Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) wednesday disclosed that Indonesia, a South East Asian country, has indicated its interest to buy more crude oil from Nigeria above the current 18 per cent that it does.
NNPC, in a statement from its Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said the country made this known to it when its ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Harry Purwanto, paid a courtesy visit to its Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, in Abuja.
Purwanto, according to the statement, explained that Indonesian President, Joko Widodo, had instructed the Indonesia National Oil Company, to direct its attention to Nigeria in its quest to meet the countryâ€™s surging energy needs.
According to NNPC, while Indonesia produces 900,000 barrels of crude oil per day, it however supplements its 1.4 million barrels per day (mbpd) consumption with 18 per cent of such supplies from Nigeria, and 28 per cent from Saudi Arabia.
NNPC noted that the call by Purwanto signified the prospects of a soaring market share for Nigeria in emerging economies in Asia which include China and India.
It added that Nigeria lost its once long-term crude oil sales partnership with the United State of America to advances in shale oil exploration.
Baru, the statement said, welcomed the development, and said NNPC was interested in working with Indonesia to replace firewood and kerosene with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as primary domestic fuel for cooking in Nigeria.
He also said the corporation was aware of the huge success of the kerosene substitution programme in Indonesia and would like a collaboration to help Nigeria achieve similar feat.
According to Baru, NNPC would also like to partner with Indonesia in the area of bio-fuels production to diversify the nationâ€™s energy mix and meet its energy needs.
He thus challenged Indonesia to consider participating in the forthcoming oil blocks bid round in order to realise its aspiration of maintaining a presence in the Nigerian oil and gas sector.
Purwanto, equally disclosed that his country looked forward to lifting crude oil directly from Nigeria, rather than through a third-party as is currently the case.
He extended an invitation to the corporation to attend the Indonesia-Nigeria Business Forum holding in Lagos, adding that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on possible areas of co-operation between the two countries was in the works.