254 firms submit bids to buy, sell Nigeria’s crude
Nigeria’s crude and condensate production stood at 2.25 million barrels per day on Tuesday, while 254 companies submitted bids for the sale and purchase of the country’s crude oil grades for the 2018/2019 Crude Term Contract.
According to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, about 40 cargoes of crude volumes will be offered monthly to winners of the term contract, adding that the number of bidders increased by 30 when compared to the 2017/2018 exercise.
The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Maikanti Baru, who disclosed this on the sidelines of the bid opening ceremony in Abuja on Tuesday, also stated that the importation of Nigerian crude by the United States picked up in 2017, as opposed to what obtained a year earlier.
“For crude production without condensate, we’ve gone up significantly today. We have about 1.8 million barrels per day without condensate. If you add condensate, we produce about 2.25 million barrels per day. So there is significant improvement,” he stated.
On the amount of crude to be lifted by bidders, the NNPC boss said, “The quantity is about the volume that we had last year. We have about 40 cargoes on a monthly basis and the number of bidders that submitted this year is 254.
“The winners will emerge after evaluation, which will take about three to four weeks. We will get the required consent and once we get the approval, we will announce the winners.”
When asked to state the number of winners that would emerge, Baru replied, “I wouldn’t know how many will emerge. It depends on how good the submissions are.”
He said the government would seriously scrutinise the reputation of bidders, stressing that the commodity would not be given to individuals with questionable character.
“The beneficial owners being talked about refer to the companies or their directors. We want to be sure, in terms of reputation, that we do not get our goods in the hands of companies that have directors with questionable character,” he added.
On the export of Nigerian crude, he said, “In 2016, we had very low export, particularly to the US. But last year, we had up to 16.5 per cent, to be precise, of our crude going to North America.”
The NNPC GMD stated that the 2018/2019 crude term contract would follow similar procedures adopted in the preceding year so as to clear all forms of arbitrariness in the exercise.
Baru said, “What we successfully put in place last year was that we had a list of the off-takers and we made the crude available in the order that we had and when the order finished, we went back and started from the top.
“So that is the automation being referred to and it removes every kind of arbitrariness from everybody for they know who has lifted and they also know who is going to lift next and so on up till each person’s turn. They also know that their turn will not pass them.”
The corporation also stated that the largest volume of Nigeria’s crude oil was sold in Europe.
The Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division, NNPC, Mele Kyari, who disclosed this in Abuja, stated that Europe remained the major destination of Nigerian crude grades, accounting for 36.59 per cent of the total sales, with Asia and the Far East receiving 28.43 per cent.
He said 16.57 per cent of Nigeria’s crude grades was exported to North America; 13.17 per cent to Africa; 2.84 per cent to South and Central America, while the rest of the world served as beneficiaries for the remainder.
Kyari stated that the sustained reforms in the marketing and disposal of Nigeria’s equity crude had eliminated the ugly incidents of “briefcase” companies as witnessed in the past.