Private oil producers target 1.2 million barrels per day
THE Independent Petroleum Producers’ Group (IPPG), an association of indigenous producers of natural gas and crude, has allayed fear in some quarters that the exit of multinational oil companies from onshore petroleum production would affect the quantity of refined petrol in the country.
Speaking to State House correspondents after leading a delegation of the IPPG to visit President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, President of the group, Austin Avuru, noted that the indigenous producers would ensure that they fill the vacuum to be created by the exit of the International Oil Companies (IOCs), which he said are making forays into the areas like the deep offshore and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
Avuru, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Seplat Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), said they discussed the issue of private refineries with Buhari and they thought that by 2020, domestic refining capacity should not be less than one million
barrel of oil per day.
“Some construction is already ongoing by indigenous companies, and between some others who are coming in with smaller sized refineries in partnership with NNPC. We’re confident that by 2020, we’ll deliver 1.2million domestic refining capacity”, he said.
According to him, the IPPG comprises 20 indigenous companies responsible for natural gas and crude oil production of over 200,000 barrels of oil and 900 million cubic meters of gas production daily. Avuru said the independent producers had already invested over $9 billion in the oil and gas sector in the last five years.
President Buhari directed the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to work more closely with the indigenous oil producers to open up the sector to Nigerians.
A statement from the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Gatba Shehu, quoted the President as commending the determination of the oil producers to increase the participation of Nigerians in the country’s oil industry and promised to do all within his powers to address the challenges which they currently face.