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Warri Refinery Remains Shut As Crude Deliveries Continue

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Nigeria's Warri refinery has not yet reopened after last week's temporary closure because crude oil is still being loaded into the plant, a spokesman for its operator the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said.

NNPC spokesman Ohi Alegbe said the refinery would only restart when it had enough crude to keep it going for at least 25 days.

“Once we have supplied sufficient crude … we can restart the production process,” Alegbe said.

He added that crude was being supplied to the refinery in batches carried by marine vessels, because most of the pipelines supplying it had been compromised by vandalism.

Oil sales account for around 70 percent of government revenue in Africa's top crude producer, which imports most of the fuel used by its 170 million inhabitants because of the age and inefficiency of its refineries in Warri, Kaduna and Port Harcourt.

The state oil company said on Thursday the decision to shut Warri was taken because there was insufficient crude in the system, adding it expected to resume by Tuesday.

The 125,000 barrels per day (bpd) Warri refinery resumed operations two months ago after maintenance that began in November 2014. It is expected to run at 60,000 bpd.