22 December 2017

Nigeria: Crude Oil Lifting - NNPC Refutes Report of $3.5bn 'Ghost' Companies

Abuja — The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has denied allegations that it awarded crude oil term contracts to fake companies and has consequently allowed same to lift about 67.2 million barrels of Nigerian crude valued at about $3.5billion in the first ten months of the year, covering January to October 2017.

A press statement issued by the spokesperson of NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu, and sent to LEADERSHIP Friday yesterday, said the corporation's attention was drawn to a story published in a national weekly which alleged that AMG Petroenergy Ltd, Brittania-U, Cassiva Energy, Hyde Energy, Masters Energy, Bono Energy Ltd and Sahara Energy Resources Ltd are fake companies used by the NNPC to lift the said crude oil.

Describing the allegations as baseless and mischievous, Ughamadu stated that "contrary to the assertions, NNPC duly entered into the 2017/2018 crude oil term contracts with the companies in their appropriate registered corporate names."

Confirming the validity of the companies, NNPC listed the Corporate Affairs Commission's registration numbers of the entities as follows: 191430; 284481; 1091598; 105332; 616872; 609822, and 318527 respectively.

Speaking on the volume and value of transactions carried out with the firms during the period, NNPC said, "The companies collectively lifted a total of 8.8million barrels of crude oil valued at $436.35million as at October 30, 2017 contrary to claims that 67.2million barrels were lifted."

Ughamadu described the allegations as not only baseless and intended to mislead the public but also meant to disparage the corporation.

"The corporation wishes to place on record that all crude oil lifting transactions are backed by irrevocable letters of credit issued by investment grade banks and, therefore, all payments are pre-secured," he stated.

The lifting by the seven companies and all other off-takers are bound by these requirements, he added.

He advised media houses to cross-check their facts before publications to avoid misrepresentation as in the case under review, stressing that NNPC remains committed to responding to inquiries from the press.

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