Nigeria’s four refineries with a combined capacity to refine 445,000 barrels of crude oil per day have been completely shut, the local Thisday newspaper reported Thursday.
The shutdown, blamed on increasing attacks by militants on the pipelines supplying crude oil to the refineries, means Nigeria will now have to import all the refined
petroleum it requires for domestic consumption.
Attacks on oil pipelines have intensified in recent months, as the lull in violence in the oil-producing Niger Delta region seems to have ended.
The Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Austen Oniwon, who revealed the shutdown during
a visit to the Army Chief, Lt-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika in Abuja Wednesday, urged the army to deploy his men to step up surveillance on the crude pipeline from Bonny to
Port Harcourt Refinery and the Escravos pipeline to Warri and Kaduna Refineries.
”The rate of the crude pipeline vandalism from Bonny to Port Harcourt Refinery and the escravos to Warri and Kaduna Refineries is alarming and I wish
to request the Army to concentrate on these pipelines as they are critical to our operations,” he said.
Africa’s top oil producer has been importing most of its daily fuel consumption of 30 million litres per day, since its four refineries have functioned far below capacity
even at the best of times