Nigerian Oando says he did not import substandard gasoline

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Nigeria’s Oando did not import poor quality gasoline into the country, he said on Friday (February 11th), in response to allegations by the state oil company that it, along with three other companies, had supplied fuel mixed with unusable methanol.

Source: Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde

The West African country is facing fuel shortages after gasoline was delivered with too high a content of methanol, which is a regular gasoline additive in small quantities. Nigeria depends almost entirely on imports to meet its domestic gasoline needs.

Oando, with a dual listing in Johannesburg, said it supplied gasoline that met Nigeria’s import specifications.

“Following media reports citing Oando as one of four importers who have supplied methanol-based premium engine spirits (PMS) into the country, we hereby declare that Oando has not not importing and supplying falsified or substandard PMS,” he said.

On Thursday, the chief executive of state oil company NNPC, Mele Kyari, said the presence of high amounts of methanol had been detected in late January in four shipments from the Litasco terminal in Antwerp, Belgium. Litasco is the Swiss commercial branch of Russian Lukoil.

Kyari said the gasoline was imported by four companies – MRS Oil Nigeria, the Emadeb/Hyde/AY Maikifi/Brittania-U consortium, Oando and NNPC subsidiary Duke Oil.

Oando undertakes to identify the cause of the contamination

Oando said he was committed to working with the NNPC and industry to identify the cause of the contamination.

Nigerian lawmakers have passed a motion calling on the NNPC to suspend and investigate the four companies while President Muhammadu Buhari ordered that the suppliers be held accountable.

The NNPC said the country had not detected higher than normal methanol content in recent gasoline imports because it had not carried out tests for the additive.

Oando’s rival, MRS Oil Nigeria, said on Wednesday it received unusable gasoline via NNPC delivered to it by Litasco.

A Litasco spokesman declined to comment on the MRS Oil Nigeria allegation when approached by Reuters.

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