President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered Maikanti Baru, the new Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to probe into the current lists of crude oil takers, swap deals and liquefied natural gas lifting lists put in place by his predecessor, the current Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu.
The probe, which is coming barely two weeks after the president replaced Kachikwu with Baru, was triggered by several complaints from stakeholders in the oil and gas industry; alleging foul play, corruption and favouritism in the allocations of crude oil, gas as well as the swap deal involving some companies discredited by the current government when it came to power last year.
It was gathered that Buhari ordered Baru to specifically look into the swap deals involving CEPSA Refinery, IOC Refinery, ENOC and Sara Refinery.
An industry source squealed to pressmen that the new NNPC GMD was asked to investigate the list of 20/206 crude oil taker, which Kachikwu approved.
Some of the companies involved include Master Energy and Taleveras, as well as Mercuria, Vitol, and Trafigura which were all approved by Kachikwu. Other deals which may come under scrutiny are those involving the IOC Trading Affiliates listed as major players.
The companies are Exxon Trading; Total Trading; Eni Trading and Shell Trading while the Nigerian Downstream have Oando, Sahara Energy; MRS. Master Energy; Forte Oil; A.A Rano Ltd; Northwest Petroleum, Eternal Oil; Taleveras and Emo Oil/China Zhenhea respectively may also be investigated by the government.
The probe is also expected to focus on the indiscriminate allocation of gas by Kachikwu while he served as the boss of the nation’s oil corporation.
“All these allocations have not gone down well with the government and that’s why Mr. President decided to bring in a fresh hand in the person of Dr. Baru with the clear mandate to further clean up the system for proper accountability and transparency,” the source said.
Some of the companies which may be investigated to ascertain the transparency of the deals they entered into with the Nigerian government are Petrowest SA which had enjoyed allocation of Pentane Plus (owned by MRS Oil), F-Energy (Folawiyo Group) which was allocated OSO LPG; Runi Oil which got OSO LPG Domestic, West Africa LPG (owned by Sahara Group) which got Escravos LPG-Mix, Metropolitan (unknown owner), which was allocated Pentane Plus and Worldwide Energy (owned by Trafigura), which got OSO LPG and Zanedo Petroleume (owned by Igho Sanomi) which got OSO LPG Domestic.
Others are Falcon Petroleum which got Pentane Plus; Sahara Group which got OSO LPG, Avedia Energy Resources which was allocated Escravos Mix and Tenoil (belonging to Tony Elumelu), which got Escravos Condensate.