Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has said with some of the ongoing modular plants across the country, combined with the Dangote Refinery and the expected commencement of the three plants in Port Harcourt, Kaduna and Warri refineries, Nigeria would become a net exporter of petrol in the next two years.
DPR Director, Mr. Sarki Auwalu, told the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed, who visited the agency headquarters in Lagos that the flow of import would be reversed when the new refineries begin operations.
He added that the feat would be achieved through the combined capacity of 375,000 barrels per day from 27 modular refineries; 650,000 barrels from Dangote refinery and the 450,000 barrels per day from the nation’s refineries, which are currently being fixed.
Auwalu assured the minister that already, Dangote integrated refinery and petrochemical project, the biggest in Africa; Waltersmith refinery with 7,000 capacity per day and others are almost nearing completion.
He said the aspiration of DPR is to grow the country’s crude oil reserves to 40 billion barrels and gas to 210 trillion cubic feet, adding that the department would also, increase oil production from its current 2.4 million capacity per day to three million bpd as well reduce the cost of production.
“Currently, we have oil prospective licence of about 61, more than 2,000 wells that are producing crude oil and condensates; we have about 125 wells producing gas.
“We equally have 20 floating, loading and offloading vessels, 28 oil terminals, several float stations and oil and gas processing factories,” he stated.
According to him, in the next 36 months, the country would start massive exportation of fertilisers to boost its foreign exchange earnings.
“I can tell you that in the next year-and-a-half, we will be a net exporter of fertiliser because that is the bedrock of agriculture and that is what we will deliberately push to key into this government’s sense of diversification,” he added.
He also told Mohammed that the federal government is implementing a six-billion-standard-cubic-feet gas supply per day to lay the foundation for the industrial and economic growth of the country.
He said the projects consisted of Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben pipeline for 2.2 billion standard cubic feet of gas, which is near completion; the 2.2 billion standard cubic feet Escravos-Lagos pipeline to power the entire South-west geo-political zone and Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano pipeline to convey 2.2 billion standard cubic feet of gas per day.
He added that the agency has keyed into the diversification agenda of the current administration by providing the enabling environment and pushing for the local production of fertiliser to boost agriculture.
The minister commended the management of DPR for the measures taken to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from crippling the nation’s economy and highlighted the role played by the agency in sustaining peace in the host communities of Niger Delta which has resulted to a halt in pipeline vandalism and restiveness.
“What the DPR does go far beyond what is technical, because their engagement of the oil producing communities is very key. When we came in 2015, production had dipped because of the restiveness in the Niger Delta.
“It is not by accident that we have some stability and modicum of peace in that area today. It is because of the policies that have been put in place to continue to engage the communities,” he said.