24 May 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, is targeting higher quality, lower-sulphur fuels in the new oil swap deal it is currently finalising with 10 companies.
The NNPC is reportedly in the final stage of signing $6 billion worth of deals to exchange more than 300,000 barrels per day, b/d, of crude oil for imported petrol and diesel with the 10 companies.
Sulphur levels were a major point in the negotiations, according to Reuters report, which revealed that the NNPC is targeting higher quality, lower-sulphur fuels that create less toxic fumes.
Nigeria has indeed set a July 1 deadline for a switch over to lower-sulphur fuels.
The Ministry of Environment and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, the body responsible for setting requirements for imported goods, promised a switch to 150 ppm gasoline and 50 ppm diesel.
Sources said the new standards would be applied. Others reported that three different gasoline specifications – 1,500 ppm, 500 ppm and 150 ppm – would all be included in the contracts, giving NNPC options on which to import.
Nigeria is largely dependent on imported fuels as the four local refineries in Warri, Kaduna and Port Harcourt have over the years under-performed.
More than three-quarters of the nation’s daily consumption of about 40 million litres are imported, with the local refineries contributing about a quarter.
The oil swap deal, involving exchange of crude oil for imported petrol and diesel, is an NNPC invention to save the nation the trouble of spending scarce foreign exchange on fuel importation.