The Federal Government, on Wednesday, met with operators of domestic refineries in a bid to address concerns about the unavailability of crude oil for indigenous refiners.
It specifically stated that “it is going to be a matter of national shame if we cannot meet our domestic crude obligations to step up our refining capacity,” stressing that the 650,000 barrels per day Dangote refinery was ready and should be provided with crude.
Gbenga Komolafe, the Chief Executive of Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, an agency of the Federal Government, disclosed this in Abuja during the meeting with operators of domestic refineries.
He said, “Good enough we have the largest refinery in Africa, that is the Dangote refinery. It is ready to commence operations. We've received a request from the refinery to guarantee feedstock to the 650,000 barrels refinery and we believe that as a nation it will be a shame if we cannot meet the feedstock of the refinery.
“So this meeting was convened for us to collectively put heads together to address the feedstock of our domestic refineries. The objective is for us all to take the nation to a level where it becomes a net exporter of refined product, as against being a net exporter of crude without value addition.”
Komolafe also disclosed that the NUPRC had written to crude oil producers requesting the firms to provide details on the volumes of committed and uncommitted crude oil in their domains.
“Some producers are yet to comply with that letter. We need responses to that letter so that our development and production department will be able to analyse and advise the commission appropriately as to the available and non-committed barrels that we have.
“For us to now be able to compare that with the total domestic requirements for feedstock. So it is when we get that that we will be able to draw a conclusion whether the non-committed volumes will be able to meet our current domestic feedstock as a nation. So that is where we are.”
The NUPRC boss stressed that the domestic refining of crude would impact positively on the pump prices of refined petroleum products.
“We are a nation with huge crude oil reserves, which is about 38 billion barrels. So we are blessed as a nation, but in spite of the crude oil reserves that I mentioned, we are a net exporter of crude oil and net importer of refined products.
“And from the data we are all aware of, our inability to meet our domestic refining obligation has impacted negatively on the state of our economy, given the number that we roll out in terms of under-recovery that we incurred during the fuel subsidy regime.
“We all understand that if we are able to meet our domestic refining obligations, we will be able to impact largely on some of the attendant costs in pricing the refined products.
“So it behoves on us all as an industry to find a way to make Nigeria a net exporter of refined products, and that is the issue that we gather here to address,” the NUPRC boss stated.