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DPR awards marginal field letters to qualified companies

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says that 50 per cent of short listed companies for marginal field oil operations have been awarded letters in different oil locations in the country.

The award letters were presented to the operators in Abuja on Monday by Mr Auwalu Sarki, DPR, Director/Chief Operating Officer.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a marginal field is an oil field that has been discovered and left unattended for a period of not less than 10 years from the date of first discovery.

Sarki explained that the 57 marginal fields to be explored by the operators are located on land, swamp and offshore terrains in various parts of the country.

He said that the companies presented with their certificates were those that have met all the conditions for the award out of the 161 that were shortlisted.

“A total of 591Expression of Interest applications were submitted; out of these applications, 540 were successfully prequalified during phase 1 of the exercise.

“At the end of phase 2, 482 bids were submitted by 405 applicants. Following the evaluation of the bids, 161 companies were shortlisted as potential awardees out of which 50 per cent have met all conditions and therefore eligible for award today.

“We are set to ensure opportunities are extended to other deserving applications to fill the gap,” Sarki said.

According to the DPR boss, the award marks the end of the bid round process which started on June 1, 2020, but the beginning of the post award phase which is very important.

He said the DPR had developed a strategy to ensure the awarded marginal field operators achieve early development and would continue to follow up and guide the awardees in every step they make.

Sarki noted that a National Oil and Gas Business Opportunity Desk has been established in the DPR.

“This desk synthesises opportunity across the value chain of the industry and creates a platform for investors, financiers, funders, and other intending partners to realise desired objectives,” Sarki said.

He implored the awardees to take advantage of the National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre for the industry recently commissioned by Mr President which offers services in improved oil recovery, alternative dispute resolution, integrated data analysis and competence development.

Bank-Anthony Okoroafor, the Executive Chairman, Vhelbherg Exploration and Production Development Company Ltd., one of the companies that secured the licence, commended the DPR for its transparency.

“This is the first most transparent exercise carried out by the DPR since 2003; it was open to everybody and there were publications.

“The job is not completed, and for the DPR to complete their work, it has to assist operators to produce in their various locations and ensure we are not suffocated,” Okoroafor said.

He said the move by the DPR to award letters to the operators of marginal fields was in the right direction as it would help boost the country’s oil reserve.

Mrs Timbu Ayinde, the Chief Operating Officer, Dutchess Energy Ltd., another awardee, said they were looking forward to a successful business.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for me in the sector as I have been in the downstream and this is an opportunity for me to go into the upstream.

“We are going to increase crude oil production for Nigeria and for the companies themselves, it is an expansion into the upstream sector; we are going to harness and employ people,” Ayinde said. (NAN)

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Business & Economy

We Have No Magic Wand, Tackling Inflation Will Take Time — Cardoso

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Yemi Cardoso,CBN Governor
Yemi Cardoso,CBN Governor
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The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Olayemi Cardoso has urged the citizens to be patient over the fight against current inflation and hike in food items in the country.

Cardoso disclosed this while briefing journalists at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, meeting in Abuja.

The CBN governor mentioned that there was no magic needed to solve inflation in Nigeria but rather patience.

Also, Cardoso noted that despite pressure from food inflation, the general inflation rate was “moderating”, pointing out that “the tools the Central Bank is using are working”.

He stated, “I have several times and I will say again, there is no magic wand. These are things that need to take their time.

“I am pleased and confident that we are beginning to get some relief and in another couple of months we will see the more positive outcomes from the Central Bank have been doing.”

He added, “The committee thus reiterated several challenges confronting the effective moderation of food inflation to include rising costs of transportation of farm produce, infrastructure- related constraints along the line of distribution network, security challenges in some food producing areas, and exchange rate pass-through to domestic prices for imported food items.

“The MPC urged that more be done to address the security of farming communities to guarantee improved food production in these areas.

“Members further observed the recent volatility in the foreign exchange market, attributing this to seasonal demand, a reflection of the interplay between demand and supply in a freely functioning market system.”

The Central Bank of Nigeria has also blamed the recent volatility of the country’s foreign exchange market on seasonal demand for dollars.

“Members further observed the recent volatility in the foreign exchange market, attributing this to seasonal demand, a reflection of the interplay between demand and supply in a freely functioning market system,” a communique issued by the committee on Tuesday stated.

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Port Harcourt Refinery Begins Full Operations Next Month

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Port Harcourt Refinery
Port Harcourt Refinery
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The 210,000-barrel-per-day Port Harcourt refinery is expected to commence operations by the end of July, following multiple delays.

National Public Relations Officer of the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, revealed this new timeline on Monday. He noted that the refinery’s operation would boost economic activities, reduce petroleum product prices, and ensure an adequate supply.

In December last year, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri, announced the mechanical completion and flare start-off of the Port Harcourt refinery, the largest in the region.

The refinery consists of two units: an older plant with a 60,000-barrel-per-day capacity and a newer plant with a 150,000-barrel-per-day capacity. The refinery was shut down in March 2019 for the first phase of repairs after the government enlisted Italy’s Maire Tecnimont as a technical adviser and appointed oil major Eni as a technical adviser.

On March 15, 2024, NNPC Limited’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, announced that the Port Harcourt refinery would begin operations in about two weeks. He made this statement during a press briefing following his appearance before the Senate Ad hoc committee investigating the various turnaround maintenance projects of the country’s refineries.

“We achieved mechanical completion in December,” Kyari stated. “We now have crude oil stocked in the refinery and are conducting regulatory compliance tests. The Port Harcourt refinery will start within two weeks.”

However, two months later, the refinery had yet to commence operations.

In an interview, IPMAN’s Ukadike emphasized that the work done on the refinery represented a complete overhaul rather than mere rehabilitation. He assured that every effort was being made to meet the July deadline.

Ukadike said, “When we visited, the MD informed us that the refinery was nearly ready and would start production by the end of July. The overhaul is extensive, with all the armoured cables replaced and everything almost brand new. The maintenance turnaround is massive, with work being done day and night. All hands are on deck to meet the target. By the end of July, the refinery should be operational.”

When asked about the government’s previous unfulfilled promises to restart the refinery, Ukadike acknowledged the delays but noted that no reasons were given for missing the last deadline in April

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CBN Halts 0.5% Cybersecurity Levy

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CBN Headquarters Abuja
CBN Headquarters Abuja
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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has withdrawn the circular directing banks to implement a 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on electronic transactions in the country.

The CBN announced this in a revised circular dated May 17, 2024.

The circular was addressed to commercial banks, Payment Service Providers (PSPs), non-interest, and merchant banks, among others.

It was signed by the CBN Director of Payment Systems Management, Chibuzor Efobi, and the Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Haruna Mustafa.

The circular read: “The Central Bank of Nigeria circular dated May 6, 2024 (Ref: PSMD/DIR/PUB/LAB/017/004) on the above subject refers.

“Further to this, please be advised that the above-referenced circular is hereby withdrawn.”The withdrawal of the circular on the cybersecurity levy followed its suspension by President Bola Tinubu.

it would be recalls that Tinubu suspended the controversial cybersecurity levy on electronic transfers on May 14.

Minister of Information and National Orientation Mohammed Idris, who made this known while speaking to journalists after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, disclosed that Tinubu directed the CBN to suspend the implementation and review the modalities for the implementation of the levy.

Idris added that the levy was thoroughly discussed at the FEC meeting, saying the president was not oblivious to the feelings of Nigerians.

It would be recalled that CBN, in a circular dated May 6, directed banks to start charging a 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on all electronic transfers.

The apex bank stated that the deduction and collection of the cybersecurity levy is a sequel to the enactment of the Cybercrime (prohibition, prevention etc) Amendment Act of 2024.

This was greeted with wide condemnations by Nigerians, with many groups and individuals calling for the immediate reversal of the levy.

The House of Representatives also asked the CBN to withdraw the directive.

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