand per litre in the commercial hub of Gauteng province.

It said that diesel will also go down by 74 cents to 10.97 rand per litre.