Business Hilights
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Can NNPC meet its 2013 targets with prevailing pace, crude swap deals?

Whereas the new management structure at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has set fresh target of 2023 to turnaround the moribund states of all four national refineries, industry analysts say they are yet to see clear roadmap from the Federal Government to meet the set targets timeline.

The new GMD of the Corporation, Mr Mele Kyari, had on assumption of office recently, gave himself a three-year deadline to review operations of the refineries, support condensate plants, and open the midstream sector so as to begin exportation of refined products by 2023.

Currently, the nation’s four refineries recorded operation of just 5.55 per cent of their combined nameplate capacity of around 445,000 barrels per day (b/d), according to data released in late May by the NNPC, underlining that the oil-rich nation still relies heavily on imports for its fuel needs.

The reliance was further renewed recently following the listing of successful firms in the crude swap deal that will run till next year. The 15 companies that made the list will begin operations next month by exporting crude and returning equivalent value in finished products.

Analysts argue that the continuation of the crude swap deals has all it takes to frustrate the good plans of the Federal Government to revive the refineries as the selected crude swap operators may in one way or the other, continue to sabotage any move to fix the refineries because that will mean out of job for them after all.

Currently, Nigeria’s refineries, which include the northern Kaduna refinery and two plants located in Port Harcourt, and the Warri refinery, have not operated beyond a quarter of their nameplate capacity for some time, mainly due to sabotage attacks on pipelines carrying crude to the plants as well as technical problems after years of neglect.

Industry followers say the inability to enthrone a workable petroleum industry law that will establish a regime template for cleaning up the sector for sustainable investments and development remains a drawback that needs to be resolved by the National Assembly as soon as possible.