On the announcement that Mr Mele Kyari would be the new group managing director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), industry watchers who are familiar with his antecedents in the industry knew that an all-action man has been appointed to one of the most sensitive positions in the country.
And in the two years since his they have not been disappointed as the NNPC helmsman continues to move with the same zeal he brought to the office.
Kyari has gone about his job with so much gusto and this has opened up the industry a bit, laying the building blocks for an industry that would bring more value to Nigerians who have over the years yearned for an industry that would be the envy of others across the globe.
From his assumption of office as GMD of the state run oil corporation from taking over from the late Maikanti Baru, on the 8th of July, 2019, it was clear to Kyari what he wanted to achieve on the saddle of the corporation.
In his inaugural address, he clearly indicated the direction his management intended to steer the Corporation.
Two years down the road, a look at his actions and strides vis-à-vis the key objectives he set out for himself at his inauguration would give a clear picture of his achievements during this period.
In the upstream sector, one of the goals the GMD set at his inauguration was to increase the national crude oil reserves to 40billion barrels. To achieve that goal, the GMD galvanized NNPC to rev up exploration work in the inland basins with the drilling of the Kolmani River II Well culminating in oil find in commercial quantity in the Upper Benue Trough. The drilling of Kolmani River III Well is ongoing with very high prospect of oil find. Seismic data collection is ongoing in the Bida and Sokoto Basins. Plans are also afoot to re-launch the exploration work in the Chad Basin. All these are geared towards boosting the nation’s crude oil reserves to meet the 40billion barrels target.
Another goal set by Mallam Kyari is to boost the nation’s oil production to 3million barrels per day. To achieve that target, he immediately set about resolving disputes around a number of oil blocks that had led to production shut-in. A case in point is the resolution of the dispute involving Shell and Belema Oil that shut in over 30,000barrels per day production in OML 25. That dispute was effectively resolved to restore production in the oil block.
He also led the Corporation to execute the Abo OML 125 Heads of Terms leading to the resolution of the issues around most of the deep offshore Production Sharing Contracts. This paved the way for the renewal of OML 125 and further investment in the exploration of the lucrative field to boost the nation’s crude oil production.
Recently, in May 2021, Mallam Kyari repeated a similar feat when he led the Corporation to sign a series of agreements with SNEPCo and other PSC partners to resolve the disputes around another deep offshore block, OML 118, leading to the renewal of that acreage with the prospect of a new $10billion investment in the development of the Bonga South-East Field. This will further boost the nation’s oil production.
In furtherance of the goal of boosting the nation’s crude oil production, the Mallam Kyari-led management has secured a number of alternative funding facilities for the NPDC and some of the Joint Ventures to facilitate further development of assets. These include: the N875.75m NPDC OML 65 Alternative Funding and Technical Services package with CMES-OMS Petroleum Development Company, the $3.15bn Alternative Financing Package with Sterling Exploration and Energy Production Company Limited (SEEPCO) and other partners for the development of NPDC’s OML First oil of about 7,900bpd was achieved from the project on 1st April, 2020, while production is expected to peak at 94,000bpd of oil and 542mmscfd of gas within four years.
NNPC has focused heavily on the gas sector in keeping with the aspiration of the administration to diversify the economy by transforming the nation into a gas driven economy.
In this regard, NNPC drove and achieved the Final Investment Decision on the NLNG Train 7 Project in December 2019. The project was on the drawing board for over 10 years. The project is expected to generate over $20billion of revenue to the Government over the project’s lifecycle, 10,000 direct and 40,000 indirect jobs.
The Corporation followed that feat up in May 2020, at the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the signing of the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract of the NLNG Train-7 project.
The execution of the EPC contract signals the effective commencement of the detailed design and construction phase of the multi-billion dollar project which, on completion, is expected to raise the NLNG production capacity by 35 per cent from the current 22 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) to 30 MTPA.
On 15th June, 2021, the ground-breaking ceremony of the NLNG Train 7 Project was conducted signaling the commencement of construction work on the project.
NNPC also successfully flagged-off the construction of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline project on 30th June, 2020. The project which has been described by the President as a game-changer is an integral part of the Trans-Nigeria Gas Pipeline (TNGP) with a capacity to transport about 2.2billion cubic feet of gas per day.
The infrastructure designed to feed gas into the AKK – the Escravos Lagos Pipeline System II (ELPS II) and Oben-Obiafu-Obrikom (OB3) gas pipeline are also being aggressively executed and expanded to increase delivery capacity from 1.5BCF/D to over 3.5BCF/D. The ELPS II has reached 96.34 per cent completion.
Mallam Kyari also led the Corporation to achieve a $300million reduction in the cost of the AKK Gas Pipeline contract via contract renegotiation from the initial $2.8 billion.
Additional major stride in the gas sector was witnessed in late 2020 with the commissioning of the Oredo Integrated Gas Handling Facility (IGHF) and the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Storage and Dispensing Unit. The facilities are wholly owned and constructed by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) to address domestic gas supply challenges. The facilities currently deliver over 200 million standard cubic feet of dry gas per day and 330 metric tonnes of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (cooking gas) which is equivalent of 16 units of 20tonnes LPG trucks per day into the domestic market.
In order to provide an alternative to Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) as the sole automotive fuel and reduce the huge importation bill of the product, the GMD led NNPC to key into the Year /Decade of Gas initiative spearheaded by the Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources to launch the Autogas initiative. It executed a JV agreement with NIPCO to help in the marketing and distribution of the product to get as many Nigerians as possible to migrate to the use of gas as automotive fuel.
Mallam Kyari heralded 2021 with a significant step in the direction of bringing the proposed Brass Gas Hub into reality. He led NNPC to take the Final Investment Decision (FID) with the Brass Fertilizer and Petrochemical Company for the $3.6bn Brass Methanol Plant in Odioma, Bayelsa State.
He followed that feat up a few weeks later with the signing of a $260m financing agreement for the Assa-North Ohaji South (ANOH) Gas Project with Seplat. The project will deliver 300 million standard cubic feet of gas per day and 1,200 megawatts of electricity to the domestic market.
On 22 April, 2021, NNPC executed a Gas Development Agreement (GDA) for the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 143 with its partner, Sterling Oil Exploration and Production Company (SEEPCO). The project will boost the nation’s gas production by 1.2trillion cubic feet (tcf).
The Corporation also secured the United State Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) Grant and commenced the upgrade of 1350MW Abuja IPP project development to World Bank Standard for bankability.
NNPC’s Downstream operation is also experiencing the Mallam Kyari’s Midas touch with the introduction of Operation White which has helped in streamlining petroleum products importation, supply and distribution across the country.
As the sole importer of petroleum products in the country, NNPC has succeeded in keeping the nation well supplied. NNPC has emplaced a stable fuel supply system to guarantee zero fuel queues throughout the country in the last two years of Kyari.
The Corporation is in the process of strengthening the products distribution system by revamping the pipeline network through a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) model whose process is already at an advanced stage.
The vision of revamping the pipelines is in tandem with the Refineries Rehabilitation Project to ensure that products evacuation facilities are in top shape to support the operations of the refineries post-rehabilitation in 2023.
Keen on boosting petroleum products supply and distribution in riverine areas of the Niger Delta, Mallam Mele Kyari led NNPC to sign an agreement with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and Zed Energy for the construction of the N10.5bn Brass Petroleum Products Terminal. The facility will serve as a strategic reserve for the country as it is expected to provide a depot for 50 million litres of petroleum products, two way product jetty, automated storage and automated bay for AGO, PMS, DPK and ATK. It will close the infrastructure gap in the distribution of petroleum products and also help to stop illegal refining activities.
Another goal that the GMD set for his management at inauguration in 2019 was the rehabilitation of the refineries. Mallam Kyari has made good on that promise by driving the rehabilitation project to an advanced level. On 6th April, 2021, he led NNPC to sign the $1.5bn Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) Contract Agreement with Tecnimont SpA, for the complete rehabilitation of Port Harcourt Refinery.
On 7th May, 2021, the GMD led NNPC and the contractor, Tecnimont S.p.A., to flag off construction work on the Port Harcourt Refinery rehabilitation project.
He is in the process of making good his promise to introduce a new operational model for the refineries post-rehabilitation with the call for bids for the Operations & Maintenance Contract for the refineries advertised recently in the media. The O & M model would ensure that the refineries are managed by contractors with requisite experience who would ensure that they are regularly maintained as and when due.
WRPC and KRPC EPC contracting has progressed to advanced stage with a certificate of no objection secured from BPP on the award of the contract. Currently awaiting FEC approval of award to the most technically and commercially qualified globally reputable EPC company.
One of the issues Mallam Kyari spoke passionately about during his inauguration was Transparency and Accountability. He emphasized that transparency and accountability would be the cardinal pillars of his management. He promptly followed up his inaugural pronouncement with the launch of his management’s strategic objectives two weeks later. He christened it as Transparency, Accountability and Performance Excellence (TAPE). Since then, he has walked the transparency and accountability talk by opening up the books of the Corporation the way no other management before his has done. The key accomplishments in this regard include:
The publication of the 2018 and 2019 Audited Financial Statements of the Corporation and its 19 subsidiaries registered under the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 1990 as amended alongside that of the National Petroleum Investment and Management Services (NAPIMS) to provide clarity on Joint Venture finances. The AFS were published in the Corporation’s website for all interested parties to access and scrutinize. This is the first time the Corporation’s AFS were made public in such a manner.
A major revelation in the Audited Financial Statements of the two years so far published is the 99.7 per cent reduction of the Corporation’s loss profile from ₦803 billion in 2018 to ₦1.7 billion in 2019. Following this trajectory, the Corporation is likely to declare profit in the 2020 AFS which is billed to be released soon.
The Mallam Kyari-led management also sustained the Publication of the Corporation’s Monthly Financial & Operations Reports (MFOR) in line with the TAPE vision. NNPC remains the only national oil company that publishes its financial and operations reports monthly globally.
The GMD also led the Corporation to enlist with the Global Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative as an EITI Supporting Company which mandates places NNPC in the group of over 65 extractive companies, state owned enterprises that commit to observing transparency and accountability standards defined by EITI.
Another key achievement of the NNPC under the leadership of Mallam Kyari on the transparency terrain is the successful completion of a controversy-free recruitment exercise for 1,000 young graduate trainees to rejuvenate the Corporation’s talent mix.
Mallam Kyari also promised at his inauguration to upscale engagement with stakeholders to ensure that stakeholders are carried along in the Corporation’s operations. He has kept faith with this pledge by devoting time to honour invitations from the relevant committees of the National Assembly, holding periodic engagement sessions with critical stakeholders including the media.
COVID -19 Interventions
Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, the Group Managing Director quickly realized the vulnerable position of Nigeria with regard to condition of the existing healthcare system in the country. He rallied players in all the sectors of the oil and gas industry to raise over N21 billion to support the fight against the spread of the disease in the country
Under the leadership of NNPC, 26 per cent of the fund was deployed for the provision of logistics and in-patient support equipment such as ambulances, ventilators, isolation centres, etc. He ensured that every state of the Federation benefitted from the donations.
21 per cent of the sum was deployed for the provision of medical consumables. These include drugs, sanitizers, masks, protective gears and equipment, etc. These were also donated to all the states of the Federation.
The balance of 53 per cent of the sum was designated for the construction of standard medical facilities with one in each of the six geo-political zones of the country. The ground-breaking ceremony of Infectious Diseases Hospitals have been held in Bayelsa, Kano, Maiduguri, Owerri.
The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha had cause to commend NNPC for its various donations and strong support for the fight against the spread of the disease in Nigeria.