The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) General Manager for Crude Oil Marketing Division, Mele Kyari,  stated that NNPC will announce the names of companies qualified for the lifting of the country’s crude oil for 2017 by mid-December, All Africa reported.

The crude oil term lifting contracts comprise of the export of about 1.17mb/d of Nigerian crude, out of the 2.2mb/d being produced. This crude is then sold by contract holders to end-users, refiners and other buyers. NNPC in October handed out guidelines for companies interested in partaking in the lifting of Nigerian crude for 2017, informed Ecofin Agency. However bids for these contracts, which are valid for a year from January 1, are to be submitted late November.

Current 2016 crude term contracts include 27 names, covering both local and international companies. Oil companies such as Total, Shell and ExxonMobil, trading firms like Trafigura and Vitol, India’s IOC and HPCL, Sinopec and Sahara Energy are existing term contract holders. Industry sources revealed that the 2017 term contracts could see more indigenous and domestic Nigerian companies added to the list in the light of renewed violence in the oil-producing Niger Delta region.

Nigeria’s oil output fell to a 30-year low of about 1.3mb/d as attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta by militants increased. This in turn negative impacted the country’s economy which had already been worsened by the slump in global oil prices.