Yemisi Izuora/Agency Report
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has reassured that the Kaduna, Warri and Port Harcourt refineries are expected to restart production before the end of the month.
The refineries operations were affected after attacks on their feedstock pipelines forcing their closure in January.
According to a Reuters’ report, NNPC’s Group Executive Director, Refining and Technology, Dennis Ajulu, said tuesday in Abuja that crude oil supply to the refineries and operation would gradually resume starting with the Port Harcourt refinery.
NNPC had around mid-January halted crude oil flows to the refineries after key pipelines that feed the plants were attacked by vandals resulting in the shutdown of the refineries a few days later.
Ajulu told Reuters that the 150,000 barrel per day (bpd) Port Harcourt refinery is expected to restart its crude distillation unit on Saturday after receiving crude oil supplies by sea.
This will however be followed by a resumption in supplies through the pipeline. He said: “The Warri refinery has no crude oil. It will take close to 10 days to pile up crude stock and for Kaduna, maybe we’re another five days away after that.”
Ajulu said the pipeline to the 125,000bpd Warri plant could be repaired in four days as long as there were no security constraints. He said he however expected it to take a bit longer while crude oil was being delivered by sea instead.
Also, the Kaduna refinery, which can only operate one of its two crude distillation units for now, receives its feedstock through the Warri plant.
Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said the ministry would be ready to partner the British Government on capacity building efforts towards the growth of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
Kachikwu made this known in Abuja when the British Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Baroness Joyce Anne Anelay, paid him a courtesy visit in his office.
He conveyed President Muhammadu Buhari’s gratitude to the UK government, saying Nigeria has a long history of mutually beneficial relationship with the UK in many sectors.
The minister noted that Nigeria has benefited from the inculcation of some skills sets from experts in the UK, adding that the country has always valued such assistance from Britain.
He hinted that top on his reform agenda for the oil sector in Nigeria is to push for commercialisation of the industry and NNPC at a faster rate to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as well as create the right set of incentives to attract investments in the country.
Kachikwu assured the visiting team that where the ministry lacks capacity, expertise and sufficient regulatory policies, it would seek assistance. He particularly emphasised that the ministry needed support from the British Government to build its capacity to provide the necessary services needed in the oil and gas industry.
Anelay had earlier stated that the visit was her first to Nigeria and that it was prompted by her country’s concern that Nigeria fulfills her potential for her development.
She pledged that the UK would work in collaboration with the government of Nigeria on areas of security, transparency and efficiency.