Late Mohammed Barkindo was the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC.

He died yesterday night. Before his death, he spoke to Vanguard at around 8pm, when he noted that that Nigeria and other nations are affected by developments in the global market at the ongoing 21st Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition in Abuja

His words: “The upstream has become a favourite scapegoat for the current market conditions.

“However, this discounts the current capacity challenges that also plague the downstream, especially with regard to transportation of fuel. Refinery closures in recent years — coupled with a number of untimely accidents at important regional refineries — have curtailed supplies and helped create the energy market volatility of recent months.

“Worldwide refinery capacity fell by more than 330,000 barrels per calendar day year-on-year in 2020 and remained below pre-pandemic levels last year, despite the robust global economic rebound. The Middle East, China, as well as Africa and India, recorded refining capacity additions.

“However, refinery capacity in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD, declined for the third consecutive year in 2021. Comparing the pre-pandemic year of 2019 to 2021, OECD refining capacity fell by a significant 1.5 million barrels per calendar day, or 3.3%. Given the global refining squeeze at the moment, the construction of the Dangote Refinery in Lagos, with its capacity of around 650,000 barrels per day, is a huge step in the direction of addressing not only Nigeria’s longer-term demand – but significantly improving the capacity outlook of the global down-stream sector.”

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