- They allege Economic sabotage, criminal damage, and theft through illegal petroleum lifting operations at Bonny River Terminal.
- Exxon Mobil was lifting Butane at the terminal with the vessel, marked Barumk Gas without the authorisation or participation of NMDPRA
- Military requested to urgently prevent the sailing out of Barumk Gas until investigations into the matter are concluded.
Nigeria’s Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) revealed it has written a letter to Nigeria’s Military command about the illegal lifting of petroleum products by Exxon Mobil at Bonny River Terminal in Rivers State.
This was disclosed by the firm in a letter by its Authority’s Chief Executive, Mr Farouk Ahmed, and addressed to the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor on Sunday in Abuja.
This comes after the Military has been on an offensive tackling illegal oil bunkering in Nigeria as Nigeria struggles to raise production above 1 million barrels per day.
In the letter titled Economic Sabotage, the NMDPRA boss warned that there was alleged illegal product lift by ExxonMobil, the report stated:
- “Economic sabotage, criminal damage and theft through illegal petroleum lifting operations at Bonny River Terminal”, “Exxon Mobil was lifting Butane at the terminal with the vessel, marked Barumk Gas without the authorisation or participation of NMDPRA.
Ahmed, in the letter, stated that NMDPRA was the agency of Government statutorily responsible for regulating operations at the Terminal.
They added the unlawful activity is being facilitated with the active connivance of Exxon Mobil who has illegally destroyed the locks on the sea-line valve whose keys are in the custody of the Authority.
- “The actions of Exxon Mobil and Barumk Gas constitute economic sabotage, criminal damage, and theft of Nigeria’s national resources.
- “You are by this letter kindly requested to urgently prevent the sailing out of Barumk Gas until investigations into the matter are concluded.”
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Nigeria’s Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) declared an end to the era of fixed fuel prices in the country, last week.
The Authority’s Chief Executive, Mr Farouk Ahmed, announced this development in Abuja stating that the pricing of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) will now be determined by the free market.
The Oil industry regulator revealed that there is a new liberalized market regime for fuel prices in Nigeria, adding:
- “As far as we are concerned in the NMDPRA, this is not like before when the PPPRA fixes the price; in a deregulated market, it is the market force that dictates the price.”
The NMDPRA also proposed that Nigeria’s retail energy market is now open for everybody that would import as far as they met all the requirements, adding:
- “So, it is not about the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) alone.
- “We put the regulation in place, we make sure quality control is complied with, we make sure the product is there and we give licence to the prospective importer.
- “We make sure we guide the operations of everyone in the sector whether at the depot or wherever the product is but we will not put a cap to say this is what the price must be.”