- Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru (right), with Hungarian Embassy Hon. Consul, Mr. Endre Deri, while Ambassador Gabor Ternak watches during their visit to Baru…in Abuja
Nigeria’s quest for increased crude earnings has received a boost as notwithstanding the current tough and competitive international crude oil market as the Hungarian Government has indicated interest to purchase crude oil and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from the country.
Hungarian Ambassador to Nigeria, Prof. Gabor Ternak, disclosed this in Abuja during a courtesy call on the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, stating that the decision was informed by the need to bridge his country’s current supply gap.
“Hungary depends on oil importation to serve its energy needs as the country is non-oil producing,” a statement by the NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, quoted him to say. “We want to diversify our sources of crude oil and LNG import and are considering purchasing these products from Nigeria.”
According to Ternak, Nigerian crude oil would be of great help to Hungarian refineries involved in large scale commercial refining, while Nigeria could also leverage their bi-lateral relationship by engaging the Hungarian firms that specialise in repairs, maintenance and building of refineries, as well as medical services.
He added that Hungarian universities, with many years of oil and gas engineering expertise, could assist Nigeria in capacity building of oil workers.
On his part, Baru said the agency has commenced a tendering process for the selection of the 2018 crude oil off-takers, adding that Hungarian companies could utilise the opportunity by participating in the exercise to maximise value from direct purchase rather than through a third party.
“If you don’t participate in the tendering process, you would have to buy the products from one of the traders. However, if you participate with companies and refineries that meet our requirements, they could be shortlisted as off-takers,” he said.
Baru further explained that Hungary could purchase LNG through “spot cargo,” an arrangement in which excess production is given to registered off-takers with the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited.
“Normally, gas business is a long-term business and NLNG is not different,” he said. “We already have existing 20-year contract that will expire by 2022.
“Nevertheless, we have what is called ‘spot cargoes’ – when there is excess production and the current contractors have got their share as enshrined in the contract – the excess production will be given to registered off-takers in the system.”
Baru urged Hungarian companies to submit their profile to NLNG for possible engagement as off-takers of spot-cargoes after meeting the standard requirements.
Meanwhile, he stated that works on refurbishment of the NNPC refineries by the original builders of the plants have commenced and that the Hungarian firms with requisite expertise could be considered through sub-contracting by the main contractors.
Also, he said that NNPC, through its subsidiary, the Nigerian Leadership Academy (NLA), would consider the possible areas of collaboration with Hungarian universities for in-country capacity building of oil and gas workers.
He further disclosed that through its diversification plans, the corporation, which has the largest medical facilities in the country from a single entity, was trying to put its 52 clinics across the country into commercial use, starting with the one in Abuja.
To that end, he said the corporation would collaborate with Hungarian and other reputable companies with proven capabilities to set up world-class medical facilities for heart, spinal and brain surgeries, as well as physiotherapy and specialised laboratory services that could compete globally and save Nigerians the burden of traveling abroad for treatment.