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FG’s Inaction Threatens $37bn LNG Projects

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The Federal Government has been accused of undermining the take-off of the $12 billion Nigeria LNG’s Train 7, $10 billion Olokola LNG and the $15 billion Brass LNG projects.

A business intelligent firm, Oxford Business Group, had in a recent report estimated the total cost of the three LNG projects at $37 billion, and experts had expressed worry that continuous political interference from the Federal Government would further jeopardise these projects.

Though the $12 billion NLNG Train 7 project is considered as the most economical of all the three LNG investments, sources identified government interest in Brass NLNG located in Bayelsa State as the factor delaying the entire $37 billion LNG projects.

The Federal Government, through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, owns 49 per cent each in NLNG and Brass LNG, and experts have said the President Goodluck Jonathan-administration might be more disposed to having Brass LNG take off before NLNG’s seventh train.

The Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director, NLNG, Mr. Babs Omotowa, had recently said $10 billion had been lost to the delay in reaching a final investment decision for the train seven project.

When completed, he said the seventh train would enable the company to add some eight million metric tonnes to its current production capacity and increase annual output to 30 million metric tonnes.

He said, “The Train 7 is potentially capable of mopping up and exporting some more of the currently flared gas, and yielding an estimated $2.5 billion in revenues.

“On balance, it is clear to us at NLNG that Train 7 is an enterprise which all shareholders and stakeholders should support and pursue with vigour, for the simple reason that its outcome will be good for Nigeria and for our business,” he said.

The NLNG boss, however, did not give specific details as to when the FID for the seventh NLNG train would be taken.

NLNG is jointly owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (49 per cent), Shell (25.6 per cent), Total LNG Nigeria Ltd (15 per cent) and Eni (10.4 per cent).

Backed by NNPC (49 per cent), Agip/ENI (17 per cent), Total (17 per cent) and ConocoPhillips (17 per cent), the $15 billion Brass LNG facility was planned to consist two trains with a capacity of 5.5m tonnes per year (with an additional two-train option).

The FID on the Brass LNG project suffered major setbacks when ConocoPhillips, in 2013, announced the intention to divest its Nigerian assets.

“As a result, Brass LNG is now seeking third-party investors to take on the remaining 17 per cent stake” OBG said.

The source said, “With the exit of ConocoPhillips from the Brass LNG project, it has been challenging finding who will replace ConocoPhillips and take over its shareholding. The shareholding of ConocoPhillips has been marketed globally and no company has shown an interest.”

Before ConocoPhillips’ exit, the Chairman, Board of Brass Liquefied Natural Gas, Dr. Jackson Gaius-Obaseki, had expressed the hope that the project would take off on or before the end of the first quarter of 2013.

It was, however, not to be as the exit of ConocoPhillips created a vacuum that must be filled before the project could take off.

The FID on the Brass LNG project had suffered several postponements as it should have been taken in December 2006 and later in December 2008. It was also postponed to the first quarter of 2011 with construction expected to start by mid-2011. It was later postponed in 2012 to the first quarter of 2013.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, in 2006, facilitated the $10 billion Olokola Liquefied Natural Gas project overlapping the states of Ondo and Ogun and adjacent to the OK-Free Trade Zone under development.

The 12.6m-tonnes-per-annum facility, consists of four trains backed by the NNPC (49 per cent), Chevron (19 per cent), Shell (19 per cent) and the United Kingdom’s BG Group (13 per cent).

A Final Investment Decision was delayed after BG pulled out of the project in May 2012.

OKLNG’s fate was further put on hold when Chevron Nigeria Limited and Shell withdrew from the project.

Chevron had blamed its exit on the lack of progress on the project, eight years after its inception.

The General Manager, Policy, Government & Public Affairs, CNL, Mr. Deji Haastrup, confirmed in a statement that the company effectively pulled out of the project on July 31, 2013. The statement also confirmed that Shell pulled out of the OKLNG project on July 31, 2013.

The source, who reiterated that political interference was one of the major challenges facing the projects, said that OKLNG projects were on the front burner during the Obasanjo administration, but argued that attention shifted to Brass LNG since the former president left office.

Obasanjo, who seemed to have lent credence to this in his recent open letter to Jonathan, said, “some of our development partners were politically frustrated to withdraw from the Olokola LNG project, which happily was not yet the same with the Brass. I initiated them both. They were viable and would have taken us close to Qatar as LNG producing country.

Nigeria, which is the Saudi of Africa in oil and gas terms, is being overtaken by Angola only because necessary decisions are not made timely and appropriately.”

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Residents Nab Man Dumping Fresh Corpse In PH

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A middle-aged man has been caught dumping the fresh corpse of a male with suspected machete cuts on it.
The suspect identified as Israel Israel, who claimed to be a native of Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, was apprehended, last Friday, while carting away a truck used in dumping a fresh male body on the Cherubim Road Bridge, Mile 3, Diobu axis in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area of the state.
A local security personnel in the area, Richman Jogwe, said the suspect was apprehended with the truck used in dumping the dead body.
Jogwe said: “This truck was used in dumping a dead body with machete cuts in the face, head, leg and hands. So, in early hours of today, this man came to take the truck, and we got him arrested.”
He further disclosed that the suspect had been handed over to the Nkpolu Divisional Police Headquarters, Mile 3, Diobu, for interrogation.
In his reaction, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Nnamdi Omoni, said he was aware of the incident, but insisted he had no detailed information.
Omoni was quoted as saying: “I am aware that the man who brought the truck has been arrested. When I get the full details, I will let you know.”

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Wike, Real Madrid Sign Cooperation Ratification Pact

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Real Madrid and the Rivers State Government have signed a cooperation ratification agreement for promotion of sports amongst children and youths at the Real Madrid Academy, Port Harcourt.
The signing of the ratification of the framework for cooperation agreement between the international football club and the Rivers State Government took place over the weekend at the Auditorium of Real Madrid Sport City, Fuerzas Armadas Avenue, 402, Madrid, Spain.
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, on behalf of the Rivers State Government; the Executive Vice President of the Real Madrid Foundation, Mr. Enrique Sanchez; and President of Interact Sports, Mr. Jihad Saade; jointly signed the agreement.
Speaking at the event, Wike commended the Real Madrid Foundation and the Interact Sports for the opportunity given to the Rivers State Government to partner with the Real Madrid Football Club in order to encourage Rivers’ youths to develop their talents and skill through sport.
He said the state government was pleased to ratify the agreement with the Real Madrid Foundation, and assured that everything has been done to fully kick-start the Real Madrid Academy in Port Harcourt.
Wike, who was accompanied by the Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, and the Rivers State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Zacchaeus Adangor (SAN), explained that the initial intention was to admit only boys as students into the Real Madrid Academy, but following the huge application received from prospective female students, the state government had to reconsider the policy.
“We had to stop to include the girls. We are very ready to kick-start the school, and we believe that this is a very good opportunity for our people. We are honoured to be identified with the Real Madrid; it is a good brand for us.”
Wike reaffirmed his belief that sport was an important factor in social integration and in the promotion of ethical values such as solidarity, participation, team spirit, respect for one’s opponent and non-discrimination.
The Real Madrid Foundation maintained its resolve to continue to promote sports amongst children and youths in the understanding that sports contributes to the comprehensive development of a young person’s personality, offering positive alternatives to situations of risk and fostering healthy habits and ways of life amongst children and youths.
On his part, the President of Interact Sports, Jihad Saade, said that Interact Sports has been an active contributor to the dynamic transformation of Nigeria, moving forward with modernity without forgetting Nigeria’s rich culture and heritage.
All the parties mutually acknowledged that they have the necessary legal capacity and authorisation to execute and subscribe to the protocol.
The Real Madrid Foundation is the instrument by which Real Madrid uses to promote, both in Spain as well as abroad, the values inherent in sports, and the latter’s role as an educational tool capable of contributing to the comprehensive development of the personality of those who practice it.

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…Omehia Hails Wike On Feat

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Former governor of Rivers State, Sir Celestine Omehia, has said that The Sun Man of the Year 2020 Award conferred on Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, was very fitting and timely.
Omehia also expressed gratitude to The Sun Publishing Limited, publishers of Daily Sun, Saturday Sun, Sunday Sun and Sporting Sun for recognising the achievements of Wike for the third consecutive time.
In a statement, yesterday, Omehia said that Wike was deserving of the award considering the giant developmental strides he has recorded in Rivers State.
He described Wike as an astute administrator and a distinguished politician who listens to the needs of the people of Rivers State and implements them accordingly.
Omehia said that Wike has during his over six years’ stint as governor of Rivers, performed excellently in the different facets of the lives of the Rivers people.
He maintained that as someone who has had the opportunity of occupying the coveted office, he can bear testimony to the fact that the Nyesom Wike-led administration has done excellently well.
According to Omehia, “his records in infrastructural development, security, urban and rural development, human resources development, including his political prowess, are unrivalled.
“Governor Wike has deployed the resources of the state to the benefit of the people, justifying the mandate massively and duly given to him by the people of Rivers State.”
Omehia also called on the opposition political parties in the state to emulate the leadership qualities of Wike, and join hands with the performing governor to move the state forward.
While noting that in unity, the state stands to gain in all ramifications, Omehia stated that division would do no one any good, irrespective of his status or political affiliation.
He further said he was not regretting his performance during his short stay in Government House, Port Harcourt as governor of the state, saying that he left significant landmarks for residents of the state.

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