Nigeria’s Refineries Record High Performance

RefineriesA financial and operations report just released by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) shows that Nigeria’s three refineries witnessed a dramatic increase in refining capacity utilization in March 2016 for the first time in eight months.

The refineries are the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company, Port Harcourt Refining Company, and the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company.

The report, explains that they processed crude at an average capacity utilization of 17.51% in March compared to 1.84% average capacity utilization the previous month.

The NNPC attributes the improvement to success achieved in the repairs of vandalized crude pipelines feeding the refineries.

Capacity utilisation of the refineries is expected to rise further in the coming months following the re-commissioning of the Escravos-Warri-Kaduna pipeline.

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr Ibe Kachikwu, on Tuesday again apologized to Nigerians for the prevailing long queues for petrol saying all is being done to bring the situation to normalcy.

Mr Kachikwu alongside five other ministers rendered account of what has been done in terms of government policies since the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration during the second federal government town hall meeting in Kaduna State.


Energy Economist Hails Unbundling Of NNPC

NnachiAn energy economist, Mr Onuoha Nnachi, has hailed the decision of the Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr Ibe Kachikwu, to unbundle the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

After the unbundling, Mr Nnachi said “we are going to have four or five areas and within those areas, you will have subsidiaries,” adding that “it is not the number of the subsidiaries you have, but the functionality of hose subsidiaries,” he said.

Mr Nnachi said many policies were talked about during the Society of Petroleum Engineering Conference.

He further noted that bringing professionals and experts would bring about “a better understanding from what we are expecting to come out of it”.

Speaking on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), Mr Nnachi said that Mr Kachikwu was only implementing one aspect of the bill.

“Any law that is made in any country has its legal and administrative part. The legal part is still intact but Kachikwu is going ahead to implement the administrative part, which does not in any way contravene the law at any point.

“I believe that the PIB we have is too cumbersome to deal with”, maintaining that “each of these sectors – upstream, midstream and downstream – should be treated independently not holistically,” he said.

He insisted that it would take a long time before the PIB would be passed because it would take seven Senate Committees to sit and deliberate before a conclusion on the Bill is reached.

Mr Kachikwu had during the Society of Society of Petroleum Engineering Conference announced that the NNPC would be unbundled into 30 competitive revenue generating subsidiaries

The conference focused on global oil price and the use of technological advancements in hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation.

Dr Kachikwu told the petroleum industry experts that an overhaul of the foremost government oil firm, NNPC, was imminent to ensure the return of profitability and stability in the sector.

In what the Minister said would be a major overhaul of the system, the positions of Group Executive and Managing Directors, as existed in the NNPC, would be replaced by Chief Executive Officers who would head each of the companies.

He said that the move, which would be concluded within the next seven days, would reposition the corporation to bring in huge profits which had been impossible to achieve in the past 15 years.

However, other experts at the lecture noted that for Nigeria to be able to get over its financially challenging times occasioned by the instability in the oil market, advanced technology in the sector was a must to reduce costs and maximise profit.

The experts said that several sub-sector practices must be ratified and enhanced, including joint venture structures, gas exploration, oil production and refining chain among others.

Buhari To Lead Nigeria’s Delegation To Forum Of Gas Exporting Countries

BuhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja on Sunday for Tehran where he will participate in the 3rd Gas Exporting Countries’ Forum (GECF) opening in the Iranian capital on Monday, November 23, 2015.

President Buhari and the leaders of Iran, Russia, Qatar, the Netherlands, Venezuela, Oman, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, Bolivia and other member-countries of the GECF are expected to  review the current market outlook on gas and discuss strategies for boosting gas production during their meeting in Tehran.

Nigeria and other GECF members currently account for 42 percent of global gas production‎, 70 percent of global gas reserves, 40 percent of pipeline transmission of gas and 65 percent of the global trade in Liquefied Natural Gas.

President Buhari, who is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with other participating Heads of State and Government on the side-lines of the GECF summit, will also meet with Nigerians resident in Iran.

The President will be accompanied on the trip by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr  Geoffrey Onyeama, the Minister of Power, Works & Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Ibe Kachikwu and the National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (Rtd.).

He is due back in Abuja on Tuesday, November 24, 2015.