Nigeria’s Moribund Refineries Record N79bn Deficit, Zero Refined Crude

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Nigeria has continued to reel under the burden of frightening overheads in the four refineries despite the absence of any drop of refined crude oil coming from the refineries. The refineries are located in Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna.

A recent report by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said that despite the sum of N81.41 billion spent as overheads and maintenance between January and August this year, the four refineries could only produce cumulative revenue of N6.54 billion during the period.

The facilities, therefore, left a deficit of N78.87 billion. Further analysis showed that the revenue, expense and deficit of Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company (KRPC) during the period under review stood at N6.22 billion, N33.61 billion and N27.39 billion respectively.

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The details further showed that the Port Harcourt Refinery (PHR) posted a revenue, expense and deficit of N61 million, N25.57 billion and N25.51 billion respectively from January to August 2020, while the Warri Refinery and Petrochemical Company (WRPC) earned revenue of N257 million, incurred an expense of N22.23 billion and posted a deficit of N21.98 billion during the same period.

The report said that for 13 straight months, the facilities had been running without refining any volume of crude oil. Data from the consolidated refineries operations put the volume of crude processed by the facilities from August 2019 to August 2020 at zero metric tonnes.

“With a cumulative plant capacity of 445,000 barrels per day, the facilities posted a capacity utilisation of zero per cent all through the 13-month period,” the report said. However, the volume of crude they recorded as closing stock between August 2019 and August this year was 3.78 million metric tonnes.

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For several years, Nigeria has been importing the bulk of its refined petroleum products as a result of the inability of its refineries to refine crude oil produced within the country.

Late last week, the Nigerian government confirmed that the country would soon resume the importation of petroleum products from neighbouring Niger Republic.

The Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources said in a statement that the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding for petroleum products transportation and storage.

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Officials said talks had been ongoing between the two countries for over four months – through the NNPC and Niger’s Societe Nigerienne De Petrole. According to the statement, Niger Republic’s Soraz Refinery in Zinder, some 260km from the Nigerian border, had an installed refining capacity of 20,000 barrels per day.

“Niger’s total domestic requirement is about 5,000bpd, thus leaving a huge surplus of about 15,000bpd, mostly for export,” it said.

By Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja

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