The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it is currently considering equity participation in a number of private refineries in the country.
The NNPC said the decision was in line with the Federal Government’s policy directive, which stipulates the mandatory participation of the corporation in any privately-owned refinery that exceeds 50,000 barrels per day capacity.
The directive enables NNPC to uphold its statutory role of safeguarding national energy security.
Obateru said the corporation had identified at least six refinery projects in which it intended to seek equity participation.
Five of them are at the developmental stage with the Dangote Refinery being the largest of them.
He explained that NNPC as the National Oil Company of Nigeria primarily has a dual role of providing stewardship for the nation’s hydrocarbon resources, adding value to the resources for the benefit of all Nigerians and other stakeholders.
According to him, these roles enable it to achieve the twin objectives of providing energy security for the country and stimulating the nation’s economic development and growth.
He said NNPC’s strategic objective to ensure energy security and stimulate economic growth with limited resources required it to consider strategic partnerships with competent investors in sectors of the oil and gas value chain, especially where it currently operated on a sole risk basis.
“The new vision is to grow domestic refining capacity, improve petroleum products supply from our local refineries and become a net exporter of petroleum products,” Obateru said.
He noted that the move to seek equity participation in the private refineries would not undercut its commitment to the rehabilitation of its own refineries and strengthen the domestic refining sector.
Obateru said the overall goal was to boost the nation’s refining capacity with a view to becoming a net exporter of petroleum products in the shortest possible time, thereby boosting the nation’s economy.