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NNPC Secures $2bn Discounts On Re-Negotiated Contracts

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), says it has secured $2 billion dollars discount from re-negotiated upstream contracts being executed by its various service providers in the last one year.
The Group Managing Director of the corporation, Dr Maikanti Baru, made this known in a message to mark one year of his headship of the organisation.
In a statement by  NNPC Group General Manager, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, Group Public Affairs Division, Baru said that the discount was got in the quest to continually drive down the high cost of production in the oil industry.
He said that the corporation had successfully reduced cost of producing a barrel of crude from 27 dollars per barrel to 22 dollars per barrel.
He said that in the upstream segment of the sector, cost reduction and efficiency were key features that the corporation would focus attention on.
Baru said that there had been significant increase in crude oil reserves and production, averaging national daily production of 1.83 million barrels of oil and condensate.
He disclosed that currently, “the year-to-date 2017 average production hovers around 1.88 million barrels’’.
He said that with improvement in security and resumption of production on Forcados Oil Terminal (FOT) and Qua Iboe Terminal pipelines, average national production was expected to increase.
According to him, it will surpass 2017 target of 2.2 million barrels of oil and condensate per day.
“In October last year, the Owowo Field, located close to the producing ExxonMobil-operated Usan Field was found, and the Field’s location could allow for early production through a tie-back to the Usan Floating Production Storage and Offloading.
“The Field added current estimated reserves of one billion barrels to the national crude oil reserves.
“The corporation has grown the production of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), NNPC’s flagship Upstream Company, from 15,000 barrels of oil per day to the current peak-operated volume of 210,000 barrels per day in June, 2017.
“The ownership of Oil Mining Licence, OML13, has been restored to NPDC following a presidential intervention, with first oil from the well expected before the end of the year.
“The confidence of the NNPC Joint Venture (JV) partners to pursue new projects has been rekindled following the repayment agreements for JV cash call arrears.
“The arrears were negotiated and executed for outstanding up to end 2015 by all the International Oil Company Partners,” Baru said.
He also said that gas supply to power plants and industries in the country had significantly increased.
Baru listed NNPC’s accomplishments during the period as completion of repairs of vandalized 20″ Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System ‘A’ in August, 2016 which ramped up Chevron Escravos Gas plant supply from nil to 259 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd).
Another, according to him, is the completion of repairs of the vandalized Chevron offshore gas pipeline in February, 2017 which took the company’s gas supply to 430mmscfd.
He said that others were completion of repairs on vandalized 48″ FOT export gas pipeline in June, 2017 and inauguration of NPDC’s Utorogu NAG2 and Oredo EPF 2 gas plants.
The GMD explained that the FOT export pipeline had reactivated shutdown gas plants, including Oredo Gas Plant, Sapele Gas Plant, Ovade Gas Plant, Oben and NGC Gas Compressors.
He said that the concomitant effect of the attainments was a significant growth in domestic gas supply in the last few months.
He added that during the period, domestic gas supply increased from average of 700mmscf in July, 2016 to an average of 1,220mmscfd currently, with about 75 per cent of the volume supplied to thermal power plants.
“A lot of Generation Companies, as a result, are rejecting gas due to the inability of Transmission Company of Nigeria to wheel-out the power generated”, Baru said.
He also said that since he resumed office, resources had been deployed to the Benue Trough, with exploration efforts commencing there in earnest.
“Seismic data acquisition is ongoing in the frontier region using the services of Integrated Data Services limited (IDSL) and her partners to pursue government’s aspiration to grow the reserves base of the country.
“Drilling activities are expected to commence in Benue Trough in the fourth quarter of this year.
“We are working with the security agencies for an early return to the Chad Basin.
“Drilling activities will be a priority on resumption while continuing with seismic data acquisition with improved parameters,” he projected.
In the downstream sector, Baru explained that NNPC had stabilized the market with sufficient products availability across the country through modest local refining efforts as well as Direct Supply Direct Purchase (DSDP) scheme.
According to him, the scheme has saved the nation about N40 billion in 2017.
“We have also commenced the resuscitation of our products transportation pipelines network, thus enabling us to move products to depots at faster rate and cheaper distribution costs to consumers.
“The Aba, Mosimi, Atlas-Cove and Kano depots have all been re-commissioned and are currently receiving products, thereby enhancing products availability across the country,” he said.
Baru said that under him, NNPC had improved capacity utilization of the refineries with the projection that they would attain supply of 50 per cent of non-gasoline white products, including diesel and kerosene, to the nation.
“After more than seven years of dormancy, the Asphalt Blowing Unit of the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC) was resuscitated to meet road construction needs in the country.
“Efforts are ongoing to secure third party financing to revamp the refineries to their full operational capacities,” he said.
He commended the corporation’s staff and industry’s in-house unions – Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) for their support.

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Buhari Seeks UK, EU Countries’ Partnership On Green Energy Policy 

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President, Muhammadu Buhari, has stressed the need for a long-term partnership between Nigeria, the United Kingdom, and the European Union (EU) on green energy policy.
Buhari, who made the call in an interview with Bloomberg News, said the UK and EU countries should invest in the planned 4000 km pipeline meant to bring Nigerian gas, regarded as the largest reserves in Africa, through Morocco, to Europe.
According to the President, when completed, the gas pipeline project would help to address gas supply crisis in Europe.
“We need long-term partnership, not inconsistency and contradiction on green energy policy from the UK and European Union.
“Investment is hampered by their broad-brush moratorium on overseas gas projects, while at home the same projects are classified as green.
“It does not help their energy security, it does not help Nigeria’s economy, and it does not help the environment. It is hypocrisy that must end.
“To change, the UK and EU countries should invest in our planned 4000 km pipeline to bring Nigerian gas, the largest reserves in Africa, via Morocco, then onto Europe”, he said.
The President explained that the gas pipeline project, connecting Nigeria to Europe, which was conceived four years ago, had since been unveiled.
Recalling that on June 2 the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) entered into an agreement with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for its construction, he said, “concurrently on July 1, the NNPC will become a Limited Liability Company and be subject to more robust auditing and commercial disclosure obligations.
“It will help stimulate investment and boost transparency, where corruption has deterred the former and stymied the latter.
“My administration is the first to pass this landmark reform in our oil and gas sector, after two decades of predecessors’ failure to do so, no doubt due to vested interests,” he stated.
Buhari, however, noted that criminality and terrorism in Nigeria’s oil-producing regions had continued to hamper oil production.
Consequently, called on the Western allies to sanction all terrorist groups operating in the Niger Delta region and other oil-producing states in the South-East and South-South zones.
“It would help if our western allies designated IPOB as a terrorist group, given their complicity in damage to pipelines and infrastructure,” he said.
Buhari also revealed that the country had invested in the security forces, including the one billion dollar military deal with the U.S. for the acquisition of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft.

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Nigerians Collect 3m Passports From 2019-2022 – Aregbesola

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Minister of Interior Affairs, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, says a total of three million passports were issued to Nigerians between 2019 to 2022.
He used the opportunity to warn officers and men of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) against extortions and hoarding of passport booklets to create an undue scarcity in the system.
The minister, who disclosed this at the official launching of the Enhanced e-Passport in Benin, Asaba and Warri passport offices, and the commissioning of the passport production centre at the Benin Passport office, Edo State Command, lauded the achievement of the NIS.
“It will interest you to know that between 2019 and now, as difficult as that era was, the Nigerian Immigration Service has issued over three million passports to Nigerians. It is unprecedented in the history of Nigeria.
“Last year alone, 1.3 million passports were issued. Also, last time I checked, over 250,000 passports remained uncollected by applicants”, he said.
He assured that the exploitation of Nigerians seeking to get their passports will no longer be tolerated by him, saying that erring officers will be seriously dealt with.
“Whoever disregard any Nigerian,  whoever exploit any Nigerian in their quest to get this document will be dealt with personally by me. This is the last time I am going to warn”, he said.
Aregbesola said President Muhammadu Buhari expressed regrets on hearing that Nigerians are always denied passports, stressing that with the enhanced e-Passport, denial of passports will no longer be experienced.

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NDLEA, NAGAFF Collaborate Against Illicit Drug Importation

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National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has called for a working relationship with 100 percent Compliance Team of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) in order to curb the Illicit importation of drugs through the seaports.
Speaking at a courtesy visit to the secretariat of the 100 percent Compliance Team in Lagos, Commander, Tin Can Island Port NDLEA, Mr. Aminu Abubakar warned freight forwarders and their importers to desist from Illicit drug clearance from the ports stressing the need for proper sensitisation of importation.
While calling for the support and cooperation of the NAGAFF Compliance Team, Abubakar urged freight forwarders to desist from the spread of hard drugs through the seaports by sticking to their legitimate duties.
He noted that since the NDLEA launched the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) in Abuja, several seizures have been made during cargo examination at the ports, with freight forwarders arrested and jailed for their  involvem in the importation of hard drugs.
The NDLEA boss stated that from January 2022 till date, the agency has intercepted 1500 Kilograms of Tapendatol with a value of over N6million amongst others at the seaports.
According to him, Tapendatol is another type of Tramadol drug which is more potent and dangerous than the usual Tramadol.
“The agency has different units and strategies through which we fight the menace and monster of drug abuse, and trafficking into our country.
“This is the suppression of the supply of drugs, which we do at the seaports. We profile some containers at the seaports, and based on the profile, we target such consignment and ensure we conduct proper examination.
“Sometimes we work with intelligence information or on the basis of profile which informs what we do.
“The agency has some strategies, which include counselling drug abusers and public enlightenment on the effects and prevention of drug abuse. There are also rehabilitation centers”, he said.
It will be recalled that the Chairman of the NDLEA recently launched call centers which would soon be operational, where one can report issues or seek for help.
“We have gotten 1500 kilograms of Tapendatol drug worth over N6million from Apapa and Tin Can ports.
We can only imagine what it will do if it gets to places where it is intended. Nigeria is already in crisis. We have the problem of banditry, kidnappings and youth restiveness and the root cause of these acts emanate from abuse of drugs”, he stated.
On his part, the National Coordinator of the 100 Percent Compliance Team, NAGAFF, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko, explained that most freight forwarders become liable to the crime of hard drugs importation because 60 percent of freight agents at the ports use their company names to import consignments on behalf of the importers.
While assuring NDLEA of the group’s support, the NAGAFF Compliance boss noted that about eleven members of NAGAFF have been innocently detained in prison due to such acts.
Tanko, however, stressed that freight forwarders should desist from using their company’s name to ship in consignments in favour of the importers to avoid being liable when there are infractions.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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