In line with its cost cutting measures and effort to operate a leaner, more efficient structure, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday continued with the streamlining of its operations by sacking several of its top managers at its various strategic business units.

The restructuring saw the state-run oil corporation slashing its top-heavy management structure to a slimmer one comprising 83 personnel from 122.

Last week, NNPC also pruned the number of its directorates from eight to four and announced the retirement of the Group Executive Directors (GED) who headed the directorates.

Yesterday’s shake up, which was contained in a statement from the corporation’s Group General Manager, Public Affairs Department, Ohi Alegbe, showed that key amongst those who were relieved of their jobs included Mr. Haruna Momoh, Managing Director of the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), the petroleum products distribution and marketing subsidiary of the NNPC, as well as Mr. Tony Ugonna Muoneke, who was appointed Managing Director of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) barely a year ago.

Also, the corporation confirmed the appointment of four new Group Executive Directors (GED), who will superintend the four directorates that the corporation said was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari last week.

According to the statement, the Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, disclosed that the new appointments were in line with the federal government’s aspiration to transform the corporation into a lean, efficient, business-focused, transparent and accountable national oil company.

Kachikwu said the move was also in keeping with international best practices.
As approved by Buhari, the statement confirmed earlier reports that Dr. Maikanti Baru will oversee the corporation’s Exploration and Production Division as its GED, Mr. Isiaka Abdulrazaq will take charge as the GED for Finance and Services, Mr. Dennis Nnamdi Ajulu takes over as GED for Refining and Technology, while Dr. Babatunde Victor Adeniran was appointed GED, Commercial and Investment Directorate.

It added that a new Company Secretary and Legal Adviser, Mr. Chidi Momah, was appointed for the corporation.
Other appointments included Mrs. Esther Nnamdi Ogbue as the new Managing Director of PPMC; Mr. Chinedu Ezeribe - Managing Director, Warri Refining and Petrochemicals Company (WRPC); Mr. Babatunde Bakare - Managing Director, Nigerian Gas Company (NGC); and Mr. Inuwa Ibrahim Waya - Managing Director, Hyson.

Others were Mr. Abubakar Mai-Bornu who is the new MD of NPDC; Mr. Ladipo Fagbola, Managing Director of NNPC Retail; Mr. Rowland Ewubare – Managing Director, Integrated Data Services Ltd (IDSL); Mr. Modupe Bammeke – Managing Director, NNPC Properties; Mr. Abdulkadir Saidu takes over as the Managing Director of Duke Oil; and Mr. Dafe Sejebor was made the Group General Manager (GGM), Nigerian Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS).

The corporation also said 39 top management staff were retired, thus reducing the number of top managers from 122 to 83.
The statement explained that in line with the aspiration to reposition the NNPC, 12 new personnel were recruited from the private sector into the top management cadre to jumpstart a new business outlook that will enhance its operational environment as a profit-driven business as against the current civil service orientation.

Meanwhile, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) yesterday raised its forecast of oil supplies from non-member countries in 2015, indicating that the drop in the price of crude oil will take longer than expected to force US shale drillers and other competing sources out of the international market.

OPEC had predicted that the collapse of oil prices would put producers of shale oil, which is more expensive to produce out of business, and was confident that prices would stabilise.

Despite the supply glut by the producers of shale oil, OPEC has however refused to cut crude oil output, insisting that the oversupply estimated at 2.28 million barrels per day for 2015, will ease in the coming months
In a monthly report cited by Reuters, the cartel forecast no extra demand for its crude oil this year despite faster global growth in consumption.

This development stemmed from the higher-than-expected production from the United States and other countries outside the group.
Oil is currently trading below $50 a barrel, close to its 2015 low after an 18 per cent drop in July. But OPEC has refused to cut output, seeking to recover market share by slowing higher-cost production in the United States and elsewhere.

The cartel was of the view that the producers of shale oil had been encouraged by OPEC’s prior policy of keeping prices near $100.
OPEC earlier this year slashed its prediction on non-OPEC supply for 2015, expecting lower prices to prompt a slowdown.

But yesterday, it raised the forecast by about 90,000 barrels per day (bpd), following a 220,000-bpd increase in last month's report.
“US onshore production from unconventional sources is currently expected to decline marginally in the second half of 2015 through year-end, while US offshore production is expected to grow due to project start ups,” OPEC said.

“Recent developments in the upstream as well as renewed oil price volatility have made forecasting non-OPEC supply more challenging.”
US energy companies have been adding drilling rigs in recent weeks despite the price drop, and OPEC in the report raised its forecast of US output in 2015 by 20,000 bpd. In March, OPEC was expecting a fall in production possibly by late 2015 as drilling subsided.

The prices of crude oil fell yesterday after OPEC released the report, with Brent crude down $1.34 to $49.07 per barrel.
A reduction in the cost of oil projects since the price crash is helping non-OPEC supply to compete in the market.

OPEC also said its members continue to boost supplies. According to secondary sources cited by the report, OPEC produced 31.51 million bpd in July - 1.5 million bpd more than its 30-million-bpd target.

With OPEC forecasting demand for its crude will average 29.23 million bpd in 2015 - steady from last month - the report points to a 2.28-million-bpd supply surplus in the market if the group kept pumping at July's rate.

But Saudi Arabia, the driving force behind OPEC’s refusal to cut output, told OPEC it trimmed production by 200,000 bpd to 10.36 million bpd in July, down from June’s record rate.

Some OPEC members such as Algeria are concerned by the drop in prices and want the group to reduce supply. Gulf members, however, have rebuffed calls for an emergency OPEC meeting and show no sign of willingness to consider output cuts.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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