The Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), has said that two companies, Trafigura and Duke Oil, lifted $24 billion worth of crude oil out of the country before formal contracts were signed.
An investigation by the House of Representatives into the controversial oil swap deals, covering the period of 2010 to 2015 revealed this.
The swap deals involved the exchange of crude oil for refined petroleum products in which the corporation gave out part of its 445,000 barrels daily share of crude oil to trading companies.
The Managing Director of the PPMC, Mrs. Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue, who led officials of the company to the hearing, confirmed to the committee that while the lifting of the crude started way back in 2011, it was not until December 2014 that formal contracts were signed.
Other officials of the PPMC in attendance were the PPMC’s Executive Director, Commercial & Distribution, Mr. Justin Ezeala, and the Executive Director, Storage, Mrs. Farida Katagun.
The officials claimed that they were newly appointed to their present positions, but admitted that the records they met confirmed that crude was lifted by the trading firms before the contracts were signed.
Ezeala said, “The records we have point to the fact that, yes, the swap crude was being lifted before the contracts.
“The records show that the contracts were eventually signed in December 2014. That was what we met on the ground.”
Further disclosures indicated that due to lack of capacity to deliver, Duke Oil contracted three other trading firms – Aiteo, Ontario and Taleveras – to lift the crude in exchange for refined products.