MRS opens 120,000mt Tin Can terminal

  • As Nigeria, others set to export 1.48m barrels of oil to China

MRS Oil Nigeria Plc has inaugurated a berthing terminal – Dantata Jetty  – with capacity to berth vessels of 80,000 – 120,000 metric tonnes at the Tin Can Island Port in Lagos.

The  facility, reputed to be the first of its kind in Africa, would save millions of dollars spent yearly by marketers to hire daughter vessels to lift products from from the high seas to the depots.

With the new terminal, mother vessels can berth at the new Jetty.

Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said he was impressed by the information technology  deployed in the facility to monitor the loading of every petroleum product in computers, adding that it is the largest on the continent.

He said with the computerisation scheme in the facility, the chairman of the company could monitor the loadings from anywhere.

Kachikwu said he had a similar vision for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), stressing that as the leader in the downstream sector, the NNPC Downstream should adopt a similar computerisation scheme to reduce losses.

“That is fantastic; it is important that we get the NNPC to align with this strategy to reduce losses,” Kachikwu said.

Kachikwu recalled that it was a year ago that he took a decision that the lightering expenses incurred by the NNPC in transferring products from the mother to daughter vessels was becoming unsustainable. “Sayyu (chairman of MRS Oil) heard this and took the decision on this facility,” he said.

He praised MRS, noting that the acquisition of Chevron Oil had transformed the company from a small firm to a big global one, saying  the Federal Government has the responsibility to improve the ease of doing business to ensure the success of businesses, such as MRS Oil.

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, said MRS Oil deserved commendation “not only for the size, the capacity – the audacity really of what MRS has done but also because it was done by a Nigerian company.”

According to him, the most important investor in any economy is the local investors because “they will not run away, no matter how tough it is.”

Fashola said the administration realised this and had remained committed to supporting indigeneous investors, such as MRS.

“Congratulations also that this investment has come to maturity at a most auspicious time – barely a week after Mr. President launched the economic recovery programme and one of the priority actions in that programme out of the 60 interventions is strengthening our capacity towards self-sufficiency in energy supply,” Fashola added.

In the meantime, China has concluded plans to import 1.48 million barrels of oil from Nigeria, Angola and other West African nations this month. According to loading programs, overall Asian imports of West African crude are poised to reach 2.4 million barrels a day this month.

An Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC survey showed that the global oil market has started to witness stability than in the past because of increased compliance to oil supply cut. The Secretary General of the OPEC, Dr. Sanusi Barkindo, indicated in a presentation made available to Vanguard that to date, conformity with the decisions by all participating countries has been very encouraging.

He stated that for January 2017, OPEC and non-OPEC nations achieved a conformity level of 86 per cent while in February, the overall conformity improved further to 94 per cent. Barkindo disclosed that each participating nation needs to look at their individual voluntary contribution, and remember that the decisions taken last year were on the basis of fairness, equity and transparency.

He expressed confidence that all countries remain steadfast in honouring their commitments to individually achieve the 100 per cent level.

Barkindo said that this commitment is vital to ensure we keep on the right path to a stable, balanced market, which contribute to improved outlooks for both the short- and long-term He indicated that following these historic decisions taken last year, the market and industry have started to show signs favourable conditions.

Barkindo said that in this regard, it is also important to recognise just how far OPEC and others have gone in rebalancing the market and returning stability on a sustainable basis.

He noted that, at the end of July 2016, West Texas Intermadiate, WTI and Brent combined net-long positions were at a level of 350,000 contracts, which then increased to 500,000 contracts on November 29, just before OPEC took its landmark decision, and then to 921,000 contracts on February 21 this year.

Barkindo stated that despite a sell-off in the second week of March, the number of net-long positions remains healthy, at around 662,000 contracts. According to him, the market is also showing further signs of realigning, with the OECD stock overhang currently at 282 million barrels above the five-year average.

Nation with additional report from Vanguard