02 September 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Warri refinery has not yet reopened after last week’s temporary closure because crude oil is still being loaded into the plant, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Tuesday.
NNPC said on last week that the decision to shut Warri was taken because there was insufficient crude in the system, adding it expected to resume by Tuesday.
The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Mr. Ohi Alegbe said the refinery would only restart when it had enough crude to keep it going for at least 25 days.
“Once we have supplied sufficient crude, we can restart the production process,” Alegbe said.
He added that crude was being supplied to the refinery in batches carried by marine vessels, because most of the pipelines supplying it had been compromised by vandalism.
“They are supposed to have at least a 25-day sufficiency in the supply of crude. So because of the depletion in the volume of crude they have had to temporarily shut down,” said Alegbe.
“It was shut down last Monday. This is a temporary measure and it should be up and running by Tuesday,” he said.
The move had come a day after NNPC announced it had cancelled its contract for the delivery of crude to Nigeria’s refineries.
Oil sales account for around 70 percent of government revenue in the country, which imports most of the fuel used by its 170 million inhabitants because of the age and inefficiency of its refineries in Warri, Kaduna and Port Harcourt.
The 125,000 barrels per day (bpd) Warri refinery resumed operations two months ago after maintenance that began in November 2014. It is expected to run at 60,000 bpd.
The Corporation also said last week it has reduced the number of off-takers that will emerge after a competitive bid for the proposed 2015/16 crude oil term contract to 16 from 43.
The NNPC, which announced a raft of measures aimed at rooting out mismanagement in Nigeria’s oil sector, said it had extended invitations to Mobil and Forte Oil, in addition to an earlier published list, to bid for the new proposed offshore processing agreement.