101 firms jostle for fresh NNPC offshore deals
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday conducted the public opening of bids tendered by a total of 101 Nigerian and multinational companies competing for the award of Offshore Processing Arrangements (OPA).
By the OPA deal, the NNPC undertakes to allocate a dedicated volume of crude oil for refining at offshore locations in exchange for petroleum products at preagreed yield pattern.
The corporation had, in August, terminated the OPA it entered into in January with Duke Oil Company Inc., Aiteo Energy Resources Limited and Sahara Energy Resources (Nig) Ltd because they were “skewed in favour of the companies”.
Under the previous agreement, the NNPC allocated a total of 210,000 barrels of crude oil per day for refining at offshore locations in exchange for petroleum products at preagreed yield pattern.
Consequently, the Corporation, in September, announced an interim OPA with three of its Joint Venture companies - Duke Oil, Carlson and Napoil - which it said would lapse with the advent of the fresh OPA contracts.
Yesterday’s exercise, which was broadcast live on national television and conducted in the full glare of representatives of the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, (NEITI), executives of the bidding companies and other crucial oil and gas industry stakeholders was a swift departure from the previous OPA award exercises which were conducted without public participation.
Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said at the flag-off of the exercise that the Corporation has taken the pain to make the process leading up to the award open to public scrutiny to demonstrate before all members of the public that NNPC had nothing to hide.
“At the end of this exercise, we must be able to engage companies that are known to everybody and not shrouded in mysteries. We must have terms that are very transparent and comparative to terms anywhere else in the world where OPAs are being done,” Kachikwu said.
He said that while the Corporation was working assiduously to ensure that the refineries were re-streamed to optimal levels, the NNPC would, in the interim, maximize the OPAs in such a way as to secure the best deals possible for Nigeria.
“I hope that we should be able to build in futuristic growth patterns in the new deal. We should be able to come up with companies that have solid investments in Nigeria because this is not just a trading issue,” he added.
A deepwater oil rig