By Udeme Akpan
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has awarded a two-year crude oil lifting contract to 50 companies.
Of the 50, 18 are foreign companies, while 32 are indigenous oil and gas operators, a development said to have been done in line with the local content policy of the Federal Government.
The list obtained by Vanguard showed that the international companies include BB Energy of Lebanon; Cepsa of Spain; Glencore of Switzerland; HPCL of India; Litasco of Russia; Mocoh of Switzerland; Petraco of Switzerland; Petrobras of Brazil; Sacoil of South Africa; SEER Unit of South Africa; SacOil of South Africa; Socar of Azerbaijan; Sonara of Cameroon; Total of France; Trafigura of Switzerland; Vitol of Britain; and Calson-Vitol/NNPC joint venture and ZR Energy.
The indigenous companies include AA Rano; Aipec; AMG; Arkleen; Barbedos; Bono Energy; Casiva; Cretus; Emadeb; Eterna; Gladius Commodities; Hinstock; Leighton; Levene; Masters Energy; Matrix; MRS; North West; Oando; Sahara Group; Ocean Bed (Sahara trading subsidiary); Propetrol; Prudent; Setana; Setraco; Shoreline; Ultimate Gas; Voyage; West African gas; Zitts and Lords; Obat Oil & Gas; and Duke Oil (NNPC subsidiary).
The list could not be confirmed, yesterday, as the NNPC officials contacted did not take their telephone calls.
But a source in the corporation, who preferred not to be named,because he was not permitted to speak, disclosed that the contracts had already been signed with the companies.
He said the companies had already started to lift oil from the major oil terminals, including Bonny, Pennington, Qua Iboe and Brass.
Meanwhile, traders, yesterday, reported delays to deliveries of the nation's Nigerian Forcados crude cargoes.
Investigation showed that loading Nigerian cargoes have been slow to clear this month.
Traders disclosed that at least half the 60-cargo programme was still available for sale.
But the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC disclosed in its May, 2018 market report that the demand for crude oil remains high in the market.
It stated that: "The global GDP growth forecast remains at 3.8% for 2018, following growth of 3.8% in 2017. Expected US growth in 2018 is unchanged from the previous month at 2.7%, after growth of 2.3% in 2017.
"Growth in the Euro-zone was revised down to 2.2% in 2018, following growth of 2.5% in 2017. Japan's 2018 growth forecast remains at 1.5%, after growth of 1.7% in 2017. "