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IOCs are owing Nigeria $20bn, and FG wants them to pay now

Major international oil companies in Nigeria owe a collective tax arrears of about $20 billion, money the Government is now demanding that they pay.

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Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Crude oil, oil production

Major international oil companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria owe a collective tax arrears of about $20 billion, money the Government is now demanding that they pay.

Earlier this year, letters were sent to the defaulting companies by the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission, NNPC, seeking the immediate payment of royalties and taxes owed by them.

Some of the biggest defaulters include familiar names – Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, Total SA, Exxon Mobil, Eni, and Equinor.

The Nigerian Government is demanding that each of these companies make payments ranging from $2.5 billion to $5 billion. It is unclear if all of the IOCs will oblige this.

But they all received the demand letters 

In the meantime, however, Equinor did acknowledge that it received the Federal Government’s letter. The company even confirmed that some of its competitors have received similar letters from the Nigerian authorities.

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However, it believes that the Government has no viable case and should focus on rectifying its internal issues instead.

“Several operators have received similar claims in a case between the authorities in Nigeria and local authorities in parts of the country.”

“Equinor sees no merit to the case. This looks like an internal dispute between the federal and local governments. The central government is simply trying to shift to the IOCs (international oil companies) money it owes.”

And this is true because a spokesperson for Exxon Mobil said the company is currently reviewing the demand.

The other companies refused to comment on the development.

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The Federal Government did settle it’s dispute with states; or maybe not 

Last year, Nigeria’s Federal Government and it’s “generating states” finally reached an agreement over a dispute involving the distribution of revenue realised from the production of hydrocarbons.

The arrangement is such that the FG would pay the states billions of dollars. However, the money is supposed to come from the oil companies.

As at when the dispute was supposedly resolved, industry observers expected the IOCs to reject their obligations according to the terms of settlement. And now, that is exactly what is happening.

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Emmanuel covers the financial services sector for Nairametrics. Do you have a scoop for him? Well then, contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Commodities

Five oil majors reduce value of their assets by $50 billion in Q2

Energy demand at one point was down by more than 30% globally.

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Five oil majors reduce value of their assets by $50 billion in Q2

Five oil majors (including Exxon Mobil and British Petroleum) reduced the value of their assets by $50 billion in Q2, 2020. They also reduced their production rates as the COVID-19 pandemic caused a downward trend in energy demand.

What this means: The cut in asset valuations and reduction in crude oil production by these oil majors showed the depth of damage the COVID-19 pandemic caused on the global energy sector in Q2, 2020.

Energy demand at one point was down by more than 30% globally and still remains below pre-pandemic levels.

READ MORE: Respite for Nigeria as Exxon Mobil and Shell lose $1.8 billion arbitration award  

Some of these conpanies’ executives said they took these austerity measures because they expect demand to continue to be on the downward trend in the meantime. This is in view of the fact that people around the world are traveling less, even as many global industries are not in full capacity. The pandemic has already killed more than 700,000 people.

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Of those five oil majors, only Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) did not book sizeable impairments, Reuters reported. However, an ongoing re-evaluation of Exxon Mobil plans could lead to a reasonable amount of its assets being impaired, and signal the removal of 20% or 4.4 billion barrels of its oil and gas reserves.

READ ALSO: Oil prices drop to 21-year low as demand and storage crises persist

Oil major BP (BP.L) took a $17 billion hot. It said its plans in the coming years would be a focus on renewables and fewer fossils.

About two weeks ago, Nairametrics reported how Exxon Mobil and Chevron posted their worst losses in modern history, as the COVID-19 pandemic and a glut in crude oil reduced the demand for energy products in the second quarter of 2020.

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Hospitality & Travel

US gives reasons it warned citizens against travelling to Nigeria, lists 12 high risk states

The US government has issued a level 3 Travel Health Notice for Nigeria due to COVID-19.

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US gives reasons it warned citizens against travelling to Nigeria, lists 12 high risk states, Donald Trump, What does Iran’s war with America mean for Africa?, US to stop issuing visa for Birth Tourism, Trump Travel Ban List: Why Nigeria should be excluded  , US spends over $5b in health assistance to Nigeria in 20 years, gives $32.8m for covid-19, Oil Is Back

The United State Government has advised its citizens against travelling to Nigeria due to the Coronavirus pandemic, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, widespread inter-communal violence, and others.

This warning is contained in a travel advisory statement that was obtained from the United State Department of State website.

The statement also disclosed that the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had issued a level 3 Travel Health Notice for Nigeria due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Also, some parts of the country have increased risk.

“Reconsider travel to Nigeria due to Covid-19. Reconsider travel to Nigeria due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping and maritime crime. Some areas have increased risk.’

‘’Do not travel to; Borno and Yobe States and Northern Adamawa State due to terrorism; Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano and Yobe States due to kidnapping; Coastal areas of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta and Rivers States (with the exception of Port Harcourt) due to crime, civil unrest, kidnapping and maritime crime,’’ the statement said.

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It stated that violent crimes such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, and rape, have become common throughout the country. As such, US citizens were advised to exercise extreme caution throughout the country due to the threat of indiscriminate violence.

“Terrorists continue plotting and carrying out attacks in Nigeria, especially in the Northeast. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting shopping centres, malls, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars, schools, government installations, transportation hubs, and other places where crowds gather.

“Sporadic violence occurs between communities of farmers and herders in rural areas.’

The US government acknowledged the fact that it has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in many parts of Nigeria due to the security conditions.

Going further it stated, “Do not travel to Borno and Yobe States and Nothern Adamawa. Terrorist groups based in the Northeast target churches, schools, mosques, government installations, educational institutions and entertainment venues. Approximately two million Nigerians have been displaced as a result of the violence in Northeast Nigeria.

“Do not travel to Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano and Yobe States. The security situation in Northwest and Northeast Nigeria is fluid and unpredictable, particularly in the states listed above due to widespread inter-communal violence and kidnapping.

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“Do not travel to the coastal areas of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta and Rivers States (with the exception of Port Harcourt). Crime is rampant throughout Southern Nigeria, and there is a heightened risk of kidnapping and maritime crime, along with violent civil unrest and attacks against expatriate oil workers and facilities.’’

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Energy

World’s largest oil company to pay $75 billion annual dividend, despite plunge in profits

Saudi Aramco is the national energy company of Saudi Arabia.

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oil company, Just copy Saudi Aramco

The world’s largest oil company, Saudi Aramco reported a 73% drop in profit Q2,2020 profit and still kept its plans to pay $75 billion in annual dividends in a report credited to Bloomberg News

Saudi Aramco reported a plunge in profits for Q2,2020 of 24.6 billion riyals compared to 92.6 billion riyals recorded in the same corresponding year.

Aramco will pay a Q2,2020 dividend of $18.75 billion, most of it to the government of Saudi Arabia, the company’s major shareholder.

READ MORE: Apple becomes world’s largest public listed company, valued at $1.82 trillion

The plunge in profit was due mainly to “the impact of lower crude oil prices and declining refining and chemical margins,” Aramco said in the statement to the Saudi stock exchange.

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“Strong headwinds from reduced demand and lower oil prices are reflected in our second-quarter results,” said Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser.

“We are seeing a partial recovery in the energy market as countries around the world take steps to ease restrictions and reboot their economies.”

READ ALSO: Shoprite’s owners to leave Nigeria after 15 years

Quick fact; Saudi Aramco is the national energy company of Saudi Arabia. It produces five grades of crude oil and natural gas liquids.

It also produces refined energy products that include liquefied petroleum gas, ethanol, naphtha,  and other products.

It exports about 75% of its crude oil to foreign markets, most often with its oil tankers. Saudi Aramco has access to crude oil reserves of about 260 billion barrels, the largest in the world.

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READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Petroleum minister and Saudi Aramco discuss investment options

OPEC’s largest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia has been hit hard by global economic restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.

The Saudis make most of its revenue from crude oil, which has dropped 33% in value this year.

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