The House of Representatives Committee probing $17 billion unrevealed crude oil and liquefied gas sale has issued a two-week deadline to 10 international oil companies (IOCs) to put forward written submissions to it or face sanctions.
Abdulrazak Namdas, Chairman of the committee, in December 2016, written 20 IOCs, as part of investigations into an estimated $17 billion undeclared oil sale between January 2011 and December 2014.
The companies directed to send written presentations include the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mobil Producing Unlimited, Shell Western Supply and Trading, Chevron Nigeria Limited, Total Exploration & Production Nigeria Ltd, Esso Exploration & Production Nigeria, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), Addax Petroleum Exploration Nigeria, Exxon Mobil Nigeria and Duke Oil Company Ltd.
Others are Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited, Fumfa Oil Ltd, Nigeria Agip Oil Company Ltd, Petrochad (Mangara) Ltd, Shell US Trading Company (STUSCO), Brasoil Service Company Nig. Ltd, Glencore Exploration (DRB/DCI) Ltd, Supreme Jute & Knitex Ltd and Consolidated Oil Ltd.
It was gathered that 10 out of the companies have not forwarded submissions to the committee by last week, prompting the ultimatum. The companies include Shell US Trading Company (STUSCO), Mobil Producing Nigeria, Chevron Petroleum Nigeria Limited, ESSO Exploration and Production Nigeria, EXXON Mobil, Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited, Brass Oil Services Company Nig. Limited, Supreme Jute and Kntex Limited, Consolidated Oil Limited and Duke Oil Limited
It was learnt that the committee has also not received any response from government agencies identified as key to its investigations, such as the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). The office of Attorney-General of the Federation has also not sent its presentation.
Such companies and agencies as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), NNPC and Nigeria Extractive Transparency Initiative (NEITI), have replied the committee asking for more time.
Chairman of the committee confirmed that a 14-day ultimatum had been issued the IOCs and government agencies, as he reiterated the importance of the investigation.
“With preliminary reports alleging that over 57 million barrels of Nigerian crude oil were illegally exported and sold in the United States of America between January 2011 and December 2014, Nigerians are closely watching this investigation; so we have to conduct it in a timely but thorough manner,” he stated.