With Nigeria as one of Africa’s leading producers in the oil and natural gas, we at SOIL, with our experience in the trading sector and a dynamic trading infrastructure and diverse market presence are able to provide products to our clients via exports. We are a small part of the big wheel that is helping the Nigerian economy grow. The export and free trade aids the unlocking of benefits of our crude abundance for the Nigerian consumer and further strengthen Nigeria’s position as a global crude supplier.
We trade in but are not limited to;
Global crude oil markers (Brent) and many grades of oil are priced off these markers.
Bonny Light Crude and middle distillates (naphtha, and various grades of diesel fuel); unleaded types of gasoline and components; fuel oil…
The proximity of banks, inspection companies, and the headquarters of many trading companies make New York an essential actor for trading in West Africa. These two main locations are complemented by offices in many African countries, allowing us to always be close to our customers.
We monitor the movements of commodities by vessel, barge, truck, and rail in support of our core trading activities and for third parties. We operate in an efficient and safe manner in a highly competitive and fast-paced environment.
Light Crude Oil
Light crude oil is liquid petroleum that has a low density and flows freely at room temperature. It has a low viscosity, low specific gravity, and high API gravity due to the presence of a high proportion of light hydrocarbon fractions. It generally has a low wax content. Light crude oil receives a higher price than heavy crude oil on international commodity markets because it produces a higher percentage of gasoline and diesel fuel when converted into products by an oil refinery. Light crude oil is traded on the CME Globex, CME ClearPort, (CME Group) and Open Outcry (New York) futures exchange venues and is quoted in U.S. dollars and cents per barrel. Its product symbol is “CL” and its contract size is 1,000 barrels (160 m3) with a minimum fluctuation of $0.01 per barrel.
The national government of Nigeria runs and takes part in the petroleum industry of Nigeria through the NNPC corporation.
Bonny Light Crude Oil is a high grade of Nigerian crude oil with high API gravity (low specific gravity), produced in the Niger Delta basin and named after the prolific region around the city of Bonny.
The very low sulfur content of Bonny Light crude makes it a highly desired grade for its low corrosiveness to refinery infrastructure and the lower environmental impact of its byproducts in refinery effluent.
Other grades of Nigerian crude oil are Qua Iboe crude oil, Brass River crude oil, and Forcados crude oil. The Cabinda crude oil is a common grade of crude oil produced in Angola. The Bonny Light is in high demand specifically by American and European refineries. It is therefore a major source of income generation from the oil-rich nation.
Low Pour Fuel Oil
Low pour fuel oils (LPFO) are products derived from crude oils with the major components being residuals or bottoms from petroleum refining operations. At times, the residuals are blended with gas oil and light fuel oil to improve their atomizing capability in burners. The chemical nature of LPFO is quite complex and depends on the source of crude oil as well as the refining process employed in producing the fuel oil.
We pride ourselves with our historical growth as a company and our determination to build an Oil and Gas company within South Saharan Africa that has the desires of the indigenous people within the countries we operate within at heart. We are the company that focuses on the interest of the people within the countries whose natural resources we explore and develop. We build to serve the communities we benefit financially from during a successful development lifecycle.
Safely figuring out how to buy crude oil from Nigeria is one of the most daunting tasks crude oil buyers from many parts of the world face.
The Nigerian market is highly volatile, too many people masquerade themselves as crude oil sellers, and after a long series of engagements, both the crude oil buyer and seller’s time gets wasted.
This article focuses on the concerns, highlights what’s real and what isn’t, and shows crude oil buyers what to do to close a successful transaction.
There’s a lot to understand when it comes to knowing how to buy crude oil from Nigeria. First, the NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) on its website says that:
Why This Statement?
First, the NNPC is an OPEC registered nation, and so, abides by OPEC rules and regulations. Meaning that if a crude oil buyer wants to get Nigeria’s crude oil, they’d have to come down to Nigeria to have a talk with the NNPC, after which they can go on to purchase the quantity of crude oil they want at the full OPEC price.
So Who Are Off-Takers?
Every year, the NNPC puts out an advert for companies that meet a minimum critical requirement, to bid for crude oil lifting and marketing contracts. These organizations undergo a technical and financial evaluation to prove they are fully fit to lift and market Nigeria’s crude oil.
Those awarded the contract usually get a year-long allocation/contract to sell Nigeria’s crude oil to refineries around the world, and this is done based on thorough OPEC practices.
The discounts here can be as ridiculously low as $2 or mostly none at all, which never favors crude oil buyers who primarily look to buy Nigeria’s crude oil for resale purposes.
So What Are OFF-OPEC Sales
Since OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries), the world’s foremost body for regulating the price of crude oil, imposes strict practices for its member countries to follow, this limits the production capacity and sales of crude oil worldwide.
Nigeria, for instance, as of July 2017, officially produces about 2.2 million barrels of crude oil a day. These figures are merely official numbers, but what is rumored to be generated is said to be over 3 to 4 million barrels of crude oil a day.
These excess crude oil generated are then in turn sold through organizations that have the financial capacity to execute in what is commonly called Off-OPEC transactions. Here, the companies buy the crude oil from the NNPC on Provisional Lifting Right (PLR) FOB terms and then go on to resell to crude oil buyers on CIF terms. Here, no OFF-OPEC allocations are given. Everything is simply done on a PLR basis.
Several companies operate on OFF-OPEC / PLR terms, and this is why their names never appear on the list of off-takers the NNPC releases every year, which are only meant to be companies that strictly operate with OPEC practices on behalf of the Nigerian government.
How Do You Verify An OFF-OPEC Allocation In Nigeria
The NNPC does not openly give OFF-OPEC allocations, and so, taking a company’s ATS (Authority To Sell) letter to the NNPC tower in Abuja for verification would either get you a straight denial or arrested. No official in the building will admit to any OFF-OPEC allocations because they rarely exist, but on your way out, some people may try to lure you to use a seller “they claim” is a real seller, whose name isn’t even on the off-takers list published yearly by the NNPC. They mostly do this in a bid to broker a crude oil transaction since they cannot officially own allocations or issue allocations to any of their family members. The crude oil sellers you may be referred to in this instance are those lifting on PLR basis, where they buy from the NNPC on FOB and resell to the buyer on CIF. Technically, this is the OFF-OPEC transaction that happens, and the Laycan that is issued to the crude oil seller is verified at the NNPC.
If you want to verify an OFF-OPEC allocation or ATS (Authority To Sell) letter of any potential crude oil seller in Nigeria, you simply cannot. The only verifiable thing is the Laycan that would be issued to the crude oil seller to load their vessel. If the Laycan is not verifiable, then the crude oil is of highly questionable origin.
If you walk into the NNPC flashing documents and demanding answers to questions, they’d tell you the only approved sellers are the published off-takers.
Why Then Does The NNPC Deny Having Crude Oil Sellers With OFF-OPEC Allocations?
As stated earlier, OFF-OPEC allocations rarely exist. Another thing is OPEC constantly sends spies to try to identify wrong practices done by its member countries in a bid to impose heavy sanctions on those found wanting. As a result, every official at the NNPC towers is always on the alert and would deny any knowledge of any OFF-OPEC allocations.
OFF-OPEC transactions in the right description now are done by the crude oil sellers who are buying from the NNPC on FOB terms based on the Provisional Lifting Right and selling to their buyers on CIF terms. These sellers are not verifiable, but the Laycan is verifiable and their trade processes could be negotiated to be secure for both parties.
If the Laycan is not verifiable and the trade process is not reasonably negotiable, then there’s a problem. Why Are Crude Oil Buyers Demanding For OFF-OPEC Crude Oil?
Crude oil buyers in Nigeria are always looking out for good deals on the price of the crude oil sold. On OPEC allocations, they purchase at the full Brent price, or sometimes with a $2 discount per barrel, but with OFF-OPEC purchases, they can get up to a $5 NET discount per barrel for exports to Europe and up to a $7 discount per barrel for exports to West African countries.
When they do this, they usually pay a commission of $4 to the brokers involved, where both the buyer and seller’s side get to share it equally.
For instance, a crude oil export to China could come at a cost of $9 gross Less than $5 net ($9/$5). Where $5 is the NET discount the buyer is getting per barrel, and $4 is the commission the buyer is paying, which is to be split by all the parties involved per barrel. This way, if the current Brent price of crude oil is $72 per barrel, the full amount the buyer would have to pay would be $68 per barrel, saving them $5 Million dollars for every 1 million barrels purchased.
So How Does A Crude Oil Buyer Buy Crude Oil From The Nigerian OFF-OPEC Market?
The first step is to find a credible crude oil seller who doesn’t just have experience trading OFF-OPEC but is willing to complete a transaction on reasonable terms, discounts, and procedures. Since the sellers are usually difficult to find, you’d have to communicate directly with their mandates or facilitators.