London, United Kingdom | – Nigeria has added Chinese and Indian state oil companies to an expanded list of those awarded contracts to buy its crude, re-issued after what trade sources said was intense lobbying by disappointed buyers.
It expanded its list of long-term oil contracts to about $52 billion worth of crude, up from $40 billion in April, also awarding contracts to more local companies, according to list a seen by Reuters and corroborated by industry sources.
Africa’s top oil producer, Nigeria will award around 482 million barrels of its oil for one year starting from June 2014. The bulk of these companies will receive about 30,000 barrels per day (bpd) during this period.
The list now comprises 43 companies, up from 28 on the initial April list, and closer to the 50 contracts given out the last time Nigeria’s oil company NNPC issued them in 2012.
In this new list, 28 winners are Nigerian firms, up from 21 in the last round and two new bilateral government deals with Chinese state refiner Sinopec and India’s state-owned refiner Indian Oil Corporation were added.
It was not immediately clear why the list was revised nor whether the new list, entitled “Recommended List of NNPC 2014-2015 Crude Oil Term Contracts”, was final.
Trade sources said that the release of the initial list was followed by lobbying after many habitual buyers were left off.
Several non-governmental organisations and even a 2012 study commissioned by the Nigerian government have criticised the decision to hand a large portion of its oil exports to what the report called “briefcase traders”.
However, the list indicates that Nigeria will not increase the amount sold directly to refiners as most other OPEC members do.
The total contracted volume is expected to be around 1.32 million bpd, the expanded list showed, or about 70 percent of Nigeria’s total crude oil exports, which fluctuate between 1.8-1.9 million bpd.
As was the case with the first list and in a break with tradition, no contracts were issued directly to global traders Glencore, Vitol, Trafigura or Gunvor, with only Switzerland’s Mercuria awarded a deal.
Industry sources say that these firms will likely still trade Nigerian oil, either through buying from Nigerian firms or through partnerships.
Delaney Petroleum Corp, a Dubai-based company which Trafigura says it sometimes cooperates with, was added to the latest list.
The total number of deals with foreign governments is just three, including Malawi, down from 10 last time. Deals with neighbouring West African countries Senegal, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast were not renewed.
Of the eight newly added Nigerian companies, only three were awarded contracts in the last round.
Subsidiaries of Emmanuel Ojei’s holdings company Nuel Okei, Emo Oil and Petrochemical Co and Team Trade Petroleum Development Co, were two of the new winners.