• Thursday, February 29, 2024
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NNPC should sell refineries instead of perpetual TAM – Avuru

dangote-refinery$39.39bn worth of crude stolen in 4 years

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has been advised to sell all its four refineries instead of doing perpetual Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) on them, Austin Avuru, managing director, Seplat Petroleum Development company plc, said at the ongoing NAICE 2015 organised by the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Nigeria Council.

“Nigeria can easily achieve a refining capacity of 1.2 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) if Dangote’s 600,000bpd refinery comes online in addition to the 445,000bpd nameplate of all the NNPC refineries, which if sold to competent hands would achieve its optimum production capacity,” Avuru said.

According to Avuru, if Nigeria achieves 1.2mbpd crude oil refining capacity in addition to a natural gas production of about 7.3 billion cubic feet per day, that will translate to about 32GW of power that would enable the country “become a massive exporter of cement, fertilizer, petrochemical products and complete revamp of the downstream sector all of which will turn the oil and gas sector into an enabler of massive industrial development instead of just being a mere source of revenue that contributes less than 15 percent to the country’s GDP.”

Avuru called on the need to explore for more gas reserves, saying “if an updated audit of Nigeria’s gas reserve is done, it put the nation’s gas reserve at 120 trillion cubic feet (tcf) instead of the 170tcf being touted for over a decade now.”

In his address, Joseph Dawha, former group managing director, NNPC, represented by Abubakar Nuhu Mohammed, said even with the current success recorded so far on the rehabilitation of all nation’s refineries, the target was to hit 90 percent utilisation. This will enable it to meet 40 percent of Nigerians petroleum products need, noting that a long-term plan should be for new refineries to come on stream.

One of the challenges of the oil sector in recent years, according to Dawha, is the high incidence of crude oil theft he put at about 250,000bpd.

“At the price of $100 per barrel, about $39.39 billion was lost by Nigeria to crude oil theft between 2010 and 2013,” said Dawha, adding that public enlightenment on the negative impact of crude oil theft on the economy should be embarked on in addition to the enforcement of anti-sabotage laws as a way to deal with the situation.

Other challenges facing the oil and gas industry, according to him, include the current slide in oil prices, Joint Venture funding challenges, lack of gas infrastructure and the fiscal stability required for project financing in the sector.

Meanwhile, in his welcome address, Emeka Ene, chairman, Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Nigeria Council, said the current low oil price presented an opportunity for gas development and that inspired SPE to come up with the theme: “Natural gas development and Exploitation in an emerging economy – strategies, infrastructure and policy framework.”

Ene called on the creation of an enabling environment for long-term investment in the gas sector, development of gas infrastructure, business-driven gas prices of willing seller- willing buyer and fiscal stability.