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Nigeria To Export Fuel As Refineries Now Ready To Work

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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SAN FRANCISCO, March 15, (THEWILL) – The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has said that Nigeria will begin to export refined petrol and other petrochemical products within the next four years as the nation's refineries are now ready to work.

Kachikwu stated this on Tuesday, in Abuja, when he briefed journalists on his plans for the country's petroleum sector revealing that the corporation, under his leadership, is saving Nigeria N1 trillion in subsidy removal and $1 billion in importation programme.

He revealed that when the plans to co-locate new refinery investments within the existing refinery complexes in Kaduna, Warri and Port Harcourt become successful, and the private refinery owned by the Dangote Group comes on stream, Nigeria will produce more petrol than she needs and then export the excess.

“The policy on the whole is that we must target a time frame of 12 and 18 months to get out of importation,” he said.

“It is not good for the country, it is not a good image, it does not create jobs and we lose tax when it comes to the government and creates a huge amount of quite frankly, emotional backlash when people have to queue looking for fuel.

“Look at the fact that with the removal or connivance on the removal of subsidy cost, you are saving the nation N1 trillion. For the first time this organisation is not worrying about where to get the next subsidy money or who is going to pay it.

“For the first time, our refineries are ready now to work. Crude has been pumped from Brass to Port Harcourt. Pipeline is being used for the first time in six years. For the first time we are able to pump to Ilorin, we have not done that in 10 years.

“If we do that, obviously we will have excess production capacity for refined products and bear in mind that obviously Dangote is also bringing in its refinery which probably is hitting up about 2019/2020.

“At that point, we begin to look at export market and that really is what we should be doing given the sort of behaviour of oil prices today.”

The minister also talked about improving new terms for gas businesses and private investments in the industry.

“We need to finalise gas terms. A team within the ministry is working very hard now to come up with gas terms and negotiate those gas terms with majors because if the gas terms are there, the investments will go in and once there is certainty we can grow those,” Kachikwu stated.

“Once we have parallel revenues that can come in from gas and some extent the petrochemicals, the reliance on crude oil revenue will ease, so gas is very critical not just in terms of our earning cycle but also in terms of our power mix, being able to supply power to the Nigerian public.

“I know that the ministry of power is targeting about 7000 megawatts for 2016 and some portion of 2017, and stranded gas is key.

“We need to get infrastructure to get that gas through NPDC or third parties so we have sufficient gas to power the turbine and so we are working on that and the sort of numbers or duration that I see is a period of one to two years to get us this level,” he further explained.

Story by David Oputah