… Seeks to acquire new assets
By Clara Nwachukwu
Indigenous marginal field operator, Waltersmith Petroleum Oil Limited, is currently musing setting up a 5,000 barrel per day capacity greenfield refinery, to be located in Ohaji Egbema, Imo State.
The refinery, which is initially being estimated at $40 million, is one of the measures the company is considering to take care of its crude production, in view of the challenges being encountered in evacuating the crude from the fields due to pipeline vandalism.
Unfoldingthe plans in Lagos last week at a press conference in Lagos, the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Waltersmith, Mr. Abdulrazaq Isa, said that although plans were still at the conception stage, management had gone ahead conduct the technical and commercial reviews of the project.
He explained, “If you know where we allocated we call it like a stranded location. We are the only ones there, we have access to some facilities. We connect our export through the Trans Niger Pipeline, which is Shell’s pipeline, and once that pipeline is vandalised then we have a problem with export and the vandalism has continued for some time now.
“I am sure you have heard about the Shell’s report on the vandalism of the Trans Niger Pipeline which we call it “TNP” and because of that we find ourselves shutting down operation for quite some time. Last year, we lost about 120 days of non production because of the continued vandalism of this pipeline. And so we have now been forced to begin to think about what else we can do with this crude oil we are producing. So instead of putting them in the ground or in the tank and waiting for it to be exported, why don’t we consider the possibility of refining it.
“Now we are therefore considering refining very strongly based on the economy in the market of what we can do with the crude, and before the end of the year, we will seriously take a decision on what we are going to do.