The Department of Petroleum Resources (DRP) has ignored calls to identify Anambra, Enugu, and Kogi states as oil-producing regions in Nigeria, Africa’s largest crude oil producer.
Members of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Upstream), chaired by Taiwo Alasoadura (APC, Ondo), had questioned the timeframe of exploration activities in these regions, as Orient Petroleum which was given the licence to explore crude oil since 2012 is yet to begin work.
This drew criticism from Senator Chukwuka Utazi, from Enugu State, whose senatorial district is affected. Utazi accused DPR of not compelling the oil company to do its duties within the past seven years.
The committee proceeded to demand an explanation from DPR as to why it has failed to take action against the company.
Why DPR is yet to identify these states as oil producers: Meanwhile, Orient Petroleum is yet to meet certain requirements, DPR told the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) in a letter.
The licence given to Orient Petroleum enables the company to explore crude oil in the Oil Prospecting Licences (OPLs) 915 and 916. However, the company has been unable to convert the OPL to Oil Mining Licence (OML), which is a key requirement in recognising a place as an oil-producing area.
This has consequently delayed the recognition of Anambra state, Enugu state, and Kogi state as oil-producing states for now, Alasoadura read during a meeting with officials of the National Boundary Commission (NBC).
Meanwhile, 50 percent of Orient Petroleum activities is expected to be relinquished after the conversion. In the meantime, none of that has been done, as the company is still carrying out test-runs in the discovery areas.
About Orient Petroleum: Orient Petroleum Resources Plc (OPR) is one of the 18 successful private companies, out of 65 applicants, that were granted the License to Establish refineries in Nigeria in May 2002.
In February 2004, OPR became the first Nigerian company to obtain an Authority to Construct license from the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) to construct a private petroleum refinery in Nigeria.
OPR was also granted two petroleum prospecting license blocks by the FGN, to provide a dependable source of crude oil feedstock to the Orient Refinery and thus provide long-term security for the investment in the refinery.
OPR has four (4) subsidiaries including;
(i) OPR-Refining & Petrochemicals Plc,
(ii) OPR-E&P Company Limited,
(iii) OPR-Gas & Power Company Limited and
(iv) OPR-Infrastructure and Services Company Limited
OPR embarked on the development of oil and gas production from its oil blocks to secure feedstock for its refinery.
TikTok’s owner seeks $60 billion valuation in US deal as Oracle, Walmart take stakes
Oracle and Walmart have rights to buy 12.5% and 7.5% respectively of a newly established TikTok Global.
TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance is seeking a valuation of $60 billion for its video-sharing app, as Oracle Corp and Walmart Inc take stakes in the technology firm’s US operations to address the security concerns of the Trump administration.
According to a report from Bloomberg, Oracle and Walmart have rights to buy 12.5% and 7.5% respectively of a newly established TikTok Global under an agreement that has gotten the approval of President Donald Trump.
The duo US firms would be paying a combined amount of $12 billion for their stakes if they reach an agreement with TikTok for the asking price of $60 billion.
The final valuation had not been set as the parties worked out the equity and measures for data security.
It was also stated that China is yet to approve the deal, although regulators are said to have expressed support for any transaction in which BtyeDance still maintains control of its valuable recommendation algorithms and other proprietary technology.
It would be recalled that President Donald Trump, had threatened to ban the ByteDance owned TikTok, over national security concerns, but which some analysts see as part of the row between US and China. This pressured ByteDance into the deal as they looked to avoid the ban by the US government.
The US officials had expressed concern that the personal data of as many as 100 million Americans that use the app were being passed on to the Chinese government.
ByteDance turned down the proposal of a full buyout from Microsoft Corp but rather agreed to Oracle’s offer in which the Chinese parent company will still maintain a majority stake in the technology firm.
Trump told reporters on Saturday, ‘’I approve the deal in concept. If they get it done, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s ok too.’’
Trump’s new stance appears to conflict with his earlier executive order for China’s ByteDance to divest from the video-sharing app’s operations in the United States.
ByteDance is in a race to avoid a ban on TikTok after the US Commerce Department said on Friday that it would block new downloads and updates to the app from Sunday.
According to market researcher, CB Insights, ByteDance is the most valued private start-up in the world at $140 billion. Under the proposed deal, ByteDance may end up owning as much as 80% of TikTok Global, which include the app’s operations in the US and the rest of the world excluding China. Venture firms like Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic may also acquire equity in the new business.
Lagos to shut Ojota’s axis of main carriage way of Ikorodu road for 3 months
The Commissioner advised all motorists to utilize alternative routes suggested during the stipulated time.
The Lagos State Government has announced the shutdown of the entire length of the main carriageway of Ikorodu Road from Ojota interchange to Ojota Second Pedestrian Bridge from Monday, September 21, 2020, for a duration of 3 months.
This is development is part of the next phase ongoing rehabilitation work on Ikorodu Road which is set to commence from the Ojota Interchange to Ojota Second Pedestrian Bridge and the Service lane inbound Lagos.
While making the disclosure, the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederick Oladeinde, advised all motorists to utilize alternative routes suggested during the stipulated time for the repairs following the closure of the entire length of the main carriageway for reconstruction work.
Oladeinde in his statement said, “Vehicles coming from Maryland will be diverted at Odoyalaro into the Service lane and the BRT Corridor to link back the main carriageway at Ketu bus stop and Demurin junction respectively.’’
The commissioner gave an assurance that the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and other law enforcement agencies will be available to direct traffic for free vehicular movement during the entire period of construction work.
While soliciting for the cooperation and support of residents and motorists that ply the axis, the Commissioner stated that the project is aimed at finding a lasting solution to the ever-busy road as well as to achieve the present administration’s traffic management and transportation policy objectives.
The Lagos State Government is set to commence the next phase of repairs from Ojota Interchange to Ojota Second Pedestrian Bridge and the Service lane inbound Lagos, from Monday 21st of September, 2020 for a duration of three months.@jidesanwoolu @dr_oladeinde#ForAGreaterLagos pic.twitter.com/8mzYGauqpi
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) September 18, 2020
Petrol supply drops by over 23% due to decline in consumption
Consumption of petroleum products to decline to 27.2 billion litres in 2020.
The total volume of petrol supplied in Nigeria declined by 23.88% in July, when it fell from 1.34 billion litres in June 2020 to 1.02 billion litres.
This was disclosed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), in its monthly performance data for July.
According to the report, the 1.02 billion litres translated to 32.95 million litres per day, down from 44.62 million litres per day in June, when 1.34 billion litres were supplied.
The performance data also stated that 0.95 billion litres (30.67 million litres/day) were supplied in May, and 0.94 billion litres (31.37 million litres/day) in April.
In March and February, the volume of petrol supplied stood at 1.73 billion (59.72 million litres/day), up from 1.20 billion litres in January (38.68 million litres/day)
It stated, “The corporation has continued to diligently monitor the daily stock of Premium Motor Spirit, to achieve smooth distribution of petroleum products and zero fuel queue across the nation.”
Agusto projects further decline
Experts in Agusto & Co, in a report, have noted that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economic activities in the country resulted in a decline in the consumption of petroleum products.
The report said, “Agusto & Co. expects the consumption of petroleum products, particularly PMS and Aviation Turbine Kerosene, to decline to 27.2 billion litres in 2020, given the severely restricted travel and transportation activities during the second and third quarters of the year.
“This is expected to translate to a decline in revenue to N4.3tn in 2020.”
NNPC has, until recently, been the sole importer of petrol into the country for more than two years, after private oil marketers stopped importing the commodity, due to crude price fluctuations, among other issues.
The refineries, located in Port Harcourt, Kaduna and Warri, have a combined installed capacity of 445,000 barrels per day, but have continued to operate far below the installed capacity.