09 February 2016, Abuja — At a period refining operations averaged 26 per cent, three of Nigeria’s five refineries received about 9.5 million barrels of crude oil in 2015, but processed about 7.2 million barrels, data from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources have shown.
This leaves a shortfall of about 2.3 million barrels that were not processed, which the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, said were “sold” but did not give details about who bought them.
The data, which was exclusively obtained by Vanguard, revealed that the processed volumes were used in producing four types of petroleum products.
These included premium motor spirit, PMS or petrol; automotive gas oil, AGO, also called diesel; dual purpose kerosene, DPK, used for both domestic and aviation fuel; and low pour fuel oil, LPFL, otherwise called black oil.
Based on the output from the refineries, the operations data revealed that about 907.853 million litres of petrol were produced between January and December last year, a far cry from the14.60 billion litres required for domestic consumption, based on the national daily estimate of 40 million litres.
Refineries Nigeria has five refineries with combined capacity of 446,000 barrels per day, bpd; four of them operated by the NNPC with daily combined capacity of 445,000 bpd, and the 5th, Niger Delta Petroleum Refinery, NDPR, with a capacity of 1,000bpd. The NDPR is privately owned and devoted to only producing diesel.
The dedicated daily crude allocations to the NNPC refineries have often come under criticism, even more so when the refineries were almost comatose in 2015, and Nigeria relied mainly on imported products to meet daily national demand estimated at 40 million litres daily for PMS alone.
At 445,000 bpd, the NNPC refineries can only produce a little above 28 million litres daily, but operating at about a quarter of their combined capacity, critics questioned the continued allocation of the same volume of crude to the refineries.
Crude allocations Broken further, the refinery operations data revealed that between January and December 2015, the New PPRC Refinery with a capacity of 150,000bpd received the highest allocation of over 4.52 million barrels.
However, the refinery could only process about 2.91 million barrels or 55.27 per cent of the total crude allocated to it during the period. Similarly, the WRPC with a template of 125,000 bpd received over 3.48 million barrels and processed 3.08 million barrels (13 per cent), while the 110,000bpd capacity KRPC received about 1.48 million barrels and processed a little above 1.20 million barrels (22 per cent).
With regard to the quantity shortfalls, NNPC, in an email response to Vanguard enquiry said: “Whatever shortfall as you may call it or rather surplus that arises between what was received and what was actually processed in terms of crude oil, is usually sold and the proceeds remitted to the Federation Account.”
The corporation’s spokesman, Mr Ohi Alegbe, added: “Remember that the NNPC is allocated 445, 000 barrels every day at prevailing international market price, thus this means that every molecule of crude received, and utilised or un-utilised as the case maybe, is captured.”
Against this backdrop, NNPC in defence of the continued allocation of the dedicated daily volumes to the refineries at a period of high downturn in operations, said:”The volumes of crude oil allocated to the refineries are usually based on projections generated after detailed realistic production simulations.”