Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja

Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has issued award letters to about 34 companies for contracts to exchange crude oil for imported petroleum products under swap arrangement, Reuters said yesterday.

In 15 groupings, at least 34 companies in total were believed to have received award letters last Monday, the agency quoted four impeccable sources, yet unnamed sources.

While the contracts are still in wraps, Reuters said the terms had been negotiated and the names of the companies may be announced soon.

The contracts, Orient Energy review gathered, include the lifting of crude oil in return for the delivery and supply of petroleum products under the direct sale of crude oil and direct purchase of petroleum products model, otherwise known as swap.

Despite having a total refining capacity of about 445,000 barrels per day, the nation’s four major refineries have been underperforming for years, making Nigeria almost wholly dependent on imports to meet domestic oil and gas consumption.

Last May, the NNPC announced that about 132 firms had submitted bids for the 2019 crude oil-for-product swap programme called the direct sale of crude oil and direct purchase of petroleum products DSDP scheme.

Under the scheme, selected overseas refiners, trading companies and indigenous companies are allocated crude supplies in exchange for the delivery of an equal value of petrol and other refined products to the NNPC.

The Corporation said it had saved over $2.2 billion through the DSDP scheme since its inception.

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