Lushann rubbishes Wall Street Journal’s Saltpond report
Lushann Eternit Energy Limited has reacted to recent reports that stolen crude oil from Nigeria may have found its way to the Saltpond oil fields.
A recent publication by US-based newspaper the Wall Street Journal on Friday, 22 nd August, 2014 under the banner headline, ‘Tiny Ghana Oil Platform’s Big Output Sparks Scrutiny’, and authored by Benoit Faucon and Drew Hinshaw, said officials of the United States of America and Nigeria are investigating Ghana’s Saltpond Offshore Producing Company (SOPCL) on suspicion that it is being used to tranship and smuggle stolen Nigerian crude to Europe.
Saltpond Offshore Producing Company Limited is a Joint Venture between Lushann Eternit Energy Limited and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation.
SOPCL is the operator of the Saltpond Oil field, offshore Ghana.
Lushann Eternit Energy Limited (Lushann) and Lushann International Energy Ghana Limited, are both subsidiaries of Texas-based Lushann International Energy Corporation.
Lushann International Energy Ghana Limited, is an oil trading company, under licence from the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) of Ghana, and also buys Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO) from legitimate suppliers in Nigeria, and elsewhere, which it blends with Saltpond oil to produce “The Saltpond Blend”.
Reacting to the report Lushann International Energy Ghana Limited in a press statement said Lushann exports from its storage tanker stationed offshore Saltpond and accounts for all such exports to statutory bodies such as: the Petroleum Commission, Ghana Maritime Authority, Ghana Revenue Authority, and other stakeholders.
These reports indicate clearly, what quantities are produced from the Saltpond Field, which belongs to the JV, and what belonged to Lushann from ‘The Saltpond Blend.’
The reports in question suggested that stolen crude oil from Nigeria may have found its way to the Saltpond facility, by stating as follows: All the activity at Saltpond has ratcheted up scrutiny of the facility—which also includes a storage tanker—and its possible role in the market for stolen Nigerian crude.
Also, Some U.S. and Nigerian officials suspect Saltpond is one of several destinations that smugglers use to transship stolen Nigerian crude, effectively laundering it by making it appear to come from a legitimate source outside of Nigeria.
Lushann categorically denies these allegations, as we do not buy stolen oil from Nigeria.
Therefore there is no basis to attempt to link Lushann’s operations to reported stolen crude from Nigeria.
Again, the WSJ alleges that “Nigerian officials say the facility has a legitimate contract with Nigerian authorities to transship oil that the country’s law-enforcement officials have confiscated,” and adds that “those volumes are small, according to the Nigerian government, raising questions about the origins of the rest of the oil the platform has loaded onto ships.”
In another breath the WSJ attributes to the Lushann CEO, a quotation with claims that the company buys oil from the Nigerian EFCC, a purely investigative body.
This is a total fabrication as Lushann buys its LPFO from suppliers who have allocations from legitimate sources in Nigeria, and has not ever claimed to have a contract with the EFCC as the WSJ alleges.
The WSJ alleges further that: The Saltpond platform, meanwhile, has been a destination for at least one vessel connected to Nigerian oil theft, according to ship-tracking services.
We deem it preposterous for the WSJ to associate a vessel under investigation for wrongdoing with Lushann, simply because that vessel had in the past been hired by a supplier to deliver LPFO to our facility, when it had not been said that the basis for the said investigations related to the supplies to us.
Lushann, again denies categorically allegations attributed to one Emmanuel Oware, alluding to what was termed “unofficial” oil from Nigeria, being frequently discharged at Saltpond.
Again, quality tests done by reputable inspection companies, show a different quality for Saltpond Blend, which cannot be confused with either Forcados or Bonny Light or any typical Nigerian grade.
For example, Saltpond Blend’s specific characteristics, such as its high salt content, cannot be obtained with Nigerian crude blending
Lushann’s dealings with all companies have been above board and we shall remain committed to being accountable to all our stakeholders.
Source: Lushann Eternit Energy Limited