The Crude Oil Refineries-owners Association of Nigeria (CORAN) has lauded the decision by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) to enforce domestic crude supply obligations whose non-implementation he said had so far stifled some local refineries from optimising production and making refined products available in the local market
In a statement, he noted that NUPRC was a government body charged with the statutory responsibility of ensuring compliance with petroleum laws, regulations and guidelines in the upstream oil and gas sector.
The statement also noted that the discharge of the responsibilities involved monitoring of operations at drilling sites, producing wells, production platforms and flow stations, crude oil export terminals, and all pipelines carrying crude oil, and natural gas, amongst other statutory functions.
The statement further explained that the Chairman of CORAN, Momoh Jimah Oyarekhua, following a meeting with the management of NUPRC held with producers and members of CORAN in Abuja, had discussions which included the position of fine and withdrawal of export licence.
Oyarekhua, disclosed that the Commission deserved to be lauded for encouraging this kind of discussions and being fair-minded in its conversation with producers.
The statement recalled that last month CORAN held a meeting with the Minister of State for Petroleum, Heineken Lokpobiri where the association sought the minister’s intervention to boost crude oil supply to members, and also help them reduce the fees they pay to the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) for every litre of product they refine in-country.
The statement added: “The CORAN also advocated for the establishment of a Refinery Intervention Fund to assist local refineries expand their capacity from the current 27,000 barrels per day to about 400,000 barrels per day.
“This follows a series of other consultations and meetings by CORAN with government agencies and representatives with a view to foster the core issues affecting local refining of crude in Nigeria.”
“We have met with the NUPRC, on the issue, because the matter is captured under the domestic crude oil supply obligation which is clearly stipulated in the PIA, we have intimated them with the production capacity of local refiners and also sought their commitment on domestic crude obligation to all modular refiners.”
Oyarekhua added: “The modular refineries that are currently producing are starved of crude and even when the crude is available, the local producers want them to pay for it in US dollars.
“This according to the position of CORAN must be addressed to enable Nigerian enjoy self-sufficiency in crude refine.
“This meeting and the assurance that NUPRC will fulfill the request to enforce domestic crude supply obligations to local refiners brings to a new positive dimension the quest by CORAN for its members to be given the equal playing field and enabling support to deliver on its mandate of providing refined petroleum products to the Nigerian market at very affordable rates to users.”