NUPENG lauds FG’s policy to stop petroleum products importation by 2018

The Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has thrown its weight behind the Federal Government’s policy to end importation of petroleum products by 2018.

Mr Joseph Ogbebor, NUPENG’s General Secretary gave the union’s position in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos.

NAN reports that the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, had said on Wednesday in Ebonyi announced that by 2018, Nigeria would stop the importation of refined petroleum products.

Nigeria as an oil-producing state and member of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), he said, had no business importing refined products.

“Importation of petroleum products became unavoidable because there was no regular maintenance of the four government-owned refineries.

“This led to poor capacity utilisation and loss of jobs while promoting and sustaining jobs in countries where Nigeria imports petrol from.,” the NUPENG scribe said.

He said if new refineries were built and the existing ones given necessary turned-around maintenance with adequate crude supplied for refining for local consumption, importation of petroleum products would be unnecessary.

“This is what as a union we have been preaching for long. Turn the refineries around so that we can create jobs for Nigerians.

“Rather than depend on importation and by so doing create jobs outside the country while the people suffer.”

“If the government could implement it and put an end to petrol importation, it would be a welcome development and better for the economy,” Ogbebor added.

Nigeria saves N15.4 billion monthly from fuel subsidy removal – Osinbajo

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says the fuel subsidy removal has removed a burden of not less than N15.4 billion monthly from the Federal Government.

Mr. Osinbajo said this in Abuja on Thursday at the 2016 presentation of scorecard of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and Agreements Signing ceremony for Joint Venture Cash Calls (JVC) exit.

Represented by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, Mr. Osinbajo said that $15 billion would be injected into the sector.

”I am pleased to be the special guest of honour at the agreements signing ceremony for Joint Venture Cash Call exit and the announcement of $15 billion investments to be done in the sector.

”The oil and gas sector remains very critical to the stability and growth of our economy as it accounts for about 90 per cent of earnings.

”Amongst others, the downstream sector has been deregulated with the elimination of petroleum subsidy.

”This policy has removed from government, a burden of not less than N15.4 billion monthly,” he said.

The vice-president said that government had taken steps to raise the domestic refining capacity for petroleum products by repairing the existing refineries.

”We have also licensed modular refineries and support the development of private refineries one of which is a 650,000 barrel per day capacity,” he said.

According to him, one of the refineries is nearing completion, adding that when completed, it will restore “our pipeline to facilitate crude and products transportation.”

He said that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had approved new measures aimed at eliminating the burden of JVC and easing future payments in the upstream sector.

Mr Osinbajo commended the World Bank on the global initiative to secure the environment by ending and commercialising gas flares.

”It will boost the discharge of international obligations by Nigeria on climate change and contribute to our national power generation capacity”.

He urged other ministries to come up with score cards of their performances in the last year.

Also speaking, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, said that when he took over the leadership of the ministry, oil sector was losing N1.2 trillion every year and fuel scarcity was common.

”Today, we have a situation where refined petroleum consumption has gone down from an all-time high of 40 million litres a day to about 28 million litres a day.

”On cash call, the issue was how long the upstream was going to continue to bleed as investments were drying up and activities grinding to a halt.

”For the first time in 2017, you are going to see the Ministry driving an effort with the Department of Petroleum Resources to find leakage areas, essential to cover the gap in the 2017 budget.

”In the Niger Delta, we have brought the all-time low production of 1.3 million barrels per day (mbpd) to 1.8mbpd but for some minor incidents it would be closer to 2.1mbpd or 2.2mbpd.

”We set a zero militancy target in 2017 and we want anything that needs to be done should be done,’’ he said.

On Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, he said that he was thrust into the chairmanship of the organisation immediately he was appointed.

He added that he said he had to convince four countries to serve as engine rooms of finding solutions and not bringing the national problems to OPEC.

In her address of welcome, DJamila Shua’ra, said that ”the year started with refineries producing below capacity, high demand for petroleum products and insufficient supplies at depots, forex shortages.

”However, President Muhammadu Buhari believed in our team and our collective ability to find solutions.

”Although, it is not Uhuru yet, there are many more rivers to cross. As we speak, aviation fuel remains a challenge.

”We are yet to pick maximum capacity in our refineries and there is need for more investors to fund massive infrastructural development in the sector”.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that awards were presented to an outstanding staff each from subsidiaries of the ministry.

Senate to pass Petroleum Industry Bill in tranches – Saraki

The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, says Senate will pass the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, PIGB, in tranches as a way out of its non-passage for the past eight years.

Mr. Saraki made this known at a three-day Public Hearing on the PIGB organised by the Senate joint Committee on the bill on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said the passage of the bill in tranches was necessitated by the need to unbundle its contents into manageable compartments that could be implemented in phases.

Mr. Saraki noted that the Senate was set to pass the first tranche of the bill, while putting measures in place for the passage of other tranches.

He added that the passage of the first tranche would further tackle persistent problems associated with fiscal framework and host communities.

“This public hearing is another avenue for us to hear from the operators, regulators, experts and other stakeholders in the industry on how to move the industry forward.

“We want to move away from the way things were done in the past during the consideration of such bills, especially fiscal framework and host communities.

“We will push for greater partnership so that the bill will be a win-win for everyone; one that works for government, attractive to oil companies and takes into consideration concerns of the host communities.

“We will also tackle the issues of downstream, gas and environment. We are poised and resolved to deal with all issues related to the industry, albeit in tranches.

“As a nation we cannot afford any further delay in our effort to reform our oil and gas industry.

“The journey begins now and I assure you that we will guarantee that all of these bills are passed in record time,” he said.

Mr. Saraki expressed concern that though the petroleum industry contributed over 90 per cent of the country’s foreign exchange earnings, existing legal, regulatory and institutional structures in the industry were out-dated.

He noted that the sector had performed below expectations, adding that the development had led to the Federal Government and investors losing significant edge in the oil and gas investment trends.

According to him, it is unacceptable that till date, Nigeria still imports over 90 per cent of needed petroleum products, flares substantial gas produced, damages the eco-system and pollutes host communities.

The senate president added that in spite of Nigeria’s might in the sector, it could not supply adequate electricity to individual homes and industries.

“This situation has undermined our citizen’s standard of living, life expectancy, national energy security.

“It has therefore resulted in other unforeseen fallouts like labour unrest, fuel queues, high cost of delivery of products and unquantifiable wastage of national productivity.

“The oil and gas industry is yearning for good governance, competitiveness, transparency, indigenous participation and accountability,” Mr. Saraki said.

He assured that the bill would be passed in record time.

The Chairman of the joint committee, Omotayo Alasoadura, said if Nigeria must get out of the present recession, the petroleum industry must be made efficient and more profit-oriented.

He said it was therefore expedient to pass the bill to reposition the industry.

Mr. Alasoadura said: “It is in this spirit that we are beginning today the journey of consultation with stakeholders in the match towards passing the bill.”

The public hearing ends on Friday.

FG To Establish Specialised Petroleum Force To Tackle Militancy

As part of its 2017 target to ensure zero militancy and drastic reduction of violence in the Niger Delta, which affect Nigeria’s oil production, the federal government has indicated that it would set up a specialised petroleum force, comprising coastal patrol teams, Niger Delta subsidiary police, and other paramilitary set-ups.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, disclosed this shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari launched his government’s policy document for the country’s oil and gas sector – the seven big wins in Abuja.

Kachikwu, who spoke during the post-event press briefing noted that the specialised force would complement whatever efforts and mechanisms oil companies would put in place to secure their production assets and activities.

Besides, he gave reasons why the planned co-location of new refineries alongside existing ones in Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Warri was taking long to be concluded as well as the delay in having a Final Investment Decision (FID) on Train-7 expansion project of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG).

The minister had initially stated that under a new security arrangement, the government planned to pull out the country’s military from the Niger Delta region and allow oil companies set up their own security processes to safeguard their production.

He also stated that the specialised force would be amphibious in character and equipped to support the security efforts of the oil companies.
According to him, some participants in the current Amnesty Programme for former Niger Delta militants would be incorporated into the force as the government looks to close down the programme in 2017.

“All over the world, oil companies take care of their facilities. The presidency has also agreed to look at the possibility of setting up a specialised petroleum force that is going to draw on the elites of the security services, and be provided with resources that are amphibious, that are technology-driven to enable them to be able to respond to the request of the oil companies if they get overwhelmed outside their first line security,” Kachikwu said.

He further stated that, “The government is looking critically at the amnesty programme and we are looking towards an eventual wind up of the programme in about one year period.

“The whole idea is within that time frame we need to address some issues. We are going to be looking at things like coastal patrols, Niger Delta subsidiary policing and some paramilitary type organisations not armed. You will be able to suck in some of those people who were trained.

“We are also going to provide funding for those who want to set up their own businesses within the corridors of those areas.”
Speaking on the delayed Final Investment Decision (FID) on NLNG Train-7 project, the Kachikwu explained: “Bonny Train-7 is an issue of money. The prices of gas today is low, so anybody who is going to put money into gas development today needs to have very really strong fiscals.”

He noted the government was still committed to the project, saying, “That is not looking very encouraging, but the nice thing is that the NLNG has done very well and has access to be able to get facilities. So, we are going to be working with them on Train-7, as Train-7 is what we have commitment to.

Read More: thisdaylive

Malabu oil deal: EFCC to grill ex-minister, others over $1.092bn cash

Former Petroleum Resources Minister Dan Etete is set to visit the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to answer questions on the controversial Malabu Oil Block (OPL 245).

The EFCC is searching for $1,092,040 billion paid by Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Nigeria Limited (SNEPCO) and Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited (NAE) into an escrow account.

The anti-graft agency has raised a team to grill the ex-minister and all those implicated in the deal.

Those implicated are six former ministers in the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, a former Permanent Secretary, a former Head of State, a former Senate President, a former National Security Adviser (NSA), some senators, and some serving and former members of the House of Representatives.

The EFCC may also interact with Mohammed Abacha, who has raised issues on the oil block.

Etete, who was central to the auctioning of the oil block, has notified he EFCC of his readiness to explain his own side of the deal.

A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “We have made significant headway on the ongoing probe of the oil block. The former oil minister is set to state his own side.

“Etete sent his lawyer to inform the agency of his plans to return to Nigeria for interaction with our team.

“This is a good development because Etete is central to the auctioning of the oil block and he is a stakeholder in Malabu Oil Limited.”

The source, who pleaded not to be named so as not to jeopardise the probe, added: “This leg of investigation will enable us to track and address how to recover the $85 million in a NatWest Bank account.

“The cash is said to be part of the $1,092,040 billion remitted into an escrow account by Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Nigeria Limited (SNEPCO) and Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited (NAE).

“The Federal Government is interested in recovering the $85 million but we must follow the due process. The UK government a few weeks ago, expressed its willingness to return funds but we have to submit substantial proof, beyond reasonable doubt, that such money is ours.”

Etete’s coming may lead to the invitation of Mohammed Abacha.

The source added: “We may invite Mohammed Abacha for interaction if Etete lives up to his pledge to meet our team. He is one of those who have raised issues on the Oil Block (OPL 245).

“The Abachas said they have a lot of documents relating to the deal. You will also recall that OPL 245 was allocated to Malabu on behalf of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources by Mr. Dan Etete in his capacity as the then Presidential Advisor on Petroleum and Energy.”

The Abacha family-owned firm, Pecos Energy Limited, and Mohammed Sani (aka Mohammed Sani Abacha) had vide a letter dated 20th January 2010 from A.A Umar & Co., claimed that they had bought OPL 245 from Malabu Oil and Gas Limited for US$ 1.3 billion and that Malabu had without their knowledge, disposed of their interests in OPL 245 to Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited (SNUD).

It was gathered that the ruling of a judge in London last December had created new grounds for investigation.

Justice Edis of the Southwark Crown Court, London, on December 14, 2015 stopped the payment of N17 billion to Malabu Oil and Company.

The judge said he was “not sure that the Goodluck Jonathan administration acted in the interest of Nigeria by approving the transfer of the money to Malabu.

He said: “I cannot simply assume that the FGN which was in power in 2011 and subsequently until 2015 rigorously defended the public interest of the people of Nigeria in all respects.”

By the terms of Block 245 Resolution Agreement, Shell agreed to the release of the outstanding Signature Bonus and to appoint an escrow agent for the purpose of paying $1,092,040 billion to the Federal Government.

It was learnt that $982,040,000 was the total contribution of NAE to the settlement but SNEPCO contributed $110,000,000 to make up the required $1,092,040 billion for the Federal Government to settle all claims and or issues over OPL 245 in accordance with the agreement.

There are fears that the $1,092,040 billion in an Escrow Account was “used for the settlement of the FGN-Malabu Oil Limited agreement on OPL 245”.

The EFCC has been trying to unravel whether or not the cash was paid to the government or if the appointed escrow agent managed the $1,092,040 billion and shared it to some beneficiaries for the settlement of disputes between the government and Malabu Oil Limited.

A memo submitted to International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes by SNUD gave further details. Shell said: “In 1998, during the President Abacha military regime, OPL 245 had been allocated to Malabu on behalf of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources by Mr. Dan Etete in his capacity as the then Presidential Advisor on Petroleum and Energy. Malabu was an indigenous Nigerian company, incorporated on 24 April 1999, with Nigerian shareholders, apparently for the purpose of petroleum prospecting.

“In March 2000, Malabu approached Shell within a farm-in proposal. Malabu was looking for an international oil company to take a 40 per cent equity stake in the OPL 245 licence itself and ‘carry’ Malabu in developing the block i.e. the international oil company would take all the exploration and development risk by funding Malabu’s share of the costs (including the acquisition, exploration and development costs of the block) as well as its own.

“Those costs would then be recovered by the international oil company from Malabu’s share oil production.”

FG targets 70% petroleum products export

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, has restated government’s commitment to increase petroleum products exports by 70 per cent as a measure to earn more foreign exchange.

Kachikwu, who made this commitment during his maiden visit to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), said government is preparing a robust policy document that is focused on repositioning the sector to achieve higher goals.

He therefore, emphasised the need for DPR, as the foremost regulatory institution, to position itself in assisting the government in achieving its targets for the oil and gas sector.

Kachikwu also challenged the workers to improve their skills to enable them rise up to the challenges that lie ahead, in view of the changing dynamics in the oil and gas sector and the economy at large.

He promised to assist its management to put in place a sustainable pension scheme and other benefits as a means of incentivising workers for optimal performance.

He advised the senior members of staff to mentor their subordinates and also recommend appropriate training programmes to help breach any identified gaps.

He further advised that older officers should consciously prepare for effective transition by grooming their successors, while still in service for the system not to suffer shortage of knowledgeable personnel whenever they retire.

The Minister, who commended the DPR management on the ongoing infrastructure transformation of the headquarters building into an edifice befitting of its status as a key regulator, recalled the sterling role played by DPR in mitigating the adverse effects of the fuel scarcity on the population.

He enthused that it was largely owing to this critical effort that we are experiencing stability in the downstream sector.

The Director of DPR, Mordecai Danteni Baba Ladan, recalled that the minister’s visit to DPR should have been in August, but was shelved due to exigencies of duty, expressing gratitude that the visit eventually held, since the Department and staff were eager to showcase their value to the industry.

He also affirmed that the Minister was quite well informed on the role the DPR plays in the oil and gas industry as its foremost regulator.

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.

Buhari’s Govt ‘Dragging Feet’ On Petroleum Industry Bill- Dogara

The House of Representatives is picking up the Petroleum Industry Bill for a speedy consideration, its speaker, Yakubu Dogara, said Monday.

Mr. Dogara said the legislature found the initiative necessary after President Buhari’s administration repeatedly ignored calls to send an executive version of the bill.

The bill has remained stuck at the National Assembly since 2009 despite the huge impact experts said a petroleum industry law could have on Nigeria’s economy.

“I have on at least three different occasions publicly requested the executive to as a matter of urgency send an executive bill on its intended reforms in the petroleum sector,” Mr. Dogara said.

Mr. Dogara said he sought to prevent past occurrences whereby the executive sent in the legislation late, consequently depriving lawmakers the much-needed time to thoroughly consider such a humongous document.

Mr. Dogara said the house was considering members-sponsored bills that would help reform the oil and gas sector.

“It is deliberate that Section 44 (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, apart from vesting the powers to make laws in the legislature, went further to clearly invest it with powers to make laws for the management of the oil and gas sector,” Mr. Dogara said.

 “We had hoped to avoid the situation in the last two Assemblies where the PIB was sent to the National Assembly very late in its tenure, thereby guaranteeing failure to pass the bills.

“In the absence of an executive bill on the matter, two private member’s bills have now been introduced. We urge participants to familiarize themselves with these bills and make necessary inputs at the public hearing stage.

“We also hope that this summit will craft its own version of the PIB for the attention of the National Assembly, taking into consideration all the existing drafts and also the pending bills,” Mr. Dogara said.

Mr. Dogara denied media reports about the existence of an executive version of the PIB before the National Assembly, adding that lawmakers could no longer ignore the rot in the oil industry.

According to Nigeria Extractive Industry Initiative, NEITI, the PIB, if passed into law, would “strengthen the capacity of indigenous Nigerian companies in the oil and gas sector to compete with international oil companies in the search and acquisition of hydrocarbons in Nigeria. The measure was also intended to reduce exploitation in the sector and limit, to the barest minimum, Federal Government’s exposure to oil and gas exploration and production through joint venture operations”.

Bala Zaka, a petroleum engineer, welcomed the initiative of the National Assembly.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Petroleum Producers Call For Good Regulatory Framework For Oil And Gas Sector

The African Petroleum Producers Association (APPA) has called for firm regulatory frame work to help in the effective development of oil and gas sector.


The call is contained in a communique issued at the end of the 6th African Petroleum Congress and Exhibition on Thursday in Abuja.


It said that congress recommended the control and limit of ineffective diplomatic procedures, including permits and process.


Other recommendations included implementation of anti corruption initiatives and ensuring transparency, better management of production elements and integration of core upstream and downstream activities.


It further recommended establishing of linkages and other economies to be more resilient in shocks such as the current one witnessed in the sector.


The document stated that sincerity of purpose and being consistent would attract and retain partnerships.


It said congress also recommended investment on human capital development to foster security among APPA members and promote local content and community development activities.


It added that innovative sharing among member countries should be encouraged to safeguard social development projects.


“Gas modernisation and flaring programmes should be implemented to project the environment and mitigate climate change.

” There should be clarity on roles of powers of ministers and regulatory agencies to reduce bottlenecks in the system.”


It further recommended regulatory certainty, clarity and flexibility for changes overtime to reflect circumstances.


According to the communique, provision of regional synergy and cross border investment in infrastructure and establishment of robust infrastructure band on challenges and opportunities for potential investors is also recommended.




Nigeria To Commence Rail Transportation Of Petroleum Products – Rotimi Amaechi

Minister of Transport, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, on Tuesday, declared that the Buhari administration would commence the rail transportation of petroleum products to selected parts of the country before the end of the first quarter of 2016.

He made this known at the hearing on rail contracts awarded between 2010 and 2015, by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, conducted by the House of Representatives ad hoc committee on railway contract scam.

Amaechi disclosed that the development would decongest the number of heavy trucks and tankers that convey petroleum products that ply the nation’s highways.
“As from this first quarter, we should be able to begin to move petroleum products from Lagos by rail up to the north, so as to reduce the impact of trailers and tankers on our roads”, Amaechi said.

He added that the ministry would focus on completing the construction of the Lagos to Kano and Lagos to Calabar railway lines with a view to developing a faster railway system.

The minister gave an assurance that if the ministry got the loan to finance the project from the China-Nexim Bank, it would speed up the completion of a standard gauge railway track.

According to Amaechi, before the end of 2016, trains would start running on the Kaduna-Abuja standard gauge line, which is currently near completion.

Besides, he said that the ministry will harness the potentials in the railway sector to create employment and ensure the easy movement of goods across the country.

EFCC Arraigns Two Oil Dealers for Petroleum Equalisation Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, January 28, 2016 arraigned the duo of Aku Ben Aku and Philips James Aliku alongside their company, Al-Aminu Oil and Gas Limited, before Justice Sulaiman Aliyu Tukur  of the High Court of Kaduna State, Kaduna on a five -count charge bordering on conspiracy, forgery and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N14, 602, 600.00 (Fourteen Million, Six Hundred and Two Thousand, Six Hundred Naira).

The offence is contrary to Section 8(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable Under Section 1(3) of the same Act.

The first accused person, Aku, while being in the employ of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund Board, allegedly registered a private company, Al-Aminu Oil and Gas, where he is a director.

Aku, allegedly conspired with the second accused person, Aliku, who is also a director in the company, and obtained the sum of N14, 602, 600.00 (Fourteen Million, Six Hundred and Two Thousand, Six Hundred Naira) from the Federal Government on the pretence that the money was for the loading and selling of petroleum products by the filling station purportedly located on Madikiya Road, Kafancha, Kaduna State.

Count one of the charge reads: ‘‘That you Aku Ben ‘M’,   Philips James Aliku ‘M’, whilst being Directors of Al-Aminu Oil and Gas Limited on about the 11th day of February, 2014 in Kaduna within the jurisdiction of the High Court of Kaduna State did, with intent to defraud, conspired to obtain the sum of N14, 602, 600.00( Fourteen Million, Six Hundred and Two Thousand and Six Hundred Naira) from the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Petroleum Equalisation Fund( Management) Board under the pretence that the said sum represented the loading and selling of petroleum products in the non-existent filling station, claimed to be located along Madikiya Road, Kafancha, Kaduna State. The said sum paid through Zenith Bank Plc. account No. 1013733208, which representation you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 8(a) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.’’

Another count reads:  ‘‘That you Aku Ben Aku ‘M’, Phillips James Aliku ‘M’, whilst being Directors of Aminu Oil and Gas Limited, on or about the 11th day of February, 2014 in Kaduna within the jurisdiction of the High Court of Kaduna State did, with intent to defraud and in order to facilitate obtaining the sum of 14, 602, 600.00 (Fourteen Million, Six Hundred and Two Thousand and Six Hundred Naira)) by false pretence from the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Petroleum Equalisation Fund ( Management) Board knowingly and fraudulently used as genuine a forged document titled ‘‘The Department of Petroleum Resources’’ Receipt No. DPR/ No.0452666, dated 15th October, 2014 made in favour of Al-Aminu Oil and Gas Limited by  presenting the document to the Petroleum Equalisation Fund( Management) Board,  purporting the document to have been issued by Department of Petroleum Resources( DPR) and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 364 of the Penal Code Cap 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria( Abuja)1990?.

The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were  read to them.

In view of their pleas, the prosecution counsel, Steve Odiase , asked the court for a trial date.
In response, the  defence counsel, F. C. Ikpe, told the court that there was a pending application for bail and prayed the court to grant the accused bail on liberal terms.

The prosecution counsel did not oppose the bail application.

Credit: Leadership

Petroleum Marketers To Get Outstanding Payment Next Week– Kachikwu

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has assured petroleum marketers that outstanding payment for products imported would be made next week.

Dr. Kachikwu spoke after a tour of service stations and depots in Lagos on Tuesday.

He was accompanied by the Managing Director of Pipelines and Product Marketing Company and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) officials.

The Minister said there was enough petrol to dispense and wondered why cases of scarcity persisted.

Dr. Kachikwu, however, admitted that there was a shortfall in supply, as a lot of marketers were not bringing in products because they were owed subsidy money.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Nigerian Refineries Low On Petrol Production

Current data on refineries production in Nigeria indicate that more heavy or fuel oils (low and high fuel oil/black oil) are being produced from the four refineries than other high demand products like premium motor spirit, PMS, otherwise known as petrol.  The revelation comes despite assurances by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, which said last week that two of its refineries were working between 60 and 80 percent of their installed capacities.


NNPC had promised that the four refineries would be re-streamed by July end, when the turn around maintenance, TAM, of the hitherto almost comatose refineries would have been rounding up, thus, buoying high hopes for imminent relief from products scarcity in the country.

Capacity utilisation

However, status of the refineries operations as at July 31, 2015, exclusively obtained by Sweetcrude, indicate that the refineries cannot still meet the daily consumption requirement of between 40 and 42 million litres/day for petrol. For now, the Port Harcourt Refining Company, PHRC 2, is only able to produce about 39million litres of petrol, i.e. 38,906 x 1000 = 38.906 million compared with fuel oil, which is in low demand of about 49 million litres.

This is because aside from the PHRC 2, the fluid cracking catalytic units, FCCUs of the other refineries are still under rehabilitation. But succour is expected from the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company, WRPC, once its FCCU has been fully rehabilitated, to produce additional 30 million plus litres, while capacity utilisation in the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company, KRPC, remains nil.

KPRC only produces automotive gas oil, AGO, also known as diesel, and dual purpose kerosene, DPK, which can be used as both aviation fuel/Jet-A1 and household kerosene, HHK   Nigeria has four refineries with combined capacity of 445,000 barrels per day, bpd, comprising: PHRC 1 – 150,000bpd; PHRC 2 – 60,000bpd; KRPC – 110,000bpd; and WRPC 125,000bpd.

But current status data put the Crude Distillation Unit, CDU,capacity utilisation in the four refineries as, PHRC 2 re-streamed on July 20th -60.40 percent; PHRC 1 under rehab – nil; KPRC re-streamed July 30th – 64.4 percent; and WRPC – 62 percent.

Read more at – Vanguard

House of Rep Pass Petroleum Industry Bill

House of Reps members today passed the controversial Petroleum Industry Bill. The House members had on Tuesday June 2nd suspended its deliberation on the bill due to some unresolved clauses and a committee was set up with the view of settling all the issues in the bill.

The members on resumption today chorused “Ayee” as the Deputy House Speaker Emeka Ihedioha called for a vote on the bill. The Petroleum Industry bill will among other things help create a more conducive business environment for petroleum operations and enhance exploration of petroleum resources in Nigeria.

US, Others Caution Buhari On Choice Of Next Petroleum Minister

Ahead of the May 29 handover of the Federal Government administration to Muhammadu Buhari following his victory at the March 28 polls, friendly countries have continued to show renewed interest in who occupies some key posts in the incoming administration.
Already US had expressed concern over series of issues including human rights abuses by the Nigerian military in its prosecution of the war in the North-east, and the manner top officials of the Nigerian government  have managed the oil and gas sector of the economy citing several acts of corruption.
A source in the Foreign Ministry which pleaded anonymity said the US is now eager to assist Buhari turn the situation around, as it has always considered Nigeria an important ally on the African continent. This was as Daily Sun learnt that several highly placed persons and multinational
companies who attended a recent US State Department briefing cited corruption as the main reason for low investment in Nigeria’s oil sector. Against this background, a source said the US is backing a senior official of a multi-national oil company from the Niger Delta who is conversant with transparency rules to emerge as the Petroleum Minister.
The source said, “in fact, the multinationals have discussed with the US State Department and have already agreed on a credible candidate, who they believe will be able to restore confidence and attract the necessary investment into the critical sector. Meanwhile sources say the US has already made this position known to the incoming administration cautioning  the president-elect against making a wrong choice in the appointment to the office.
It urged the President to appoint people of integrity and proven track record into his cabinet to make the job easier for him.  Already, top oil and gas industry operators have indicated their support for the candidate, who they believe will bring his vast experience to bear in the turnaround of the Ministry and give credibility to the sector and the Buhari’s “Change” mantra.
In 2014, Transparency International ranked Nigeria as the 136th  most corrupt country in the world. In addition, a US report in March last year said that in Nigeria, “massive, widespread and pervasive corruption affected all levels of government and the security forces,” while alleging that judges were not left out of the massive corruption ring, the report accused the government of not implementing laws on corruption effectively, thus deliberately allowing “officials (to) frequently engage in corrupt practices with impunity.”
These are, possibly, part of what the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, saw when he cried out that the current administration’s “body language” encouraged corruption. The US government had also condemned the pardon granted some ex-convicts by the National Council of States headed by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2013.
Recall that former Governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreiye Alamieyeseigha, the former head of the Bank of the North, Shettima Bulama and some other Nigerians were granted a presidential pardon. The US had roundly condemned the act, saying, “this decision undermines anti-corruption efforts in Nigeria and encourages impunity. If the government is serious about uprooting public corruption, sanctions against those who betray the public trust should be strengthened, not relaxed,” said Akere Muna, Vice-chair of Transparency International.
And now the US has sounded a note of caution to President-elect, Buhari, not to bow to pressure by allowing politicians foster any candidate for the Petroleum Ministry whose records are stained or for purpose of satisfying political patronage.
According to the US, it will send the wrong signal that business is going to continue as usual, in which case, the incoming president might not get the much needed assistance from the US or any European country for that matter.

Dangote’s Oil Refinery To Run On UOP Technology

UOP LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Honeywell International Incorporated, on Wednesday said its process technology, catalysts and proprietary equipment would form the basis for Dangote’s refinery, the largest refinery in Africa that is targeted at reducing Nigeria’s dependence on imported fuels and petrochemicals.

Africa’s richest man and President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, had in March announced that his oil refinery would process 650,000 barrels per day of crude, up from the 450,000bpd initially planned.

The completion of the plant, expected to come on stream in 2017, will see Nigeria having the largest refinery in Africa.

Dangote Oil Refining Company selected UOP technology for a world-scale integrated refinery and
petrochemical plant to be built in Lekki, Lagos, said Honeywell in a statement on its website.

Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer with the second largest amount of proven oil reserves on the continent, currently imports most of its refined product requirements due to lack of domestic refining capacity.

The Senior Vice President and General Manager, UOP’s Process, Technology and Equipment business, Pete Piotrowski, was quoted as saying, “UOP has been designing state-of-the-art refineries and petrochemical plants for more than a century; so, we are well-equipped to help Nigeria develop a massive new installation to meet its domestic needs.

“This project will enable Dangote to improve Nigeria’s oil refining capabilities, reduce the country’s dependence on imports, and work to revive and transform the Nigerian economy.”

8 Ships Arrive Lagos Ports With Petroleum Products

Eight ships have arrived at the Lagos ports with petroleum products, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) said on Monday in Lagos.

The NPA made the disclosure in its daily publication, “Shipping Position.’’

The petroleum products include base oil, kerosene and petrol, the publication said, adding that three other ships also arrived with rice in bags and containers.

It said that NPA was expecting the arrival of 27 ships to the Lagos ports from May 4 to May 30.

According to the publication, 13 of the expected ships are to sail in with containers, while eight others are expected to arrive with food products.

The food products, it disclosed, include rice, bulk sugar, bulk salt, frozen fish and buckwheat.

General cargoes are to be brought in four ships, while one ship each would will sail in with vehicles and kerosene, the publication stated. (NAN)

Gen. Buhari Must End Importation Of Petroleum Products As Soon As Possible – NUPENG

Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has set an agenda for the incoming government of General Muhammadu Buhari in the Petroleum industry, saying the government must end importation of petroleum products within a record time.

NUPENG president, Igwe Achese, who said this at a briefing in Lagos, yesterday, noted that the incoming government must also ensure the nation’s pipelines are safe from vandalisation to reduce the haulage of products by roads.

Among the expectations of NUPENG from the incoming government, according to Achese include: “government must ensure job security in the sector, as the cardinal programme of the party is job creation. The four refineries must be rehabilitated and new ones established to end or reduce massive importation of petroleum products into the country.

“Government must also protect the nation’s pipelines from vandals because if the pipelines are effectively protected, with public depots scattered across the country, products will move through the pipelines to all the major depots across the country. This will reduce the pressures on our roads with its consequences such as road accidents and gridlocks especially in Lagos that has been creating untold hardships for citizens. Again, without the safety of the pipelines, crude cannot even get to refineries such as the Kaduna refineries. The government must also rehabilitate and expand all the access roads to the refineries,” Achese said.

NUPENG also urged the outgoing National Assembly to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) before its tenure elapsed in June.