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Oil Firms In Legal Tango Over Local Regulations Violation

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Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics (LADOL), operators of the Egina Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) has sued its partner Samsung Heavy Industries, over an alleged disregard for Nigerian laws and regulations on doing business.
LADOL is in charge of logistics for the Egina FPSO while Samsung handles the fabrication and integration.
There has been wrangling between the partners over claims that LADOL imposes charges outside the contract of the Lagos free zone thereby making it unattractive to investors.
According to media reports, LADOL had allegedly imposed a one per cent charge on the $3.3 billion Egina Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) by Samsung Heavy Industries which the company claimed was not in the original contract documents.
The company denied the allegation. But the disagreement between the companies has snowballed.
In a statement issued over the weekend, LADOL’s managing director, Jadesimi Ladi, stated that her company had filed a suit at the Federal High Court against Samsung alleging that its partner’s operation in Nigeria has been fraught with “mischief and reckless disregard for stakeholders” including regulators, employees and Nigerian citizens.
“Samsung has brazenly and persistently flouted Nigerian laws and breached contracts it duly signed with Ladol and its affiliates,” the statement read.
According to Ms Ladi, the suit was precipitated by Samsung’s “refusal to abide by conditions of service for Nigerian staff and abuse of Nigerian workers, violating procedures of the Nigerian Customs Service, Violation of Nigerian immigration procedures, breaches of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board regulations, refusal to remit statutory tariffs to the federal government despite several demands from the Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority.”
She also alleged that Samsung was “sponsoring the publication of malicious and false information about Nigerian government agencies and the business climate in Nigeria, thereby denigrating the Ease of Doing Business regimen in Nigeria, Persistent failure to comply with rules and regulations of the Free Zone, concealing sums of money provided for in the head contract from LADOL, their local content partner.”
LADOL’s boss further accused Samsung of “demanding huge unconscionable variations from their client (Total/NNPC Joint Venture) and by extension from the Nigerian people, exclusion of their Nigerian content partner from operational activities, and thereby refusing to transfer technology and blatant repudiation of major contractual terms in agreements duly signed with Ladol.”

“Samsung’s activities threaten the safety and peace of the free zone and of other responsible Nigerian and foreign Enterprises doing legitimate business within the zone. Samsung is committed to operating in a manner that brazenly defies our Nigerian regulators, flouts our laws, maltreats Nigerian workers and sabotages the economy of our dear country,” the statement claimed.
Ms. Ladi added that her company has, therefore, decided not to renew Samsung’s licence.
“Samsung failed to meet the minimum standard required to qualify for an Operating License in a Free Zone, their license has therefore expired without renewal Samsung’s Sublease Agreement has been duly terminated”
“Ladol has been the local content partner for Samsung Heavy Industries Nigeria (Samsung) for the Egina FPSO project. As a responsible Nigerian company, Ladol has put public duty and national interest ahead of its private interests and concerns for some time, with respect to the Egina project and the actions of Samsung. However, LADOL now has no choice but to bring to the fore issues that have arisen due to the actions of Samsung.”

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Oil & Energy

NLNG Spends $30bn On Gas Plants, Infrastructure In Bonny

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The Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) has invested over 30 billion US dollars (N10.8 trillion) to build gas facilities and other infrastructures in Bonny Island, Rivers, an official said.
Managing Director of NLNG Mr Tony Attah disclosed this yesterday at the end of week-long activities marking the company’s 20/30 Anniversary Celebration.
The Tide reports that NLNG used the occasion to celebrate its 20 years of operation in Bonny and 30 years of incorporation as a company.
The NLNG, Attah said, invested parts of the huge sum to build gas plants, known as Train 1, 2, 3,4, 5 and 6 as well as the ongoing construction of another Train 7 project.
“NLNG’s combined scale of investment in Bonny Kingdom is more than 30 billion dollars in assets, making it the most developed community in the Niger Delta.
“Our several accomplishments in the kingdom, ranged from our provision of modern road network, potable water and Finima Nature Park to residents of Bonny.
“Also, we invested in electricity that perhaps has made Bonny the only community in Nigeria with 99 per cent electricity and a preferred investors and tourist destination,” he said.
Attah further said the company has completed construction of Airstrip that could receive more than 60-passenger capacity aircrafts, making it one of the largest airstrip in Africa.
He said the company has provided N60.3 billion counterpart funding for the construction of N120.6 billion 34 kilometre Bonny-Bodo road project connecting Bonny Island to rest of the country.
“The ongoing road project, which we are co-sponsoring with the Federal Government, is expected to be completed within 48 months, thus triggering development and tourism in the area.
“We have also launched the malaria elimination initiative as well as the Bonny Community Health Insurance Programme in conjunction with Rivers State Government to provide affordable healthcare for the people.
“The company achieved these milestones due to the cordial and peaceful relationship existing between Bonny and Nigeria LNG in the last 20 years,” he added.
The managing Director later laid foundation for the reconstruction of Bonny Consulate Building, a historic building once used by slave merchants to transport slaves abroad.
Attah said the building would be equipped with a museum, library, movie hall, radio station, cafe, seminar/exhibition hall, souvenir shop and offices.

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NNPC Tasks NLNG Shareholders On Production Capacity

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has challenged shareholders of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) to work towards expanding the production capacity of the company beyond Train 7.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, gave the charge in a statement signed by the Acting Spokesman for the corporation, Mr Samson Makoji in Abuja, last Friday
Kyari spoke during the signing ceremony of a 2.5 billion dollar pre-payment agreement between NNPC and NLNG for upstream gas development projects to supply gas to NLNG Trains 1 – 6.
He said the agreement would help to resolve the issues around gas supply to Trains 1 – 6, adding that there was need to fast-track action on the process of bringing more trains on stream.
He noted that though NLNG had been a huge success as a company, it must go beyond its current achievements and initiate other viable projects capable of generating better return on investment.
“Actually, our thinking should be on what else we can do or what other projects we can work on as quickly as possible to take advantage of the enormous potential in the country.
“ There is also the need for us to take advantage of what is happening in the global market and do things very differently.
“There are opportunities there and our company must move into those locations and we must move fast,” he added.
The GMD said the pre-payment gas supply agreement was a milestone which aligned with the Federal Government’s aspirations of monetising the nation’s enormous gas resources.
He added it would also help in protecting the Federation’s investment in the NLNG, ensuring full capacity utilization (22mtpa LNG and 5mtpa NGLs) of Trains 1-6 plants, generating employment, and providing new vistas of growth opportunities in the nation’s LNG sector.
Earlier in his address, the Managing Director of NLNG, Mr Tony Attah, noted that the signing of the gas supply pre-payment agreement was a significant step towards ensuring the company’s business sustainability and competitiveness.
He called for support to ensure that the Final Investment Decision on the Train 7 Project would be taken in 2019 without failure.
He added that the project was no longer an ambitious one in the light of developments in the global LNG market.
The signing of the gas supply pre-payment agreement  was witnessed by the Country Chairman of Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr Osagie Okunbor, and representatives of Total, Eni/NAOC, among others.

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Oil & Energy

FG Launches Operation White To Check Fuel Diversion

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The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has launched the “Operation White” project geared toward ensuring transparency and accountability of petroleum product supply and distribution in Nigeria.
Sylva, represented by the Executive Secretary of Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), Mr Ahmed Boboi, said in Lagos last Friday that the essence was to entrench energy security.
He said it would also deepen the drive for transparency in the downstream operations.
Sylva said the strategic initiative was aimed at deploying adequate measures in ensuring that all molecules of regulated petroleum products imported by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) were well accounted for and utilised.
“NNPC will continue to record excellent performance in product supply and distribution to the nation.
“It is doing what it is supposed to do as supplier of last resort, but the reality is the nation bears a great cost in terms of absorbing the shocks of differences in cost.
“It is critical that all hands be put on deck to ensure that every molecule of product imported into this country is utilised within the borders of this nation for the benefit of Nigerian populace.
“This is a national imperative and a core thrust of Mr President’s mandate for leadership of the oil and gas industry.

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