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Senate queries additional $1bn for Egina

The senate has begun an audit of the $16.3 billion Egina deep sea oil project by Total Upstream Nigeria Limited (TUPNI) and ordered a suspension of further cost variations.

The decision was reached by the senate ad hoc committee investigating the local content element on the Egina oil field and other related projects.

In a statement released on Thursday, Solomon Adeola, chairman of the committee, said the senate has not conducted an audit of the project since it was launched five years ago.

He said the ad hoc committee had planned a “value for money audit” of the project to ensure the country was not trapped in perpetual debt without any benefits, following a forensic audit by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

He said the audit was informed by a proposal for an additional $1 billion variation of the project after a previous $2 billion cost variation.

“The audit would last for 16 weeks by consultants paid by the senate to ensure independent account instead of being carried out by NNPC/NAPIMS as required by the contractual agreement,” the statement quoted Adeola to have said.

Nicolas Terraz, managing director, TUPNI said that as the major operator of the project, it would cooperate with the committee in its investigations.

The Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading vessel for the oilfield project arrived in Nigeria from South Korea in January.

The Egina FPSO is designed for 25 years of operations and has a production capacity of 200,000 barrels of oil per day (at plateau).

Oluwatoyin Bayagbon :