The Federal Government met with operators of domestic refineries on Wednesday to address concerns regarding crude oil availability for indigenous refiners like Dangote Refinery.
The PUNCH reported that the Federal Government it clear that failing to satisfy the domestic crude commitments would result in national humiliation and therefore emphasized the need to provide crude to the Dangote refinery, which has a daily capacity of 650,000 barrels.
During a meeting with operators of domestic refineries in Abuja, the Chief Executive of the Federal Government agency, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Gbenga Komolafe, revealed this information.
He responded, “Good enough, we have the Dangote refinery, which is the biggest refinery in Africa. It is prepared to start working. The refinery has asked us to guarantee feedstock for its 650,000 barrel refinery, and we feel that as a country, it would be unfortunate if we were unable to supply the refinery with the necessary feedstock.
“In order for us to work together to address the feedstock of our domestic refineries, this meeting was called. Instead of being a net exporter of crude without value addition, the goal is for all of us to bring the country to the point where it is a net exporter of refined products.”
Additionally, Komolafe revealed that the NUPRC had written to crude oil producers, asking them to furnish information regarding the amounts of committed and uncommitted crude oil inside their territories.
“Some producers still haven’t complied with the letter. In order for our development and production department to properly assess and inform the commission regarding the barrels we have available and not committed to, we need answers to that letter.
“Now that we have that information, we can compare it to the entire domestic feedstock requirement. We won’t be able to determine whether the non-committed volumes will be sufficient to meet our country’s existing domestic feedstock needs until we have that information. Thus, there’s where we are.”
The head of NUPRC emphasized that local crude refining will have a favourable effect on refined petroleum product pump costs.
“Our country has enormous crude oil reserves, estimated at 38 billion barrels. We are therefore fortunate as a country, yet despite the previously indicated crude oil reserves, we are net importers of processed goods and exporters of crude oil.
“According to data that is widely known, our economy has suffered as a result of our incapacity to fulfill our domestic refining obligations, especially considering the amount of under-recovery that we incurred during the fuel subsidy regime.”
The NUPRC chief said, “Therefore, it is our collective responsibility as an industry to figure out how to turn Nigeria into a net exporter of refined products. That is the issue that we are gathered here to address.”