Chevron, Total, ENI commit to helping Nigeria revamp refineries

After years of inefficiency, Nigeria wants to revamp its refineries and has sought help from oil majors Chevron, Total and ENI, in order to achieve this.

The West African nation, which is a top crude producer in Africa, has been trying to rehabilitate its refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna to boost local refining and end dependency on costly fuel imports and frequent scarcity of fuel. The end plan is to privatize the refineries after repairs and clearing of debts accumulated from years of mismanagement.

“We have gotten commitments from some of the majors. (ENI’s) Agip has indicated interest to work with us on Port Harcourt, Chevron on Warri,” Minister of State for Petroleum Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu who also heads state oil firm NNPC told the Senate when he was summoned over the lingering fuel scarcity in the country. “We are talking to Total on Kaduna.”

According to Kachikwu, NNPC is also seeking partners to run pipelines and fuel depots as joint ventures. The state-owned firm has already repaired the pipelines feeding the Warri and Port Harcourt refineries.

The minister said fuel queues would disappear from next week. The queues which has remained for over a month is due in part to the inability of major oil marketers to import as they cited lack of access to forex as affecting their work.

To address this, Mr Kachikwu said the NNPC has reached agreements with oil majors, with which it operates joint ventures, to support the government with dollars.

“The major international upstream oil companies have indicated their willingness to support major oil marketing companies with some of the required foreign exchange,” Kachikwu said.

“As of today, we have been able to work, in collaboration with the majors…with them to see how they can sell us foreign exchange for the naira components they require for their local operations,” he said.