Champagne week for all the politically connected and trading companies’ agents who circle around the NNPC headquarters as the crude oil lifting contracts list was finally released to the public.
Making this list is one of the highlights of the Nigerian oil and gas elite. If you are not on that list, who are you? 50 companies made the list this time, rising from 39 in the last batch. This is the highest ever, but curiously, the term contract was for 2 years as against the typical 1 year tenure. This implies that even if an opposition party succeeds in winning the elections in 2019, they are already burdened by a contract with this set of lottery winners.
On the list are familiar foreign companies — trading companies, refineries, national governments, but the Nigerian companies’ list is a cocktail of traditional crude oil lifters, a construction company, and those pivoting from downstream/oil services to oil lifting — a well-trod route for connected Nigerian companies.
AA Rano (Alhaji Rano, Downstream player); Aipec (Mike Awogboro); AMG (Murtala Muhammad family); Arkleen (Oil Chemicals Company); Barbedos (Downstream); Bono Energy (Oil Trading & Services); Casiva (Shaidu Baiyee/No significant footprint); Cretus (Abiodun Olujimi/Services); Emadeb (Downstream); Eterna (Downstream); Gladius Commodities (Trading); Hinstock; Leighton (Bola Jayeoso); Levene (Banwo & Ighodalo/Ado Bayero); Masters Energy (Uche Ogah/Downstream); Matrix (Abdulkadir Aliu/LPG Trading); MRS (Dantata/Downstream);
Others are, North West (Mrs Akpani/Downstream); Oando (Wale Tinubu/Dahiru Mangal); Sahara Group (Tonye Cole); Ocean Bed (Another Sahara trading subsidiary); Propetrol(Harry Ebohon/Downstream); Prudent (Abdul Sowami/Downstream); Setana (Edward Edozien/Oil Trading); Setraco (Late Abu Imoru family/Construction); Shoreline (Ladi Bada/Qatar Heritage); Ultimate Gas (Alhaji Awalu Ilu/LPG Trading); Voyage (Hajia Bola Shagaya); West African Gas (Sahara/NNPC); Zitts and Lords (Samuel Okojie/Oil services); Obat Oil & Gas (Fred Akinrutan/Downstream); Duke Oil (NNPC subsidiary).
Notably, some companies in the 2017-18 list were omitted in this new list —Hyde Energy, Brittania-U, Optima Energy, Emo Oil. They probably lost out. Or maybe not. There are talks that the list released by the newspapers is not exhaustive and the number of contractors could still rise to over 60. May the best-connected win.