The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation says it will soon begin importing crude oil from Niger Republic to Kaduna Refinery as part of effort to address frequent disruptions in the supply of crude oil to the Refinery by Niger Delta militants and oil pipeline vandals.
The Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Dr Maikanti Baru disclosed this on Friday when he led other management staff to a courtesy visit to Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state.
He explains that petroleum products supply and distribution at Kaduna refinery have been largely affected as a result of aging facilities and frequent attacks on oil pipeline attacks from Warri to Kaduna and however seek the governor’s support in the war against pipeline vandalism and oil theft.
The NNPC boss further explained that part of the intervention is the proposed construction of a 1,000 kilometre pipeline that will supply crude oil from Niger to the Kaduna refinery which will be executed in partnership with a Chinese oil firm and Nigerien Ministry of Petroleum.
He also informed the governor that the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline project as well as the establishment of two new power plants in Abuja and Kaduna will improve electricity supply for both industrial and domestic use in Kaduna and other surrounding states.
“Nigeria’s energy supply security is underpinned by a robust network of about 3,000 kilometres of pipelines used for the transportation of crude oil, natural gas and petroleum products.
“A major segment of these pipelines transverse your state.,These critical national assets have become subject of incessant vandalism, theft of products and acts of sabotage. Of course, the downstream segment especially the petroleum products supply and distribution have suffered most in this state.
“These products pipelines have also incurred huge product losses with attendant cause of deaths as well as damage to the environment.
“There is no gain-saying that the fact that political leaders greatly compliment laudable efforts of the security agencies in safeguarding the nation’s oil facilities installation and personnel.
“It is on this premise that we wish to kindly solicit your excellency’s further support in the area of sensitizing the good people of Kaduna state against sabotage of the nation’s oil assets and its adverse effects on the community, environment and the economy.
“At the moment, the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company is the only crude oil refinery located in the north, and it is expected to supply petroleum products to all the northern states.
“However, due to challenge to the aged refinery and crude oil supply pipeline that has been breached severally, the operations of the refinery have been epileptic.
“This we are determined and resolved through various intervention measures including the evaluation of potential and timely crude oil supply from the Niger Republic through building of a pipeline of over a thousand kilometres Agadam to Kaduna. That effort is being championed by Mr President himself.
“We have already started engagement with the Nigerien Ministry of Petroleum a Chinese firm that is operating the field at Agadam.
“We also know that Kaduna state is the home of textile industries which is currently packed up due to energy challenges. This will soon be addressed with the completion of the Ajaokuta-Abuja-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline power plants in Abuja and Kaduna which are currently under tender”.
In his remark, Governor El-Rufai commended the management of NNPC for the transparent manner it has conducted its operations under the present leadership which he says is quite a different from the corrupt manner the corporation carried out its activities during the last administration as well as the various initiatives aimed at re-positioning the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.
“I think NNPC is on the right track. As you know I was not impressed with the NNPC of the past.
“And I had even held the view that unless you kill NNPC, it will kill Nigerians. That is because of the amount of money belonging to the federation that had disappeared with NNPC as the vehicle of the disappearance.
“It has very little to do with NNPC staff, but it has more to do with the political leadership using the institution as the conduit to shortchange the entire federation. But as i said, since you came in, even before you came in, since Minister Kachikwu came in things have improved.
“And the governors are complaining less and less. And I truly hope that the progress we have seen in the last few months to put NNPC on the right track will continue.
I am confident that it will happen because i know your reputation, I have heard about you and how good you are. What many Nigerians want to see is an NNPC that is greater than the national oil companies of other competitor countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil and so on. We can do it. We have the people”.
According to the NNPC boss, the Kaduna refinery was originally designed to process Nigerian crude and foreign heavy crude at 100 percent capacity , but lament that the refinery currently produce only at 60 percent capacity. This he says cannot achieve the purpose of its creation which is to ensure effective supply and distribution of petroleum products to all the northern states.
Over the years, inadequate maintenance and vandalism of crude oil pipelines have led to the sub-optimal performance of the country’s 445,000bpd capacity refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna.