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NNPC CEO Says Nigeria Will Stop Oil Importation With Dangote Refinery Opening By 2023, Accuse Churches, Mosques Of Housing Stolen Crude Oil

The Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Malam Mele Kyari, has said the importation of refined crude oil products to Nigeria will stop when Dangote Oil Refineries and Petrochemicals project comes on stream latest by the middle of next year.

Kyari, who spoke Tuesday at the 49th Session of the State House Briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, lamented that every section of Nigerian society is complicit in the theft of millions of barrels, adding that make-shift pipelines and stolen fuel had even been found in churches and mosques.

Kyari, who said there would be an increased production of gasoline with the new technology, stated that the flow of supply would come by the middle of 2023.

“The combination of output from the Dangote refinery and state-owned refineries would eliminate any importation of petroleum products into this country.”

“Even if all our four refineries in three locations are operating at 90% of installed capacity, they will only be able to raise 18 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS). That means even if all of them are working today, you would still have a net deficit of PMS to import into this country.

He said NNPC owned 20 percent equity in the Dangote Refinery and has a first right of refusal to supply crude oil to the plant.

“But we saw this energy transition challenge coming. We knew that time will come where you would look for people to buy your crude and you will not find,” he said.

“And that means we have locked down ability to sell crude oil for 33,000 barrels minimum by right for the next 20 years and by right also we have access to 20 percent of the production from that plant.”

Kyari added that the Dangote refinery would begin producing by the middle of next year, adding that it can produce up to 50 million litres of PMS.

“The combination of that and our ability to bring back our refinery will eliminate any importation of petroleum products into this country next year. You would not see any importation into this country next year,” Kyari said.

“This is very practical. As a matter of fact, when we are done with our own refineries and the Dangote refinery, there remain other small initiatives that we are doing, small modular condensate refineries that we are building. If that happens and we are very optimistic it will happen, you would see that this country will now be a net exporter.

“As a matter of fact, it will be a hub for the export of petroleum products, not just to the West African sub-region. This will happen. The flow of supply will change by the middle of next year, it will change. You will not need the importation of petroleum products into this country by the middle of next year.”

The NNPC Chief said he was not accusing institutions, including government, but at virtually every level of Nigerian society, individuals were siphoning off a total of around 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) from what is typically Africa’s largest exporter.

“Some of the pipelines and some of the products that we found are actually in churches and in mosques,” Kyari said, adding this meant those complicit included “members of the communities, members of the religious leadership and also, most likely, government officials”.

It was not immediately clear if the government had found crude oil, in addition to fuel, in those places.

The impact on exports is a reduction of 700,000 bpd, Kyari said, because theft had forced at least 700 “lock-ins” of oil production.

“No-one produces oil so that the next person can take it,” he said. “The wise thing to do is to stop production.”

Kyari said some of the pipeline taps were so sophisticated that they ran for 3-4 kilometres and would have involved cranes, industrial equipment and at least 40 workers.

NNPC has engaged companies, including those owned by ex-militants to stem theft, and Kyari said the nation’s anti-graft agency was also following the cash and would prosecute those involved.

Kyari said Nigeria was building a “national reserve company” that would run the pipelines on a commercial basis and would be able to manage theft and other issues differently.

“In the meantime, there is very little else we can do except continue to manage (moving oil) on trucks,” he said.

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