PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has ordered a probe into the current lists of crude oil takers, swap deals and liquefied natural gas lifting lists put in place by the immediate past Group Managing Director, GMD, of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and current Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu.
The probe was triggered by complaints from stakeholders in the oil and gas industry who have voiced dissatisfaction to top government functionaries, as well as cries of alleged corruption and favouritism in the allocation of crude oil, gas as well as the swap deal involving some companies discredited by the current government when it came to power in 2015.
A source close to NNPC who spoke under condition of anonymity said the new NNPC GMD,Dr. Maikanti Baru had been directed to look into the allegations in the swap deals involving CEPSA Refinery, IOC Refinery, ENOC and Sara Refinery labelled as major current receivers of Nigeria’s crude.
The NNPC boss has also been asked to investigate the list of 20/206 crude oil takers approved by Kachikwu. The companies involved are Master Energy and Taleveras, as well as Mercuria, Vitol, and Trafigura, the international trading companies approved by the former GMD. Other deals which may come under scrutiny, our correspondent gathered, are those involving the IOC Trading Affiliates listed as major players.
The companies are Exxon Trading, Total Trading, Eni Trading and Shell Trading, while the Nigerian downstream has Oando, Sahara Energy and MRS. Master Energy, Forte Oil, A.A Rano Ltd, Northwest Petroleum, Eternal Oil, Taleveras and Emo Oil/China Zhenhea respectively may also be investigated by the government. Search light is also expected to be beamed on the indiscriminate allocation of gas by Kachikwu while he served as the boss of the nation’s oil corporation.
Some of the companies which may be investigated to ascertain the transparency of the deals they entered into with the Nigerian government are Petrowest SA which had enjoyed allocation of Pentane Plus (owned by MRS Oil), F-Energy (Folawiyo Group) which was allocated OSO LPG; Runi Oil which got OSO LPG Domestic, West Africa LPG (owned by Sahara Group) which got Escravos LPG-Mix, Metropolitan (unknown owner), which was allocated Pentane Plus and Worldwide Energy (owned by Trafigura), which got OSO LPG and Zanedo Petroleume (owned by Igho Sanomi) which got OSO LPG Domestic.
Others are Falcon Petroleum which got Pentane Plus; Sahara Group which got OSO LPG, Avedia Energy Resources which was allocated Escravos Mix and Tenoil (belonging to Tony Elumelu), which got Escravos Condensate. “All these allocations have not gone down well with the government and that’s why Mr. President decided to bring in a fresh hand in the person of Dr. Baru with the clear mandate to further clean up the system for proper accountability and transparency,” the source said.