Fed Govt Owes Five IOCs $1.15bn Cash Call Arrears, Clears $3.53bn Debt
A total of $3.53bn has been paid by the Federal Government to five international oil companies as cash call arrears repayment to the IOCs, leaving an outstanding balance of $1.15bn.
Latest status report on the Pre-2016 Cash Call Arrears Repayment to the IOCs as at October 31, 2021, seen in Abuja on Sunday, showed that the five oil companies were joint venture partners of the country’s oil firm.
The report, which was obtained from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, outlined the five IOCs to include Shell Petroleum Development Company, Mobil Producing Nigeria and Chevron Nigeria Limited.
Others include Total Exploration and Production Nigeria and Nigeria Agip Oil Company.
Figures from the document indicated that the Federal Government had completed the cash call repayments to MPN and CNL.
It was observed that the total negotiated debt and total payment to date of MPN was $833.75m, while the total negotiated debt and total payment to date of CNL was put at $1.097bn.
For SPDC, data from the latest repayment report showed that while the total negotiated debt was $1.37bn, the total payment to date was $680.6m, leaving a balance of $691.91m.
The government’s total payment to date to TEPNG was put at $411.73m out of a total negotiated debt of $610.97m, while the outstanding balance was put at $199.24m.
NAOC had so far been paid $511.02m. The oil firm’s total negotiated debt with the Federal Government through NNPC was $774.66m, while the balance accruable to the IOC was put at $263.64m.
Data from the document further showed that the total negotiated debt for the five firms was $4.689bn, total payment to date stood at $3.534bn, while the outstanding balance was $1.154bn.
Cash calls are sent by joint venture operators to non-operating partners for payment in the light of anticipated future capital, operating expenditures or the need for additional capital contributions.
The Federal Government through the NNPC had over the years piled up unpaid bills, referred to as cash calls, which it was obliged to pay the IOCs with which it had joint ventures for oil exploration and production.
Industry analysts stated that the delay in payments had hindered oil and gas investment in Nigeria, but commended the government and the NNPC for the repayment of the debts.
In 2016, the national oil company signed the cash call repayment agreement with the five IOCs to defray the cash-call arrears within a period of five years after many years of its indebtedness to JV partners.
Also, the government through the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources negotiated a discount with the five IOCs in December 2016.
The negotiations led to the reduction of the debt from about $5.1bn to $4.68bn, as the government had since continued to reduce the debt payments in installments.