02 March 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – Mr Malcolm Brinded, the outgoing Executive Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), says the company cannot build a refinery in Nigeria because there are surplus refineries across the world.
Brinded, who is in-charge of the Upstream International unit of the company, made the statement in an interview with Nigeria State House correspondents, after a farewell visit to President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House.
The out-going Shell chief in Nigeria, who led a delegation to the State House, Abuja, said rather than build new refineries, the company was divesting from those it had interest in around the world.
“With respect to downstream, two comments there. Shell is divesting from refineries all over the world because there is a surplus of refineries; we no longer own any refineries even in the United Kingdom.
“I will also say because of the surplus of refineries available in a way, one has to look very closely whether building new refineries is a good investment for anyone not just for Shell but for countries involved.
“In today’s world, not looking at the past but where we are today, there is surplus of refinery capacity which essentially means many refineries in the world run at a loss.
“Which also means one can get refined products back again and pay very little for it to be refined,’’ he said.
Brinded said that building refineries was no longer profitable and that informed the company’s decision to invest in the gas sector.
According to him, Shell would continue to invest in the development of the gas sector, adding: “I do believe that investment in the downstream sector, especially gas sector in Nigeria, as I touched on, is very important.
“Nigeria has huge resources of gas that have yet to be unlocked and the potential to add to that gas not only in power but in other ways in the country.
“I think there are a lot of opportunities for Nigeria and for Shell in Nigeria and the potential much more than to consider refining.’’