The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has sealed 11 illegal gas plants as well as seven filling stations over various sharp practices in Abuja, Nigeria’s seat of government.
The raided plants selling mainly Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) also known as cooking gas and the filling stations visited were located in Karimo, Gwagwa, Games Village, Kuje and Gwagwalada in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The petroleum industry regulator stated that the LPG plant owners were operating illegally while the affected petrol stations were carrying out their businesses without valid licences.
Some of the illegal gas plants affected were: Macco Synergy, Mr T&M cooking gas, Trinity cooking gas, Meter Smile Gas ltd, Sunny Sun cooking gas, among others.
In her remarks, during the operation, the DPR Abuja Zonal Operations Controller, Mrs Roselyn Wilkie, said that previous efforts to get the illegal operators to regularise their businesses failed to yield the needed results.
She said: “During today’s exercise, 11 illegal LPG plants were raided in collaboration with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). Some personnel of these illegal facilities were arrested and they have been handed over to security operatives for prosecution.
She said, “All our efforts to get the attention of the illegal facility operators with the view to regularising their businesses failed to yield the desired result.”
DPR cannot sit back and watch the danger the existence of these illegal facilities portends to the lives and properties of citizens.
“This necessitated our going out as the situation arose to enforce provisions of the relevant laws and regulations for construction and operation of petroleum products facilities in the downstream sector.”
She added that the DPR as an opportunity house and business enabler had been engaging illegal petroleum product facility owners to get the best advice on how to regularise their businesses and operate legally in a safe environment.
Wilkie further called on all illegal facilities’ operators to come forward and regularise their operation by obtaining the necessary licence to operate from the organisation.
According to her, this would ensure the protection of investors’ assets and the safety of lives and properties within the sector.
During the raid, seven filling stations were visited while 18 petrol pumps were sealed for sharp practices, including for suspected cases of diversion of six trucks containing products.
GenCos, NBET Renegotiate Contracted Capacity
NERC’s Vice Chairman, Musiliu Oseni, who made this disclosure at a briefing in Abuja, insisted that nothing has gone wrong with implementation of the eligible customers regulation implementation, noting that it is still on course.
According to him, there are a few eligible customers because of the handful ones that have been able to complete their submission and review of the necessary documentation.
The Vice Chairman added that some of the customers that are yet to secure approval have challenges that include data or the inability of their potential generator to sell additional capacity to them under that framework.
He explained that this is because many of the generators in the country already have contracts with NBET, stressing, he said GenCos cannot contract the same capacity twice.
On the renegotiation between GenCos and NBET, he said: “But of course, some of them (GenCos) are also making a move to renegotiate the contracted capacity already made with NBET in order to free up some capacity to sell to eligible customers.
“So nothing wrong is happening to the regulation regulations in place. This framework is the ongoing”, he said.
Earlier, the NERC Chairman debunked media reports on tariff hike.
He insisted that there was no new tariff review other than the ones that had been reported.
But he admitted that the Extraordinary 2022 Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO) took effect in February 2022 and was only released on the commission’s website Thursday when the media feasted on it.
According to him, the DisCos had already made public the same tariff.
The reporters, however, stood their ground that in as much as NERC posted it on its website for the first time on Thursday, it was news at that time.
OPEC Looks Beyond Politics, Focuses On Long-Term Production
The Energy Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Suhail Al-Mazrouei, sounded a sober note earlier this week as he struck at Western countries for having what can only be described as a hypocritical attitude to fossil fuels.
“I think in COP 26 all the producers felt they were uninvited and unwanted but now we are again superheroes, it’s not going to work like that,” the Minister said at the Global Energy Forum organized by the Atlantic Council in Dubai.
The top Emirati energy official went on to explain the basics of the oil industry, stressing that production is tied to long-term planning, which is incompatible with calls and actions on investment cuts in order to put more money into renewable energy.
That should have been obvious to everyone familiar with the very basics of economics, but it appears to have escaped some currently in charge in Europe and the United States.
Their reasoning seems to be that oil producers have a vested interest in selling their oil while it is in demand because in 20 years, per climate change plans, demand won’t be that strong.
It is a valid line of reasoning and one that the oil producers themselves have recognised. It is this, at least in part, that has motivated the UAE and Saudi Arabia to invest in boosting their output capacity.
The UAE is aiming for 5 million bpd in total production, and the Saudis are eyeing 13 million bpd in production capacity.
This should be good news for oil-thirsty importers, but this capacity is not coming online this year while the importers, specifically the ones in Europe, are eager to reduce their dependence on Russian oil right now, by the end of the year.
The obvious substitute for Russian oil would be oil from the Middle East, but as Reuters’ John Kemp recently explained, this is easier said than done.
Although, theoretically, new markets would be good news for oil exporters, OPEC is still limiting its production, and some members are failing to pump even as much as that limited amount agreed by the OPEC+ group.
Also, as Kemp pointed out in his column, rerouting oil flows from Asia to Europe makes very little strategic sense: Europe is an oil market in decline, unlike Asia. In other words, Gulf producers don’t really have an incentive to sell more oil to Europe. Nor do they have an incentive to join the Western condemnation of Russia.
“When it comes to OPEC+ — I would take that privilege of saying I’ve been at it for 35 years, and I know how we managed to compartmentalize our political differences from what is for the common good of all of us,” Saudi energy minister Abdulaziz bin Salmantold CNBC’s Hadley Gamble this week, speaking of the Russian issue.
“That culture is seeped into OPEC+, so when we get into that OPEC meeting room, or OPEC building, everybody leaves his politics at the outside door of that building, and that culture has been with us,” bin Salman also said.
Indeed, one only needs to recall that OPEC involves both Saudi Arabia and Iran, the two Middle Eastern archenemies, and they have managed to act in concert on oil despite their differences.
OPEC, and OPEC+, appear to be stronger than ever. It is hard to believe that just two years ago, Saudi Arabia and Russia locked horns over oil policies and even engaged in a sort of an oil output blitz to make their respective points, pushing prices down sharply just before the pandemic really got going, pushing them a lot further lower. The two cooled off pretty soon and have been working in harmony ever since.
Crude oil prices slipped briefly below $100 per barrel on signals that the negotiations between Russia and Ukraine had struck a constructive note.
However, soon after the news, traders apparently realized this wouldn’t automatically mean the lifting of sanctions on Russia, and prices rebounded, helped by the API’s weekly inventory report, which estimated a decline of 3 million barrels.
The villain-turned-superhero trope is one that is well known and frequently exploited in literature and film. There are plenty of examples of this trope in geopolitics as well, as well as its mirror image of the superhero-turned-villain. Yet OPEC clearly does not want to star in such a film.
OPEC has its priorities, and it is sticking to them, even in the face of growing pressure from its political partners in the West. The latter might need to be more convincing in their assurances that they are committed to this partnership, and even that may not be enough to sway the cartel into producing more oil.
By: Irina Slav
Slav reports for Oilprice.com
Prosecute Culprits In N14bn Hidden PHCN Fund, Stakeholders Call
Human rights activist and president, One Nigeria Empowerment Initiative Inc (ONEII), Comrade Onwumere, while speaking with newsmen, urged Federal Government to prosecute the people responsible for keeping such amount in banks at the detriment of improving the sector.
Onwumere noted that proper investment of such money could go a long way to bring the expected turnaround in the industry.
He described the act as criminal against the improvement of the energy sector in the country.
According to him, proper and regular supply of electricity would help reduce crime rates because many who were pushed into criminal activities following their inability to find useful means to earn decent living would channel their strengths into good lucrative jobs or businesses.
Similarly, Comrade Najeem Abubakar described the people who hide such money as anti-progress.
“Hiding any money meant for development of public facilities is wrong, as such they should be dealt with because they are enemies of the state.
“Nigeria is never a lawless country. The officers that hid such billions of Naira in the bank are criminals, they should be prosecuted and brought to book because it is and infringement on the people’s right by stealing their tax money, money which ought to be used for the general public.
“Availability of electricity at regular bases will help to create more jobs for the people. All those who are forced to take part in crimes or go into okada riding because of idleness can take into barbing saloon, tailoring or other means of making money when there will be improved electricity,” he stated.
In the same vein, he advised government to utilise the money to improve electricity supply to the country and provide more prepaid meters for consumers.
He also called on EFCC to investigate the corrupt act in order to fish out those behind the act to serve as a deterrent.
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