The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Monday disowned a list of 50 international and indigenous companies believed to have been awarded contracts to lift Nigeria's crude oil under the 2018/2020 trading year, describing it as "not official."
PREMIUM TIMES published the list, sourced from senior officials of the corporation, but reflected the list was yet to be officially announced.
NNPC's spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu, told PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview in Abuja that an official list would be released soon.
"Have you seen the official list?" Mr Ughamadu asked while responding to enquiries from PREMIUM TIMES on Monday.
"I have told you the official list is not ready. What is circulating in the media is not the official list. The authentic list will be released soon. We are taking time to release it, because we want to do a thorough job. We are taking time to scrutinise all the companies, to ensure only the best would be selected."
Mr Ughamadu did not say why the NNPC did not issue an official statement to correct the records if the initial list was inaccurate.
Regardless, close followers of NNPC said whatever list would come out ultimately would not be significantly different.
The controversial list, which carried names of 50 companies began circulating last Monday.
In it were names of about 32 Nigerian firms and 18 international trading companies and refiners, representing 12 countries and three bilateral government interests.
The companies were expected to join NNPC to lift about 950,000 barrels per day (bpd) within the two-year period.
The Nigerian firms on the list include AA Rano Nigeria Limited, AIPEC Oil & Gas Limited, AMG Petroenergy Limited, Arkleen Oil & Gas Limited, Barbedos Oil & Gas Services Limited, Bono Energy, Cassiva Limited, Emadeb Energy Services Limited, Eterna Eterna Oil & Gas Company PLC, Cretus and Gladius Commodities.
Others include Hinstock, Leighton Petroleum Limited, Levene Energy Development Limited, Masters Energy Limited, Matrix Energy Group, MRS Oil Nigeria PLC, Northwest Petroleum & Gas Company Limited, Oando PLC, and Ocean Bed Trading Limited (BVI) (the offshore trading arm of Sahara Group).
Also, Propetrol Nigeria Limited, Prudent Energy & Services Limited, Sahara Group, Setana Energy, Setraco Nigeria Limited, Shoreline Energy, Ultimate Gas (Rahamaniyya), Voyage Oil & Gas Limited, West African Gas, Zitts & Lords Group, Obat Oil & Gas and Duke Oil Company Inc., another NNPC arm were included.
Among the international trading firms and refiners were five Switzerland-based traders, namely Augusta Energy, Glencore, Mocoh Oil & Gas Limited, Petraco Oil Company and Trafigura.
Others were BB Energy of Lebanon; CEPSA (Spain); Vitol (Britain); Total Nigeria PLC (France); Indian refiner, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL); LITASCO SA, the trading arm of Russia's Lukoil; Petrobras Group (Brazil) and Socar Trading Group, the trading arm of Azerbaijan's Socar.
The list also included SacOil Energy Equity Resources (SEER) (Efora Energy) Limited of South Africa; Sonara National Refining Company of Cameroon; ZR Energy (Trafigura) and Calson (Bermuda) Limited, an NNPC joint trading venture.
Some of the contracts were said to cover deals struck by the NNPC with various governments, including China, India, South Africa, Turkey, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Liberia, Niger, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Togo and Malawi.