Monday, 21 March 2011

NNPC negotiating Brass Liquefied Natural Gas project with international partners

There are reports that Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is currently in negotiation with LNG Japan and Itochu Corporation and the US-based Sempra Energy, to jointly acquire 9 per cent of NNPC's stake in the Brass Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project. Negotiations are said to have reached an advanced stage and will soon be concluded. NNPC currently has a 49 per cent stake in the potentially hugely lucrative project, whilst ConocoPhillips, Eni and Total each hold 17 per cent stakes in the project which is located in Bayelsa State.

As part of the Federal Government's Niger Delta post amnesty policy the NNPC will cede 10 per cent of its stake in the Brass LNG project to Rivers and Bayelsa States, under the scheme to allow host States to own stakes in such projects. This means that if the current negotiations are indeed successful the NNPC will only hold a 30 percent stake in Brass LNG after ceding 9 per cent to the consortium and 10 percent to the Bayelsa and Rivers State Governments.

Long fuel queues have suddenly returned to most of Nigeria's major cities. On Friday 18th March residents in Abuja and Lagos State awoke to the reality of fuel scarcity and the resultant queues.

The NNPC has not yet made any statement on the reasons for this recent fuel scarcity. Some observers believe that, unless the fuel scarcities are quickly resolved, it could definitely have an adverse effect on President Goodluck Jonathan's popularity in the presidential polls which is now less than a month away.

For more news and expert analysis about Nigeria, please see Nigeria Focus and Nigeria Politics & Security.

© 2011 Menas Associates

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