20 August 2015, Abuja – Members of the independent petroleum producers group on Wednesday said they would achieve 1.2 million barrels per day domestic refining capacity of petroleum products by 2020.
A member of the group, Mr. Austin Avuru, disclosed this target to State House correspondents after a meeting they had with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Avuru, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Seplat Petroleum, said it was one of the issues they raised with Buhari during the closed-door session.
He said as indigenous operators, they had resolved that domestic refining capacity should not be less than one million by 2020.
He said, “The issue of private refineries was one of the points we raised with the President.
“We think that by 2020, domestic refining capacity should not be less than one million barrel of oil per day in domestic refining. We actually put it at 1.2 million barrels domestic refining capacity per day and that falls on our doorstep as indigenous operators.”
When asked how the group intended to achieve the target, Avuru said some constructions were already being undertaken by indigenous companies.
He added that some of the firms were already coming on board with small size refineries; in partnership with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
He said all these were pointers to the fact that they would meet the target by 2020.
Avuru said members of the group, being a significant segment of the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry, thought it was necessary to engage the President on issues affecting the sector.
He said, “If you watch the way the oil and gas sector is evolving, increasing the key segments of the oil and gas industry, the onshore segment and the swamp, oil is now falling into the hands of Nigerian independent group.
“This is why in the past five years, we have made so much investment, including over $9bn in just acquiring these assets and over $1bn each year in work programme investment. So, we are looking at the segment of the industry that is going to become a very critical partner to government, particularly in the delivery of natural gas and other products into the domestic economy.
“We called for the meeting because we realised we needed to engage with Mr. President. We identify with his policy direction. We realised we are very critical partners that he needs to know about and to engage with very early in the administration.”