Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has increased the number of companies awarded the contract to lift Nigeria’s crude oil this year to 27 from 21 originally awarded the contract last year. According to documents obtained from the NNPC on Thursday, six additional companies have been cleared to lift crude oil. They are – Taleveras Petroleum Trading, Masters Energy, Sacoil Energy Equity Resources Limited,Strategic Fuel Fund, Sinopec (UNIPEC) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited.
The NNPC had in December 2015 announced that the contract for the lifting of its 950,000 barrels per day crude had been awarded to 21, out of the 278 companies that participated in the bidding process. The contract was to run from January 2016 to December 2016.
However, in the document from its Crude Oil Marketing Division (COMD) released on its website Thursday, the NNPC increased the number of companies to 27 without explanations as to why the number was expanded and without stating the criteria used in selecting the six companies among the 257 companies that were not successful in the bid process.
Also, the inclusion of the six companies becomes questionable, in view of Nigeria’s dwindling crude oil output, in the face of the crisis in the Niger Delta. Prior to announcement in December, the NNPC had disclosed that only 16 companies would be awarded the contract, but it ended up awarding it to 21 companies, also without any explanation as to why the participants were increased.
In the announcement last December, the NNPC stated that 240,000 barrels per day of crude oil, representing 24 percent of the total volume on offer, was awarded to four refiners classified as major receivers of Nigerian crude with capacity to process all of Nigerian crude oil grades. Each the refiners were to receive 60,000 barrels of crude oil per day. The off-takers in this category, the NNPC said, include: Emirates National Oil Coy, ENOC, Indian Oil Corporation, CEPSA Refinery Madrid and Sara SPA Refinery. Also, three international trading companies, Trafigura PT Limited, Mercuria Energy Trading SA and Vitol SA were awarded the contract for the lifting of 32,000 barrels of crude each per day, representing 10 per cent of the total volume on offer.
According to the NNPC, the award was based on their pedigree as large-scale buyers of Nigerian crude with structure for short-term freight intervention and storage. In addition, trading Affiliates of International Oil Companies, comprising ENI Trading and Shipping SPA, TOTSA Total Oil Trading SA, Exxon Sale and Supply LLC and Shell Western Supply and Trading also received term allocation of 32,000 barrels per day each, totaling 128,000 bpd and representing about 13 per cent of the total volume of crude oil on offer.
Furthermore, Nigerian downstream operators with wide experience in crude trading and large asset base accounted for 405,000 bpd, representing about 41 per cent of the total crude volume on offer. In this category, Emo Oil & Petrochemical Company/China Zhenhea, an NNPC long-term trader, was allocated 45,000 bpd.” Others include Northwest Petroleum and Gas, 45,000 bpd; Forte Oil, 45,000 bpd; Oando Plc, 60,000 bpd; Sahara Energy Resources, 60,000 bpd; A. A. Rano Nigeria, 45,000 bpd; Eterna Oil, 45,000 bpd; and MRS Oil & Gas Company, 60,000 bpd.
NNPC Trading Companies Calson/Hyson, 32,000 bpd; and Duke Oil Incorporated, 90,000 bpd, account for a combined off-take of 122,000 bpd or about 12 per cent of the total volume on offer.
No mention was made of Taleveras Petroleum Trading, Masters Energy, Sacoil Energy Equity Resources Limited, Strategic Fuel Fund, Sinopec (UNIPEC) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited.