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NNPC targets 700 mbd refining capacity

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Abuja- The Group Managing Director (GMD) of  NNPC, Mr Austen Oniwon,  says the corporation is targeting the refining of at least 700 million barrels of  crude per day (mbd)  to bridge the gap between domestic consumption of petroleum products and supply.

He said at the Nigerian Oil and Gas (NOG-11) Strategic Conference in Abuja on Wednesday that NNPC had since initiated  a feasibility study to determine the optimum capacity in the demand and supply chain.

Oniwon said NNPC was determined to build more refineries in order to complement the existing ones.

He said the corporation was partnering with a Chinese firm to build additional three Greenfield Refineries and a Petrochemical plant in Lagos, Bayelsa and Kogi.

Oniwon also said that NNPC was discussing with partners on how best to harness and develop the nation’s gas potential.

He said the corporation was currently repositioning the gas project for rapid domestic, regional and export market as stipulated in the Gas Master Plan.

According to Oniwon, efforts are being made to revitalise downstream capacity to support domestic energy needs, hence, the promotion of Greenfield Refineries and a revamp of the old ones.

He also described the amnesty programme of the Federal Government as the driving force for the new initiative, saying, “it is yielding results as daily crude production has risen to 2.4mbd, including condensate.’’

NNPC, he said,  was undergoing a transformation process that would make it compete with other integrated national oil companies in the world.

He said that inspite of  its 10,000 staff strength, the corporation was recruiting fresh hands to boost its transformation agenda and resultant job openings across its strategic business units.

Oniwon attributed the stunted growth of the downstream sector to distortions introduced into the market as a result of the current regulation regime.

“As a nation, we need to brace up to the challenges’’, he said.

He said the Petroleum Industry Bill currently before the National Assembly would reform key institutions to anchor sustained growth in the Oil and Gas Sector.

“The main engine of transformation of the petroleum sector is the PIB.

“ The bill seeks to reform the Petroleum Sector such that the National Oil and Gas Industry will achieve 21st century global industry performance.

“The bill when passed into law will decentralise the industry and make it more efficient and result oriented,” he said.

He said the Senate would be deliberating on the PIB clause by clause on  Wednesday while the House of Representatives would begin a similar exercise next week.

Oniwon said that it was likely the bill would be passed before the expiration of the current legislative session.

He said NNPC had contributed significantly to the nation’s democratic stability and development by carrying out operations that spanned the entire oil and gas value chain with a robust resource base.

Oniwon  said the commercial objectives of the corporation were consistent and not in contrast with the country’s development. (NAN)

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