The scarcity of petroleum products across the country may linger much longer considering the fall in the amount of crude oil being processed by Nigeria’s three refineries.
Latest data from the financial and operations report of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation showed that the processing of crude oil by Nigeria’s refineries fell by 87.4 per cent in February when compared to the volume of crude refined by the three facilities in the preceding month.
In January this year, the total crude processed by the refineries was 256, 676 metric tons, but this dropped by 224, 342MT or 87.4 per cent to 32, 352MT in February 2016.
The NNPC attributed the poor performance of the refineries to crude pipeline vandalism. It had repeatedly complained about the menace perpetuated by pipelines vandals.
Similarly, operators in the oil and gas industry, as well as those in the power sector, on several occasions, had blamed the abysmal performances of power plants and refineries on vandalism of both gas and crude oil installations by miscreants.
Last week, the Executive Director, Association of National Electricity Distributors, the umbrella body for power distribution companies in Nigeria, Sunday Oduntan, stated that part of the reason why Nigerians experience poor power supply and even petrol scarcity was as a result of pipelines being vandalised.
The NNPC, in its latest report, further noted that the refineries performed adversely in February as their yield efficiency also plummeted by about 33 per cent when compared to what was recorded in January.
The corporation said, “Total crude processed by the three refineries, for the month of February 2016 was 32,352MT (237,205 barrels) and intermediate of 74,167MT (543,792 barrels) which translate to a combined yield efficiency of 50.88 per cent compared to crude processed in January 2016 of 256,676 MT (1,881,948 barrels) with combined yield efficiency of 83.79 per cent.
“For the month of February 2016, the three refineries produced 90,628 MT (664,484 barrels) of finished petroleum products out of 32,352MT (237,205 barrels) and intermediate product of 74,167MT (543,792 barrels) of crude and intermediate processed at an average capacity utilisation of 1.84 per cent compared to 14.10 per cent average capacity utilisation achieved in the month of January 2016. The adverse performance was due to crude pipeline vandalism.”
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