The Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, Dr Maikanti Baru, says only refiners, big traders and companies with substantial investment in the oil and gas sector, will scale through the bid for the 2016 to 2017 term contracts for Nigeria crude oil sale.
A total of 224 companies are bidding for the 12 month term contracts tender, for a number of slots the Group Managing Director says will be decided on actual production focus by February 2017.
Representatives from the 224 companies converged on the amphitheater of the NNPC for the opening of the bid.
Dr Baru, who opened the bid after a test of transparency, said that the volume of crude put out for the contract bid is nearly 700,000 barrels of crude per day.
He added that the actual number of companies to emerge from the bidding would be decided in the first quarter of 2017.
The NNPC GMD also stated that Nigeria’s crude is not struggling for market, contrary to speculation but continues to earn premium, with major markets in Europe and Asia, with the United States recently added to the list.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Monday said there were no immediate plans to increase fuel prices.
The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mr Maikanti Baru, asked reporters if they “have seen any memo to that effect” insisting that there is “nothing like that in the offing.”
Reports say fuel marketers are pressing the government to remove the current gasoline price cap of 145 naira ($0.4394) per litre, as they say they are struggling to buy the fuel, which priced in dollars, and sell it in Nigeria in naira at a profit.
A press release over the weekend from former NNPC leaders called the current price cap “not congruent” given the foreign exchange rate and low crude oil prices.
“We don’t want any cap because of the fluctuations of the dollar rate in the country,” Chinedu Ukadike, Chief of Staff to the National President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), told Reuters.
Removal of the cap would also allow the forces of supply and demand to determine the price of petroleum products, he said.
The naira plunged in value, hitting an all-time low of 420 to the dollar on the unofficial market late last month.
The Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr Ibe Kachikwu told Reuters that talks with militant groups were still ongoing, and that the country’s crude production stood at 1.6 million bpd despite force majeure declarations in place on four crude oil streams.