NNPC Threatens to Cut JV Contracts Over Inflated Production Cost


By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has warned contractors that it would cancel some of its Joint Venture (JV) contracts over their bloated production cost.

The Group Managing Director (GMD) of the national oil company, Mr Mele Kyari, made this disclosure yesterday during the fourth edition of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) webinar seminar series titled The Impact of COVID-19 on the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry-The Way Forward.

He warned contractors, suppliers and companies against padded, over-bloated and unrealistic contract figures, which is costing the corporation and the country.

Mr Kyari said the activities of some of its partners, especially indigenous oil companies, involve producing oil at a very high cost of about $93 per barrel while some others are producing same at a relatively cheaper cost.

‘‘The era of some of our partners producing at a very high cost will no longer be acceptable to us anymore. It is either they become more efficient at what they are doing by cutting cost or be ready to be shown the way out.

‘‘If they are not ready to be cost effective, then we may have no other option than to cancel those contracts and give them to those that can manage and produce at a relatively cheaper cost. This is business and we cannot afford to run same like a charity organisation,” he said.

The NNPC chief lamented that the high cost of production in the industry was unacceptable and was as a result of a number of factors, some of which included; structural inefficiencies that exist in the system and processes, environmental factors which every contractor factors in while doing business; be it risk as it relates to human resources and materials.

He noted that every cost on the list of business has a premium that is related to the country’s operating environment, insisting that those premiums are much exaggerated and not reflective of the realities on ground because suppliers, contractors and companies were only taking advantage of such to hike contract cost.

Mr Kyari warned indigenous companies of this unwholesome act, saying the NNPC in its several dealings with them have observed a list of governance structure and processes that are not significant and is now enroaching on International Oil Companies (IOCs), eventually resulting into producing oil above its actual cost.

The NNPC GMD said the current vision is to achieve a $10 per barrel industry cost, adding that for these to happen companies must do so many things to arrive at that cost.

According to him, part of what should be done to achieve that target is for stakeholders to be more cost conscious, plan better, more realistic, and prudent and the appropriate leadership to drive the focus.

He assured that the attainment of a $10 per barrel by 2021 was possible; adding that such would enable the country to meet its three million barrels per day and 40 billion oil reserve targets in a seamless manner.

He noted that it was while discussions was ongoing among stakeholders to see how the cost of oil production could be reduced that the coronavirus pandemic hit the global stage, forcing the country’s hesdline crude price to an oil time low of about less than $10 per barrel.

He said the coronavirus pandemic has clearly proven to oil producers that the commodity could actually sell for less than $10 per barrel, adding that the country cannot continue to produce if something was not done about the cost.

He said it was time to consider current realities because oil producers that are not ready to produce at around $10 per barrel was not in tune with the market realities must be ready to quit the stage for those that are ready for the challenges ahead.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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