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Dangote refinery gets NMDPRA’s approval to refine PMS

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…To begin export of 10ppm diesel in June

Nigeria’s 650,000 barrels per day Dangote refinery will start exporting diesel conforming to European specifications along with gasoline (petrol) sales in June.

The Vice President for Oil and Gas, Devakumar Edwin, said over the weekend, “We expect before the end of next month we’ll also have gasoline in the market, and we’ll also have Euro V diesel for export, that is below 10ppm,” at a Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) event in Lagos.

Dangote Chief Executive, Aliko Dangote reiterated the planned June start for petrol on May 17. Dangote Refinery started its crude distillation unit in January, and received approval to start up a mild hydrocracker with its desulphurisation units in March.

A source at Nigeria’s downstream regulator, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) said the refinery has now received approval to start its residual fluid catalytic cracker. This implies that the facility can begin the refining of petrol.

Dangote started naphtha exports in March, low-sulphur straight-run fuel oil (LSSR) exports in May and began selling diesel and jet fuel domestically in April.

It has a waiver from NMDPRA to sell diesel with sulphur levels above 600ppm into the local market. At full capacity Dangote will be able to more than meet Nigerian domestic gasoline demand.

But a trader in the region said gasoline production is unlikely to start next month, citing the amount of cargo to be delivered to the country.

Exports of naphtha, a key blending component in finished-grade gasoline, are continuing from the refinery, with 80,000t due to load on May 31, according to Kpler.

Edwin, who hinted at a slowing of spot sales, said, “We had a meeting to see, probably, how we can slow down our sales because we have already made quite a few forward bookings.”

“Export, for example, aviation/jet, the last vessel went to the Caribbean islands. The next vessel we are booking for the US market,” he added.

Dangote recently added TotalEnergies as a buyer in a deal that could see the French company take refined products for its African network of 4,800 retail fuel stations, including more than 540 in Nigeria.

The deal could also see the oil major supply crude to the refinery. A source told Argus there is a deal for TotalEnergies to supply two crude cargoes each month, or around 2 million barrels.

Indications based on the refinery’s slate to date and TotalEnergies’ Nigerian crude equity suggest one cargo of the very light Amenam blend one of Bonny Light, the report added.

Meanwhile, in a drive towards its goal of boosting Nigeria’s oil production, the Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Gbenga Komolafe received a delegation from Schlumberger, led by its global President, Mr. Olivier Le Peuch, at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.

The high-level meeting between the NUPRC chief and officials of Schlumberger, the commission said, underscored its commitment to fostering strategic partnerships that would enhance Nigeria’s oil production and operational efficiency.

The purpose of the visit, a statement from the oil sector regulator stressed, was to explore specific areas of collaboration and partnership between both organisations.

Komolafe engaged the company  in an extensive discussion aimed at cultivating a long-term partnership that aligns with the commission’s goals and regulatory framework.

During the meeting, Komolafe emphasised that the NUPRC adopt a participatory and collaborative approach to facilitate ease of doing business in the oil sector.

He highlighted several of the commission’s achievements since its inception in 2021 under the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

Key achievements, he said include the establishment of 17 regulations aimed at improving industry standards and operational efficiency.

Additionally, he said the re-engineering of the Nigeria National Data Repository (NDR) has been a significant milestone, promoting the monetisation of oil blocks and aligning regulations with global energy transition initiatives and carbon footprint reduction goals.

The NUPRC chief executive also mentioned the ongoing licensing rounds as a testament to the commission’s proactive approach in regulating the sector.

One notable achievement, he noted, was the NUPRC’s commitment to eliminating gas flaring and commercialising flared gas under the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGCP).

The initiative, he pointed out, has designated 49 flare sites for commercialisation, demonstrating the commission’s dedication to environmental sustainability and resource optimisation.

Speaking on behalf of SLB Global, Mr. Olivier Le Peuch expressed satisfaction with the commission’s regulatory framework and indicated SLB Global’s readiness to collaborate.

 He reiterated the importance of such partnerships in unlocking Nigeria’s onshore and offshore oil potential, particularly through leveraging advanced technology.

Areas of mutual interest discussed included the development of Nigeria’s frontier basins and the integration of innovative technologies to enhance exploration and production efficiencies.

“At the end of the meeting, it was agreed that a contact team would be established to further investigate and identify more opportunities for collaboration.

“The team will focus on expanding the scope of mutual interests and ensuring that both organisations can effectively work together to achieve their shared objectives,” the statement added.

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35,496 suspects arrested, 1,907 rescued from kidnappers in one year — IGP

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The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, Ph.D., NPM, says the Nigeria Police Force in the past one year has arrested  35,496 suspects and rescued 1,907 people from kidnappers.

He disclosed this on Thursday during the monthly Conference with Senior Police Officers, which coincided with a significant milestone in the current administration, its 365 days in office.

The IGP, while addressing senior officers and members of the press, highlighted the progress made and the challenges faced over the past year since he assumed office as the 22nd Indigenous Inspector-General of Police taking time to reflect, evaluate, and plan for the future.

The IGP noted that during the past twelve months, the Force has faced considerable challenges, including terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, and armed robbery.

In a statement made available by Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, he said, “Despite these threats, the Nigeria Police Force has remained resilient and dedicated to its mandate.” The IGP commended officers for their hard work and dedication, emphasising the positive results achieved through capacity building, service improvements, and strengthened relationships with sister services and the public.

Reflecting on the year’s accomplishments, the IGP acknowledged the vital achievements of his administration in one year including “the presentation of a total of N9.85 billion to families of deceased officers under the Group Life Assurance Scheme and the IGP Family Welfare Scheme, the declaration of April 7 as National Police Day by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the promotion of inaugural Police Commendation and Awards Ceremony, the promotion of 33,867 officers based on merit, competence, and available vacancies.”

“Also is the advancement of infrastructural development which will culminate in the commissioning of some projects such as the Nigeria Police Resource Centre, the International Conference Centre, the Nigeria Police Force National Cybercrime Centre (NPF-NCCC), the Force Intelligence Building, the Force Public Relations School, the Police Intelligence School located in Share, Kwara State, Evidence/Exhibits Storage facilities, and newly acquired operational assets including vehicles, APCs, Drones, Gun trucks etc.

“In the past one year, the Nigeria Police Force has arrested 35,496 suspects for their participation in various crimes, rescued 1,907 kidnapped victims, and recovered 2,750 firearms, 22,569 ammunition, and 1,540 vehicles nationwide, while the Legal/Prosecutions Section has successfully prosecuted 29,052 criminal cases, securing 16,200 convictions.”

The conference also focused on the upcoming gubernatorial elections in Edo and Ondo States, with the IGP outlining security plans to support the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in ensuring smooth elections.

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OML58: NNPC Ltd, TotalEnergies announce $550m investment deal on Ubeta project

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By Esther Agbo and Opeyemi Abdulsalam

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited signed an agreement with TotalEnergies for the final investment decision (FID) on the Ubeta Field Development Project.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on Thursday in Abuja.

This project is expected to have a significant impact on Nigeria’s energy sector and contribute to the country’s efforts to develop its oil and gas resources.

Speaking at the event, Mele Kyari, group chief executive officer (GCEO) of NNPC, said on stream, the Ubeta project will produce about 350 million standard cubic feet (MMScf) per day of gas and 10,000 barrels per day of associated liquids.

This, Kyari said, is an opportunity to tap into the vast gas reserves and contribute towards securing gas supply to Nigeria’s liquified natural gas (LNG).

Kyari said, “I’m very convinced that many more projects will come alongside this as we progress.”

“And maybe not the right moment to make those announcements, but I know that a number of projects have been enabled by the executive order of Mr. President.

“No doubt, this project will create opportunities, jobs, and everything that you can imagine, including making our energy investment much more productive.

“I know for sure that the engagements with our other partners will ensure delivery of gas sufficient to keep our train 1 to 7 active and at full capacity, and also realise our ambitions for train 7.”

While appreciating the support from stakeholders, Kyari highlighted the continuous support of President Bola Tinubu’s administration in facilitating a conducive operational environment, which he said is a major driver of the deal.

He also said the presidential executive order was instrumental to achieving the milestone and the impact of the policy is being seen.

Also speaking at the event the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo, delivered a keynote address at the Final Investment Decision (FID) Ceremony for the OML58 Ubeta Field Development Project.

The Ubeta Project is projected to produce 350 million standard cubic feet per day (MMScf/d) of gas at its peak. This initiative is a testament to TotalEnergies’ commitment to Nigeria and plays a crucial role in ensuring a stable gas supply for Nigeria LNG.

Minister Ekpo emphasised the project’s alignment with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s strategic objectives and the Presidential Executive Orders of March 2024. These directives aim to transform Nigeria into a major gas hub, providing cleaner energy, creating jobs, and fostering economic growth.

The Decade of Gas Initiative has laid the groundwork for ambitious projects like Ubeta, focusing on leveraging Nigeria’s abundant gas resources to drive industrialisation, reduce environmental impact, and offer affordable energy to millions of Nigerians.

The Ubeta Field Development Project is a prime example of investments that bring technological advancements, foster local content, and generate sustainable economic benefits.

Minister Ekpo commended TotalEnergies for their continued partnership and investment in Nigeria, acknowledging their role in boosting gas production capabilities.

He said, “I want to take this opportunity to commend TotalEnergies for their continued partnership and investment in Nigeria. Your efforts not only boost our gas production capabilities but also contribute to our shared goals of energy security and economic prosperity.

“We value your commitment to employing innovative technologies and practices that ensure the efficiency and safety of your operations.”

He also highlighted the effectiveness of Nigeria’s policies in creating a conducive environment for investment in the gas sector, attributing the project’s fruition to supportive government policies and regulatory frameworks.

Looking ahead, Minister Ekpo urged for continued collaboration to harness Nigeria’s vast gas potential.

He stressed that the success of the Ubeta Project would be measured not only by gas production volumes but also by its positive impact on the economy, communities, and environment.

In conclusion, Minister Ekpo congratulated all contributors to the project, praising their dedication and hard work.

He called for ongoing cooperation to ensure the successful implementation and operation of the Ubeta Field Development Project, setting a benchmark for future projects in Nigeria’s gas sector.

The event concluded with a call for continued efforts to leverage Nigeria’s gas resources for the nation’s economic and environmental benefit.

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Federal High Court affirms Bayero’s deposition as Emir of Kano

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…Upholds validity of Kano Emirate Repeal Law 2024

The ruling of the Federal High Court sitting in Kano presided over by Justice A.M. Liman today has brought to an end, the argument on the deposition of former Emir Aminu Ado Bayero as the court ruled that the new Kano Emirate Repeal Law 2024 remains valid.

According to the ruling, all five Emirates of Gaya, Rano, Karaye, Kano and Bichi remained abolished.

While delivering the ruling, Justice A.M. Liman held that the Kano Emirate Repeal Law 2024 remains the law and its validity is intact but actions taken after assenting the law when an order from the court was issued are voided.

Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf has assented to the new law and reinstated the 14th Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi as the 16th Emir of one united Kan at the same time (23rd May, 2024 by 5.10pm).

“Law is still the law, but actions carried out in the execution of the law are set aside.”

Justice Liman also granted a stay of proceeding and transferred the case to his learned brother of court three, Justice Amobeda. This bars all parties from taking any step to enforce the ruling till after determination of the appeal.

By this decision of the Federal High Court, the five former Emirs including that of Kano with 8 Local Government areas remained deposed and the defunct Emirates remained abolished.

It is therefore ascertained that the 16th Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi II remains on throne and Aminu Ado Bayero remains deposed while the legal tussle continues.

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