President Muhamadu Buhari has approved a tendering process for the 2015/2016 Crude Oil Term Contract and the evacuation of Nigeria’s crude oil equity from the various crude and condensate production arrangements.

The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which announced the presidential approval, said it will begin with the advertisement of the Crude Oil Term contract in both National and International print media for one month.

According to the statement issued by the corporation on Wednesday, the new arrangement has been “carefully structured to weed out briefcase companies and rent seekers”.

NNPC also confirmed the cancellation of crude oil swap contracts as well as Offshore Processing Agreement Contracts (OPA), it struck with traders under the previous administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.

The corporation said the new measures are geared towards cost reduction and strengthening of operational efficiency across its value chain. According to the statement signed by Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ohi Alegbe, NNPC cancelled the current contract for delivery of crude oil to the four national refineries in Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna due to exorbitant cost and inappropriate process of engagement.

The Corporation also noted that as a stop-gap measure, NIDAS Marine Limited, a subsidiary of the NNPC has been engaged to provide crude delivery service on negotiated industry standard rate pending the establishment of substantive contract.

The statement reads further: “We have also commenced a rigorous and transparent process of securing capable and competitive contractors for the delivery of crude oil by marine vessels to Port Harcourt and Warri/Kaduna Refineries pending the restoration of the Crude Pipeline infrastructure.”

The corporation disclosed that it resorted to the delivery of crude oil to the refineries by marine vessels following incessant attacks on the Bonny-Port Harcourt refinery pipeline and the Escravos crude pipelines by vandals and oil thieves resulting in the complete unavailability of the pipelines in 2013.

The corporation also said the OPA contracts it entered in January 2015 with three companies, namely- Duke Oil Company Inc., Aiteo Energy Resources Limited and Sahara Energy Resources (Nig) Ltd, has been cancelled because it was “skewed in favour of the companies.”

“However after detailed appraisal of the operation and its terms of agreement, the NNPC is convinced that the current OPA is skewed in favour of the company’s such that the value of product delivered is significantly lower than the equivalent crude oil allocated for the programme,’’ the Corporation said.

Under the agreement NNPC allocates a total of 210, 000 barrels of crude oil per day for refining at offshore locations in exchange for petroleum products at pre-agreed yield pattern. NNPC also admitted that the structure of the agreement does not guarantee unimpeded supply of petroleum products as delivery terms were not optimal.

To address these lapses, the NNPC said that it had commenced the process of establishing alternative OPA based on optimum yield pattern with tender processing fees.

“After due appraisal of performance trajectory, we have invited Messrs. Oando, Sahara Energy, Calson, MRS, Duke Oil, BP/Nigermed and Total Trading to bid for the new Offshore Processing Agreement while we have engaged AITEO, Sahara Energy and Duke Oil to exit the current OPA,’’ it said.

On the status of the crude for product exchange agreement (SWAP) reportedly entered into by the NNPC and some oil traders, the corporation informed that the last SWAP arrangement lapsed in December, 2014 and was never renewed.

By Olisemeka Obeche


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