The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva, has reiterated the determination of the federal government to end the importation of petrol.
Nigeria, despite being a nation rich in oil and gas depends on importation of fuel for local consumption as its four refineries operate fitfully and produce when they are operational, far below installed capacity.
The Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Mele Kyari, also restated the commitment of the corporation to boost the supply of gas for domestic consumption.
Sylva noted that reversing Nigeria’s status as a net importer of refined petroleum products remains a key agenda of the federal government.
He said with all the arrangements being made, the foreign exchange draining phenomenon will be put behind in the future.
The minister spoke yesterday after inspecting the first hydro-skimming private modular refinery being built by a businessman, Dr. Azibapu Eruani, in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital.
A statement by the spokesperson for the company, Mr Austin Ebipade, said the refinery, which is about 75 per cent completed, could process 12,000 barrels of crude per day.
The minister noted that Azikel hydro-skimming refinery is a massive visionary and pragmatic quest to facilitate the government’s objective of attaining self-sufficiency in the production of refined products such as petrol, diesel, aviation fuel and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
The minister added that Azikel private refinery remains important to Nigerians and the country’s search for economic prosperity.
“Azikel refinery is set to actualise the ‘export’ of refined products from Bayelsa State to other states in the Nigerian federation, with daily production of 1.5 million litres of petrol, one million litres of diesel 500,000 litres of kerosene and aviation fuel.
“This will reverse the stigma of Nigeria, the world’s fifth largest producer of crude oil, being a net importer of refined products” he stated.
He explained that the dream of President Muhammadu Buhari to industrialise the Niger Delta, boost infrastructural development and facilitate employment creation is being actualised by the Azikel Refinery through the additional workforce and encouragement of youths towards acquisition of vocational skills needed to fill paid and self-employment slots being rapidly created by the refinery.
Sylva commended the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in the development of the project, as well as the participation of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), Total Nigeria and Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) for the supply of feedstock to the Azikel refinery.
Earlier, Eruani had hailed Buhari for granting the company the licence and pledged to work towards actualising the Buhari administration’s objective of industrialising the nation.
He said when completed, the refinery would create positive economic multipliers, including jobs for the youth and other Nigerians.
NNPC Restates Commitment to Boost Domestic Gas Supply
The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Mele Kyari, has restated the commitment of the corporation to boost the supply of gas for domestic consumption.
Kyari spoke yesterday during an inspection tour of Oredo Integrated Gas Handling Plant Facility(IGHF), belonging to the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) in Ologbo, Edo State, to ascertain the level of completion of the facility.
NPDC, is a subsidiary of the NNPC.
He added that after the completion, Nigeria will be sufficient in Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), better known as cooking gas.
He stated that the facility was awarded in 2015 but commenced work in 2017 and would be completed in October.
He noted that NPDC was producing about 136, 000 barrels per day, but with improvement, the company is now producing 260,000 barrels per day.
“This is a very magnificent level of growth in any upstream company, and our target is to take this company to the production level of 500, 000 barrels per day.
“This is possible within two years. We have lined up a series of projects and activities in this regard. Today, we have the highest number of rings running in this country. Five rings running at the same time, adding incremental value, and delivering major projects which will ultimately take to producing that 500 000 target,” he added.