Data from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries shows that Nigeria’s capability for processing crude oil has further decreased to just 6,000 barrels per day.
The Punch received OPEC’s most recent Annual Statistical Bulletin 2023, which stated that the country’s capacity to refine its crude oil decreased from 33,000 bpd in 2018 to 6,000 bpd in 2022.
The country’s ability to refine crude oil fell by 33% in 2017 from 5,000 bpd in 2021.
Nigeria is the OPEC member with the lowest refining capacity, with an average annual refining capacity of 10,600 bpd, according to the oil cartel.
Despite this, there are rising worries over the nation’s continuous importation of petroleum products having government-owned refineries.
The Senate reported in May that during the course of the previous ten years, Nigeria spent more than N11.35 trillion mending its three inoperable refineries.
The Federal Government relies on the Dangote Refinery, in which it owns a 20% share, despite the significant investment in refineries.
When the Dangote Refinery started producing refined petroleum products in late July or early August, the NNPCL’s spokesperson, Garba-Deen Muhammad, told our correspondent in June that the business will reduce its fuel import program.
He declared, “NNPC Limited is importing goods from outside of Nigeria out of necessity, not out of choice. Producing, refining, and selling here would have allowed us to provide the energy security that the country needs.
“We cannot allow our country to be grounded due to the conditions surrounding our refineries. As a result, we must buy and sell everywhere we can. So why not purchase Dangote goods if they are readily available?
“There is utterly no justification. And for that reason, the Dangote Refinery has our attention. Since we are co-owners, shouldn’t we conduct business exclusively with our partners?”
According to recent research by The Punch, the management of the Dangote Refinery wasn’t sure when the facility would start up.
The chief executive officer of Emadeb Energy, Adebowale Olujimi, declared that revitalizing local refining was “the way to go”.
“Importing petroleum is not a sustainable method for a country to function. The fact that the price of PMS has increased to almost N600 per liter is a sign that the business environment is challenging. To bring merchandise, enormous US dollars are needed. The revival of neighborhood refineries is the way forward,” he stated.
The Independent Petroleum Marketers organization of Nigeria’s National Controller of Operations, Mike Osatuyi, expressed his opinion that although the organization supported domestic petrol refining, compressed natural gas as an alternative should also be investigated.