The Indian High Commissioner added that apart from the lack of long-term agreement between the two countries on crude oil purchases, in 2006, an Indian company, Oil & Natural Gas Commission Videsh Limited (OVL) and Mittal Energy worldwide, which is a joint venture between OVL, an Indian government company, and Mittal Energy a private firm, applied for oil concession.
A source at NNPC said the president cancelled contracts for roughly half of the 445,000 barrels per day of crude earmarked for Nigeria’s refineries – the amount refiners use in the products swaps deals.
He described the bill as an essential legislation which must be approached with all the seriousness and thoroughness it deserves.
“The PIB is a serious affair”.
President Buhari, however, urged the Chairman of the RMAFC, who availed him of their view on the vexed issued of petroleum subsidy payments, to go “back to the drawing board and come up with more humane proposals to rescue ordinary Nigerians from the wicked manipulation of the country’s oil industry by corrupt operators”. “When we write a letter to NNPC, we don’t get a response”.
“PIB is important, but we need to x-ray the issues”.
“The reality is that we can not afford to wait any longer for change in the petroleum sector because of the delay in the passage of PIB, things have got to start happening and that’s exactly what we are doing”.
Mr. Kachilwu said one key issue that needs to be factored into deliberations on the proposed PIB is cost, particularly at a time the global crude oil price at the worldwide oil market has declined significantly to about $40 per barrel.
“The reform of the petroleum industry is key and it is an area where we are going to put a lot of focus”, he said.
“Sometimes people don’t realise that the problem hasn’t been NNPC, it is a problem of political will to … implement the outcome of research and reports that have been done”, he said. Fortunately, this time around, that is what the president has brought to the table.
Buhari said he was certain that if the development of the country’s domestic refining capacity and petroleum products distribution network had kept pace with national demand, there won’t have been any need for the huge subsidies now being paid to importers.
“You certainly won’t be ignored under my leadership”, President Buhari told members of the association which represented about 20 Nigerian companies operating mainly on onshore fields.