From Juliana Taiwo- Obalonye, Abuja
MEMBERS of the Independent Petroleum Producers Group have expressed their determination to achieve 1.2 million barrels per day domestic refining capacity of petroleum products by 2020.
The group made up of indigenous companies responsible for natural gas and crude oil production currently produces over 200,000 barrels of oil production and over 900 million cubics feet of gas production per day.
As indigenous operators, they have resolved that domestic refining capacity should not be less than one million by 2020.
The group disclosed further that for the past five years, it has made investment of over $9 billion in acquiring assets and over $1 billion each year in work programme investment.
Fielding questions from State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, a member of the group, Austin Avuru, said oil and gas production target was one of the discussions they had with the President.
Avuru, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Seplat Petroleum said, “the issue of private refineries was one of the points we raised with the President. We think that by 2020, domestic refining capacity should not be less than one million barrels of oil per day in domestic refining.
“We actually put 1.2 million barrels domestic refining capacity per day and that falls on our doorstep as indigenous operators.”
On how the group intends to achieve the target, Avuru said some constructions were already ongoing by indigenous companies, while some of the firms are already coming on board with small size refineries in partnership with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
He said these efforts only go to confirm the fact that the target of 1.2 million barrels per day in domestic refining capacity of petroleum products was achievable by 2020.
Avuru said the group thought it necessary to engage the President on issues affecting the sector as a significant segment of the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry.
According to him, “if you watch the way the oil and gas sector is evolving, increasingly the key segments of the oil and gas industry, the onshore segment and the swamp, oil is now falling into the hands of Nigerian independents producers.
Source : SunOnline