…As Oil hits approximately $67 highs on Libyan pipeline blast***
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation( NNPC), yesterday, accused oil marketers, under the aegis of Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA), of distorting the facts in their claims that its members’ tanks are empty because they were not being supplied Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol.
NNPC, in a statement in Abuja, by its Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, described DAPPMA’S claims as unfortunate, stating that it had continued to supply the marketers huge quantities of the product despite the group’s N26.7 billion debt to its subsidiary, the Petroleum Products Marketing Company, PPMC, as at December 21, 2017.
Ughamadu also accused DAPPMA of refusing to resume fuel imports, despite concession granted the group by the Federal Government to obtain foreign exchange at the official rate of N305 to a dollar.
He said: “NNPC wishes to affirm that it has supplied appreciable volume to DAPPMA, Major Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, and Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, to rid the challenges currently being experienced in the supply and distribution of petroleum products in the country. “NNPC regrets that DAPPMA, which members had taken receipts of products from PPMC, a subsidiary of NNPC and owe the company to the tune of N26.7bn as at December 21, 2017, has the audacity to indict NNPC unjustifiably.
“The statement by DAPPMA that the current hiccups in the supply of products was due to the inability of the Direct Sale Direct Purchase, DSDP partners of NNPC to deliver on their business obligations is unfounded and self-indicting as many DAPPMA members patronize the same DSDP international counterparts as the corporation.
“Despite the concession by the government giving access to DAPPMA to obtain FOREX at an official rate of N305 per dollar for PMS import, their members have not been able to do so, leaving NNPC as the sole supplier of PMS to the Nigerian market.” Ughamadu assured the public that despite the increase it effected in the supply of PMS in December 2017, it has nonetheless, programmed to supply 1.2 billion litres of the product in January 2018, translating to about 40 million litres of PMS supply per day.
He explained that ordinarily, Nigeria consumes about 700 trucks, an equivalent of 27 million to 30 million litres per day. “Despite the current challenges, Nigerians are reassured that there is no plan to increase PMS pump price above N145 per litre and that NNPC will continue to maintain ex–depot price of N133.28 per litre which guarantees the pump price not exceeding the N145 per litre capped by the government.
“All stakeholders are implored to support the efforts of government to bring a speedy end to the current fuel distribution challenges being experienced in parts of the country as this is not the time to play the blame game,” the NNPC spokesman noted.
In the meantime, oil prices have touched two-and-a-half year highs in light volume boosted by an explosion on a crude pipeline in Libya and voluntary Oil Producing Exporting Countries, OPEC-led supply cuts.
Oil-pipeline Libya has lost around 90,000 bpd of crude oil from a blast on a pipeline feeding Es Sider port, a Libyan oil source said, adding that NOC was still assessing the damage, according to Reuters.
A Libyan military source said earlier that armed men had planted explosives at the pipeline. The country’s output had been recovering in recent months after being held down for years by conflict and unrest.
Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil prices, has risen to $66.76 a barrel. Prices hit a session high of $66.83 a barrel. U.S. crude climbed to $59.76 a barrel after touching a session high of $59.86.
The impending restart of a key North Sea pipeline, Forties, limited the rally. The pipeline is being tested after repairs and full flows should resume in early January, its operator said. The producers have extended the supply cut agreement to cover all of 2018.