NNPC boss: Nigeria’s refineries will start working soon

Mallam Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC)

Mallam Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), has stated that efforts are being made to restore the four existing refineries in the country to a state where they can assist in meeting local demand.

When these plants are fully operational, he said, Nigeria’s national capacity will be around 1.1 million bpd. He made this announcement at the recent virtual Global UAE Energy Forum.

“When we do this, we will exceed our national demand, so there will be a reversal of flow, with Nigeria becoming an exporter of products,” the NNPC chief said.

Kyari acknowledged that Nigeria had difficulty meeting its OPEC quota in 2016 but underlined that the country had a unique challenge in that security concerns hampered production.

He said: “For us, we see a trajectory of restoring production, including condensates, within the year. And we can hit our target of 2.2 million barrels per day, although now our OPEC target is 1.8 million barrels per day. We know that it’s practical to do 2.2 million barrels per day.

“We took definite steps to increase production and this is paying off. Around July, our net crude oil excluding condensate came down to around 1million bpd. That has been restored,” Kyari stated.

He also claimed that the administration had taken concrete measures to ensure the safety of pipelines. Government Ekpemupolo, commonly known as Tompolo, a former militant turned security contractor, and a high-ranking delegation from the Federal Government made a deal to combat oil theft in August 2022.

Kyari acknowledged that “It’s practical to hit 2.2 million bpd in 2023, this is practical. It’s a moving target,”  and said, “There are a number of projects that I have clear line of sight that can come on board in 2023.”

He discussed the country’s petrol subsidy policy, adding that the NNPC’s current relationship with the government is purely business.

He declared, “NNPC has become a completely private company today. Yes, owned by the government, but it’s operating like every other company today, like Shell, Chevron and any other company you can think of in our country.

“And therefore, our relationship with the government today regarding fuel supply is on a commercial basis. There’s a service-level agreement between the government and us to supply fuel and sell it at a price that the policy decision has asked us to do.

“So, it’s not a problem for us at all as a corporate entity. It’s a value for us and we are delivering products to the country. We have sufficient cash flow to support this and there’s a relationship between us and government. We don’t see any challenge delivering any product into our country”.

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