NNPCL supplies four crude cargoes to Dangote refinery Feb

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited is expected to supply four crude oil cargoes from its February programme to the $20bn Dangote refinery.

Dangote refinery, which is poised to begin operations after years of construction delays, is to get the crude oil cargoes next month from NNPCL, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

What will be Africa’s biggest refinery has said it could begin test runs as early as this week, adding that it has received six initial crude cargoes.

Nigeria, a strong member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, currently relies on imports for most of the fuel it consumes.

But the Dangote refinery is expected to make the country self-sufficient and able to export fuel to neighbours in West Africa, potentially transforming oil trading in the Atlantic Basin.

Dangote received one million barrels of Nigeria’s Agbami crude on Monday, lifting total volumes received since December to six million barrels.

NNPC supplied the 650,000 barrel per day plant with four of the cargoes, two of the sources said, according to Reuters, adding that a spokesperson for NNPCL declined to comment.

Dangote’s Group Executive Director for Strategy, Portfolio Development and Capital Projects, Edwin Devakumar, said the company did not request cargoes from NNPC for January.

“We are starting the refinery and if we continue to line up cargoes our inventory will build up as well as costs,” he said. “If everything goes well, we will run for 8-10 days of operation then we will begin to line up cargoes.”

The refinery is also looking at crude supplies from other countries, he said without disclosing further detail.

One of the sources said that the refinery had nominated four NNPCL cargoes for February.

A second source said that NNPC wanted to wait for the plant’s test runs before sending more oil.

Initial processing capacity is expected to reach 350,000bpd, with the aim of ramping up to full capacity by the end of the year, Dangote said.

Okechukwu Nnodim

Okechukwu, a journalist with Punch Newspapers, has 15 years experience covering Energy (Power and Petroleum), Finance, Agriculture, Environment, Humanitarian Services, Works and Housing, Trade and Investment, Capital Markets, Aviation and Transport, ICT, among others