The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday said there is a prevalence of adulterated Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), otherwise called diesel, across the country.
Raising an alarm over the development, the NNPC which also imports and retails the product, said the contaminated product was being sold at discounted prices in parts of the country.
A report signed by the Managing Director, NNPC Retail Limited, Billy Okoye, which advised motorists to be wary of the off-spec products, noted that the low grade, contaminated diesel is harmful to machines and the environment, insisting that the warning became necessary as its retail arm is a market leader in the segment.
Okoye assured consumers that NNPC Retail Limited deals only in premium, high-quality products in the interest of Nigerian motorists and users, urging consumers to patronise the company’s stations where the quality of their products is assured.
As a deregulated product, diesel is also imported by other major and independent marketers in the country. Similarly, the corporation said measures to bring down the cost of crude oil production to $10 per barrel or below is feasible.
The Corporation’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Ventures and Business Development, Roland Ewubare, noted that the terrain peculiarity was an important factor in determining cost, arguing that issues such as pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft, among others, were some of the factors peculiar to the Nigeria terrain that drive up crude oil production cost in the country.
According to him, NNPC was looking very closely at such variables as logistics, security and transportation, with a view to reducing cost of production to $10 and below per barrel.
Ewubare disclosed that much had been done over the years in the area of reducing contracting cycle, which used to be a major factor responsible for the high cost of production, stressing that the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) achieved a six-month contracting cycle when he was group general manager.
Amidst speculations of non-compliance by some countries with the production cuts agreed upon by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its non-member allies, Ewubare affirmed that Nigeria was in full compliance with the output cuts, saying reports including Nigeria on the list of non-compliant countries were not true.
He explained that though Nigeria’s total production capacity was 2.3million barrels per day (mbpd), it was currently producing only about 1.4mbpd, in compliance with the OPEC+ production quota, stressing that what makes up the little extra over the 1.4mbpd figure being bandied around for Nigeria was condensate, which is usually not computed as part of production in OPEC quota.