Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) is on its way to becoming Nigeriaâ€™s top oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) outfit, thus competing efficiently in terms of output levels with other International Oil Companies (IOCs) in the country, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, has disclosed.
Baru said the target of the NNPC was to make the NPDC which is its subsidiary, become the top E&P company in Nigeria, adding that it was already responding to that mandate and would soon have its oil production levels move up to 500,000 barrel per day (bpd) from 230,000bpd which he said it currently produces.
A statement from the Group General Manager, Public Affairs of the NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, yesterday in Abuja, quoted Baru, to have said this when he spoke at the 18th annual General Meeting (AGM) of NPDC in Benin City, Edo State.
Baru, according to the statement, expressed satisfaction with the performance of NPDC. He stated that: â€œIt is encouraging and the company is on a growth path and its processes and procedures fully in line to ensure that it delivers on its mandate set by NNPC.â€
He also explained that NPDCâ€™s production level was significantly growing and would soon hit the 500,000bpd which he added would almost place it at per with the highest producers in the country.
The statement equally quoted the Managing Director of NPDC, Mr. Yusuf Matashi, to have commended the top management of the NNPC for their support which, he said, had placed the company on the path of steady growth.
He disclosed that the company would establish a Liquefied Petroleum Gas plant with a capacity of 330,000 metric tonnes per day (mt/d) to supply about 40 per cent of Nigeriaâ€™s daily LPG demand.
Also in a related statement from the Director of Press in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Idang Alibi, the federal government has reiterated its commitment to making sure that investments in modular refineries in the Niger Delta would become beneficial to the region.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said this when a team from the office of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and his office, visited a modular refinery project by the OPAC Refinery at Umuseti, Kwale, Delta State.
Kachikwu was represented by his Senior Technical Adviser on Refineries and Downstream Infrastructure, Rabiu Suleiman, at the visitation which the statement said was in furtherance of the governmentâ€™s commitment to improve domestic refining capacity.
He said the government was impressed with OPAC as a local investors and its partners for the initiative and commitment, and will give it the needed supports to make sure the refinery would be completed on schedule.
According to Kachikwu, the refinery would provide jobs for communities in the region as well as, refined products to ease the burden of productsâ€™ importation, supply and distribution across the country.
Also in the statement, the Chairman of OPAC Refinery, Mr. Momoh Jimah Oyarekhua, said that the first phase of the project was designed to process 7,000bpd of oil from which heavy fuel oil, naphtha, diesel, and kerosene would be produced.
Oyarekhua, stated that based on the availability of crude oil, the refinery will be upgraded in two phases in two phases to first bring its capacity to 21,000bpd a year after its inauguration and then a 40,000bpd conventional refinery will be added to it to produce petrol.