Senate seeks NNPC’s brief on status of refineries

The Senate has directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to brief it on the status of existing refineries, including the status of newly licensed modular refineries in the country.

The upper legislative chamber also urged its Committee on Petroleum (Downstream and Upstream) resources, when constituted, to report back on the status of the refineries in eight weeks.

These resolutions followed a motion on Existing Petroleum Subsidy: Ensuring Self -Sufficiency in Domestic Refining of Petroleum Products by Senator Rose Oko (PDP Cross River North) and 42 others during plenary.

Presenting the motion, Oko said although Nigeria produces 1.7million barrels of crude oil  per day, its moribund refineries had very little refining capacity.

She said the nation imports roughly 90 per cent of its fuel, negating much of the benefits accruing to oil producing nations from high crude prices.

The lawmaker said despite the resources expended on turn around maintenance, none of the NNPC’s four refineries currently functions  up to 50 per cent of  their  combined capacity of 445,000 barrels per day.

She said the objectives of modular refineries was to overcome the huge capital requirement that impedes establishment and maintenance of large scale refineries .

This, she said would ensure self sufficiency in the production and supply of petroleum products.

She added that  data from the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR website had  indicated that a total of 633,000 barrels per day refining capacity had already been lost due to the expiration of licenses of both conventional and modular refinery projects.

Some senators in their contributions, said there was an urgent need to ensure the optimal performance of the refineries.

They also called for grants to support the actualisation of the 43 modular refineries  in the country.

In his remarks, President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan said the motion was designed to ensure that the 43 licensed modular refineries became operational.

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