A Very Present Threat

For the first time, Nigeria’s National Petroleum

Corporation admits that oil export to

the United States is under threat


For several months, there have been anxiety by stakeholders over the implications of growing volume of shale oil and gas production in the United State of America to Nigeria’s export to that country especially as the US is the highest buyer of oil from Africa’s largest oil producer. Mum has been the word from official quarters as neither the Ministry of Petroleum Resources nor Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) contributed to the discussion. Few weeks ago however, the silence was broken.


NNPC Group Managing Director, Andrew Yakubu at the World Energy Congress in Daegu, South Korea admitted that there are threats to Nigeria’s crude oil exports to the United States of America which hitherto was the biggest consumer of crude oil from Nigeria with over 1 million barrels per day imports. That country slashed its imports from Nigeria by more than 70 per cent because of the production of shale gas.


While also confirming that international oil companies (IOCs) were divesting from Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, Yakubu said the development was not a threat to the economy. “No doubt, the shale gas phenomenon poses a pushback on our oil and gas, but the good news is that as we speak the impact is going to come a very long time from now because a close examination of the various discoveries of shale gas shows a huge mis-alignment between what was projected and the actualisation of most of the gas projects that would bring shale gas into full maturity,” a statement by the NNPC quoted Yakubu to have said.


He explained that though the shale gas revolution is real, its availability in the global energy market is being hampered by high cost and other infrastructural challenges thus making conventional crude oil a cheaper energy source. NNPC will take advantage of the time it will take for shale oil to achieve global penetration to activate measures to ensure that the Nigeria was not caught napping if and when shale gas achieves the projected global penetration, Yakubu assured. He noted however, that the reported divestments by IOCs are not only healthy for the oil and gas industry in Nigeria but would also go a long way in promoting effective indigenous participation in core upstream activities.


“These are not withdrawals in the real sense of withdrawals. The fact is that a number of these IOCs are moving into more challenging frontiers in the deep offshore and are leaving the onshore blocks which they consider less challenging.”


The GMD noted that the major players that are divesting have actually been sitting on those acreages and have allowed them to go fallow for years without significant development.


“So it is only fair for them to release these blocks so that others, especially the indigenous operators, can have the blocks and grow in the upstream business. This indeed is a good development and I think we are moving in the right direction,” he said while hinting that the divestment offers immense opportunities for the nation’s  indigenous flagship upstream operator, the NPDC, to grow its capacity and capability, especially as it strives to meet the aggressive target of daily crude production of 250,000 barrels by 2020.


Yakubu, who is leading a team of Nigeria’s oil and gas experts to the global energy meet, also submitted: “Once again, the good news in this regard is that Mr. President, through the Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani-Alison-Madueke, has made it clear that the maximisation of our various energy resources is central to the reforms in the oil and gas industry.


“And back home we have since channeled our energy to the development of petrochemicals, fertilizers and other gas-based industries that would maximise the utilisation of our gas resources So far our interactions and engagements with various global energy leaders in this Congress have reassured us that we are moving in the right direction,” Yakubu said.




Ahmed Barma  ABS Merchandising


Born with a silver spoon, Ahmed Barma held on to his dream to become his own man while working with his father. It’s a long and tortuous journey that began in 1990 when he was serving under the tutelage of his industrious father and mentor, late Alhaji S. A. Barma. A few years on the job, Ahmed Shuaibu Barma, a smart Air Force cadet had excelled and proved his mettle. He rose through the ranks to become a supervisor.


And having gained experience and confidence, he opted out of his father’s business and established his own trading company, ABS Merchandising, a general goods import and trading company in Abuja. Today, 43 year-old Ahmed sits atop a multi-range haulage fleet management and petroleum marketing and distribution company located along Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Ilasamaja, Lagos. Ahmed build his business empire from the scratch and became his own man.


In his quest for expansion, Ahmed recently set up Dunia Oil Nigeria Limited, Deltex Nigeria and Barma Estate as part of the subsidiaries.


Now rated among the top 10 transport haulage, petroleum marketing and logistics service delivery companies in Nigeria, AGS Barma has doubled its net reserves and equally spread its distribution channels all over the country.


Ahmed was also decorated as a role model and entrepreneur per excellence for his contribution to the development of Oriade and Amuwo-Odofin communities in Lagos. He is equally a recipient of leadership excellence awards including Africa Role Mode Awards, Global Excellence Awards for Best Businessman of the Year (2008), and Who’s Who Corporate Leaders Award for his giant strides in the transport industry.


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