NNPC Towers

• Targets upgrade refining capacity of four refineries to 1mbd by 2019

Chineme Okafor in Abuja

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) thursday disclosed that it got a committed assurance from the National Assembly that the omnibus Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) would be passed before the end of June 2018.

The NNPC also stated that its planned revamp of four of its refineries in Kaduna, Warri and Port Harcourt, would include an upgrade of their collective refining capacities from their present 445,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1 million barrels per day (mbd).

It said this could together with the expected commencement of the 650,000bpd Dangote Refinery in Lagos, lead to Nigeria becoming a net exporter of refined petroleum products when completed.
The National Assembly had split the PIB into four different parts comprising governance, fiscal, host community and administration.

The governance aspect – Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) – has already been passed but awaiting the assent of President Muhammadu Buhari, to become a law.

The Petroleum Fiscal Bill, Petroleum Administration Bill and the Petroleum Host Community Bill are all awaiting legislative deliberations and considerations.

But speaking at the 2018 edition of the annual Oloibiri Lecture Series and Energy Forum (OLEF) organised by the Society for Petroleum Engineers (SPE) in Abuja, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, explained that the legislators have given the assurance that the remaining bills would be passed by the second quarter of 2018.

Baru, who was represented by the Chief Operating Officer (COO) Upstream of the NNPC, Mr. Bello Rabiu, said in his remarks: “In the area of policy, the popular omnibus single petroleum industry bill have been broken into three parts for quick review and passage by the National Assembly. As you aware, the first part of the bill; the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill was passed by the House recently. When the other sections of the bill are finally passed, it will unlock over $10 billion of investment held up due to uncertainty.

“The promise we got last week from the National Assembly was that before the end of the second quarter of this year which we see as 30th June, they promise the three other bills will also be concluded and passed. So, hopefully, 2018 will see the end of all the discussions around the PIB which started in year 2000.”

On the refineries, he explained: “Furthermore, we are looking at the total revamp and comprehensive rehabilitation of our refineries to ensure that we refine all our in-country requirements. We are in the process of reversing the trend of massive importation of finished products as this is unsustainable, therefore, upgrades of our refineries from the current name plate capacity of 445,000bbls of crude oil per day to at least 1 million barrels of crude oil per day is the focus. And even become a net exporter of oil because it will be better for the economy.
“Discussions with relevant investors and financiers are ongoing. The expectation is that the refineries will be fully back on stream by December 2019 at 100 per cent.”