Nigeria will soon become a petroleum products refining hub as its national oil and gas state-owned conglomerate, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), plans to build additional two refineries.
It also plans to increase the local refining capacity of petroleum products to 850,000 barrels per day by the year 2020.
Group Managing Director of NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, said this in Abuja during a lecture series in remembrance of the first place where oil was discovered and exploited in Nigeria – Oloibiri. It was organized by the Society of Petroleum Engineers.
He said in addition to building new refineries, the corporation would also rehabilitate all the four existing refineries in order to transform Nigeria into a regional petroleum products refining giant.
The building of the two new refineries is coming just as the federal government is keen on privatising the four existing refineries, a decision that is being resisted by Nigeria’s organised labour.
According to Yakubu steps were underway by government to put in place appropriate policy frameworks for gas-based industrialization.
He argued that Nigeria was keying into a new global development paradigm that relied on gas for industrial development.
To this end the key aspiration of Nigeria was to reposition gas for rapid domestic, regional and export penetration, develop domestic gas market and increase gas reserves from 180 trilion cubic feet to 215trillion cubic feet, Yakubu said.
The aspiration, he added, was also to shift towards reducing gas flaring, capture economic value and generate as much revenue from gas as oil and create new industries that would sustain industrialization that would enable Nigeria to diversify its export base.
Yakubu said that the Corporation would continue to focus on delivery of gas to power, saying, “Increasing power supply will enable unlocking GDP growth and creating jobs”.
The chairman of SPE Nigeria Council, Bernard Oboarekpe, said Nigeria should accelerate work on finding new methods of energy balance.
Speaking on behalf of the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS), Chike Onyejekwe, who is the Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, called for the inclusion of all stakeholders in policy formulation.
He argued that multiple involvement of stakeholders helps in meeting the policy’s desired objectives, adding, “all stakeholders need to be fully involved in the development of appropriate policies for the oil and gas industry to ensure that robust development of resources are aligned with Nigeria’s aspirations”.