The Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, has said the newly inaugurated Dangote Petrochemical Refinery, Port Harcourt Refinery, Warri Refinery and modular refineries in the country may not get enough crude oil locally for the production of petroleum products unless deliberate efforts are made to increase investments and crude production in the sector.

Lokpobiri said unless the country ramped up production by handing over its oil wells to capable investors, the refineries would not get enough feedstock to produce enough oil, even for local consumption.

On January 12, the Dangote refinery announced that it had begun the production of both diesel and aviation fuel.

The Dangote refinery, a subsidiary of Dangote Industries Limited, is a 650,000 barrels per day crude oil refinery, located in Dangote Industries Free Zone, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria.

As of January, it was said that the facility had received six shipments of one million barrels each of crude oil from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.

Recently, Shell Nigeria Plc said it had completed the supply of 450,000 barrels of crude oil to the newly rehabilitated Port Harcourt refinery.

However, both the major and independent marketers said they had yet to receive refined products from any of the refineries as the NNPCL continues importation of fuel with scarce foreign exchange.

Speaking at the seventh edition of the Nigeria International Energy Summit held in Abuja on Tuesday, the minister said the Dangote refinery alone would need up to 650,000 barrels of crude oil daily, while the government-owned ones would gut about 450,000 barrels too.

According to him, Nigeria has in the last five years slowed down investments, saying “We are the lowest in the world, if you talk of investment to reserves ratio, Nigeria is 25 per cent. Nigeria is the least in the world. Between 2017 and 2022, if you look at the figures, Nigeria’s investments compared to our reserves is 25 per cent. There is something we are not doing right.”

He lamented that many oil wells have been left idle even in the face of dwindling crude production.

“We need to ramp up production, there are so many idle wells that we can give to the right people. We need to ramp up production in the upstream, so that the midstream and the downstream can also be successful. We need to increase our production in the upstream so that we will be able to produce the right quantity that will service our obligations, both locally and internationally.

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