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Is ExxonMobil illegally lifting Butane at the Bonny terminal?

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The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) accused ExxonMobil of lifting butane, but the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) responded that the operation was authorized.

ExxonMobil’s operations at Bonny River Offshore Terminal (BRT) were duly approved by the upstream regulator, according to a statement released on Wednesday by Mr. Gbenga Komolafe, Chief Executive of the NUPRC. 

He said “Our attention has been drawn to some publications in the media between June 12 and 13, 2023, alleging illegal lifting of Butane at the Bonny River Offshore Terminal (BRT) by ExxonMobil. The publications quote a sister regulatory agency, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), as the source of the allegation.

Being the regulator statutorily entrusted with the technical and commercial regulation of the upstream sector in Nigeria, it has become necessary for the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) to state the true position regarding the transaction referred to.”

Further emphasizing that ExxonMobil had requested formal approval from NUPRC for its operations as an integrated operation, which NUPRC had granted: 

“It is important to state that Exxonmobil formally applied to NUPRC for approval of its operations as an integrated operation, in line with Sections 8(d) and 318 of the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021. Following a careful evaluation of the request, NUPRC granted approval accordingly.

Consequently, Exxonmobil applied and obtained necessary clearance from NUPRC for the lifting of 12,600 metric tonnes of Butane aboard a vessel named Barumk Gas on May 26, 2023. Barumk Gas berthed at the loading jetty at BRT on June 7, 2023. Loading operation commenced and ended on June 8, 2023; after which an official of NUPRC on site (at the BRT) issued a Certificate of Quantity and Quality (CoQ), as statutorily required for the fulfilment of requirements of accurate hydrocarbon accounting, reporting and ability of the vessel to sail to its delivery destination. This is in line with global best practices.”

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