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Nigerian State Oil Firm Says It Slashed Losses In Rare Financial Release

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said in a very rare financials release on Thursday—the second in over four decades—that its losses shrank by 99.7 percent in 2019, while “the outlook for 2020 looks promising” as the state oil firm continued to slash costs.

NNPC said in its audited financial statement for 2019 that its loss last year fell to just US$4.4 million (1.7 billion Nigerian naira), compared to a loss of US$2.1 billion (803 billion naira) in 2018.

Earlier this year, NNPC published its 2018 audited financials, as part of a drive for transparency at the company.

The significantly decreased losses in 2019 were mainly the result of cost optimization, operational efficiency, and renegotiation of contracts, NNPC’s chief financial officer Umar Ajiya said in a statement.

“The 2019 AFS goes further to demonstrate our unwavering commitment to the principle of Transparency, Accountability and Performance Excellence (TAPE) while the outlook for 2020 looks promising in view of the Management’s strong drive to prune down running cost and grow revenues,” Ajiya said.

The upstream division, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Limited (NPDC), saw its profits surge in 2019, and so did the integrated data services division. The refineries division, however, continued to book losses, roughly at the same level as in 2018, but the state oil firm said that those losses

“will reduce significantly in 2020 due to cost optimization drive.”

Mele Kyari, NNPC’s Group Managing Director, said last month that the oil firm was in talks to hand over the majority stakes in Nigeria’s four refineries, which are all in dire need of an upgrade.

Nigeria has four refineries, two in Port Harcourt, and one each in Warri and Kaduna, but all refineries are very old and in need of refurbishment. Over the past five years, utilization rates at those refineries haven’t exceeded 30 percent.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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