07 March 2016, Lagos – The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, weekend, said it has reopened the Port Harcourt refinery, about six weeks after it was shut down, while it also disclosed that it has stepped up efforts to bring the fuel scarcity currently witnessed across the country to an end.
This was even as the NNPC also stated that it paid N85.96 billion into the Federation Account for the month of January 2016, despite recording a loss of N3.55 billion in the same month.
Speaking during a tour of petrol stations in Abuja to assess the fuel crisis situation, Group Executive Director, Commercial and Investment, Mr. Victor Adeniran said Warri and Kaduna refineries could not resume production at the moment because the pipeline network supplying crude oil to the two refineries had been sabotaged and were yet to be fixed.
He appealed to Nigerians to be patient, stating that over the last three days, it had flooded the market with petrol and that in the next few days, the queues witnessed at petrol stations would disappear.
He said, “We want to appeal to Nigerians to bear with us. Part of what the NNPC has done was making sure the refineries are back on stream. The reasons the refineries are not working today is because the pipelines that are supposed to supply crude oil to them are not working. We are almost there.
“You can imagine if we have been able to put the Escravos – Warri pipeline into use, Warri refinery would have been up and running and part of this problem would have been alleviated. “Port Harcourt is working because we have been able to fix the Bonny – Port Harcourt line. As I am talking to you, we are transporting crude oil from Bonny to Port Harcourt refinery. Kaduna cannot work because Warri also supplies Kaduna with product.”
He appealed to Nigerians to join in the fight against pipeline vandalism and oil theft, stating that the challenges currently witnessed in the supply of petrol across the country was due to the sabotage of the pipeline.
It should be noted that this is the second time in less than six months that Port Harcourt refinery was shut down and reopened. Commenting on NNPC’s strategies to end the fuel scarcity, Adeniran further stated that since Thursday, it had made special arrangement for intervention trucks, with a carrying capacity of 60,000 litres of petrol.