• P/Harcourt, Kaduna refineries shut


Senate Committee on Gas Resources has asked the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and its subsidiaries to submit all their detailed audited accounts in the past three years. The move is in furtherance of the resolve of the present government under President Muhammadu Buhari to put all revenue generating agencies of the federal government on toes, following the slide in the oil prices which is bearing its toll on the state of the economy.
Nigerian Pilot had reported, only recently, that the federal government has begun moves to probe the accounts of some agencies, including the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC and the Federal inland Service, FIRS among others.
The resolve yesterday was part of the ongoing investigation into the gas sector of the economy, by the committee, which blamed the federal government agencies for the worsening gas flaring in the country.
Besides the NNPC, its subsidiaries expected to submit the audited accounts are the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC; Nigerian Petroleum Investment and Management Service, NAPIMS; and Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, among others.
Chairman of the committee, Senator Albert Akpan, gave the directive, during the committee’s engagement with the agencies in Abuja, noting that the inability to enforce payment of stipulated penalties on erring international oil companies, OICs, was mainly responsible for increased gas flaring.
Akpan, who picked hole in the activities of the agencies since their establishments, said the accounts must be submitted as soon as possible, to enable his committee meet its deadline given by the Senate.
He said the audited documents would afford the committee opportunity to know the joint venture funding and cost determination of the oil companies and government agencies.
“From here, we will know also who approves projects and how are the projects monitored and the mechanism for cost recovery and monitoring of the projects’’, he said.
He also tasked the agencies to present the data of the quality of gas flared by the oil companies in the past two years.
“Give us the submission of the gas that you have flared and each of your operators involved. The quality of gas flared, the operators, the terminal and the related penalties paid,’’ he said.
He frowned at the 2016 budget of the Department of Petroleum Resources, saying the N3billion only earmarked by the agency on penalties for gas flaring, was grossly inadequate.
Speaking at the occasion, Group General Manager, NAPIMS /NNPC, Dafe Sajebor and the Managing Director of National Petroleum Development Corporation, Sadler Mai-Bornu, assured that the organizations were working assiduously to end gas flaring in the country between 2018 and 2020.
“The percentage of gas flared in the country is of average, seven percent and we are still working on a number of projects to flare out, we are targeting 2018 for us to have a total flare out.
“Those evolutions have been translated and proposed for better fiscal regime in the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, and that is why we are praying and hoping that the PIB should be passed so that Nigerians can derive better benefits from it,” he stressed.
NNPC shuts Port Harcourt, Kaduna refineries
Meanwhile, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has announced the operational shutdown of the Port Harcourt and Kaduna refineries, owing to crude supply challenges arising from recent attacks on vital crude oil pipelines.
A statement by the Corporation yesterday signed by Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ohi Alegbe disclosed that the plants were shut simultaneously on Sunday after the Bonny – Okrika crude supply line to the Port Harcourt Refinery and the Escravos-Warri crude supply line to the Kaduna Refinery suffered breaches.
NNPC further stated that before the closure, the Port Harcourt Refinery was recording a daily PMS yield of over 4.1 million litres while Kaduna Refinery was posting a daily petrol production of about 1.3 million litres.
The statement noted that the Warri Refining and Petrochemicals Company, WRPC is still on stream and producing a little above 1.4 million litres of petrol per day.
The Corporation, however, assured that it has put in place strategies to guarantee unimpeded country-wide availability of petroleum products.
“In response to the unexpected setback, we have activated comprehensive remedial measures to sustain the prevailing stability in the supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country,” the NNPC said.