Low crude availability crippling refineries as NNPC posts N28.38bn loss

  • Pipeline vandalism drops 18%

Richards Adeniyi

Nigeria’s refineries continued their poor operational performance attributed to low availability of crude oil  for refining as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) posted a cumulative loss of N28.38 billion in the first quarter of 2017, National Daily has gathered.
In a recent report posted by the NNPC, availability of crude oil to the refineries dropped by an average of 19.07 per cent in the first quarter. It also showed that the corporation recorded a loss of N14.12 billion in February 2017, a marginal decline from the N14.255 billion recorded in January.
On the operational performances of the refineries in the month February, the report stated that the combined capacity utilisation of the facilities dropped from 36.73 per cent in January to 29.06 per cent in February.
Nigeria’s three refineries are the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company, the Port Harcourt Refining Company and the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company.
Specifically, the WRPC posted the worst operational performance during the review month as its capacity utilisation plunged from 42.56 per cent in January to 4.7 per cent in February.
The PHRC and KRPC showed slight improvements, as their capacity utilisation increased from 38.51 per cent and 26.72 per cent to 40.73 per cent and 34.45 per cent, respectively.
The report said, “Total crude processed by the three local refineries (KRPC, PHRC and WRPC) for the month of February 2017 was 493,773 metric tonnes (3,620,344 barrels), which translates to a combined yield efficiency of 90.37 per cent compared to the crude processed in January 2017 of 691,122MT (5,067,307 bbl), which translates to a combined yield efficiency of 88.23 per cent.
“For the month of February 2017, the three refineries produced 331,236MT of finished petroleum products and 114,983MT of intermediate product out of 493,773MT of crude processed at a combined capacity utilisation of 29.06 per cent compared to 36.73 per cent combined capacity utilisation achieved in the month of January 2017.
The corporation further said that the trading deficit of N14.12 billion represents about one per cent improvement compared to N14.26 billion recorded in January, 2017.
The national oil firm added that “other factors that affected the overall NNPC’s performance included production shutdown of Trans Niger Pipeline and Nembe Creek Trunk Line due to pipeline leakages; shutdown of Agbami Terminal for mini-TAM and existing force majeure declared by the SPDC as a result of the vandalised 48-inch Forcados export line after the restoration on 17th October, 2016.”
The report stated that in January 2017, crude oil production in Nigeria increased to 1.84 million barrels per day, amounting to a 16.51 per cent increase relative to the December 2016 production, but it lagged behind January 2016 performance’s by 14.52 per cent.
It said the Federal Government’s engagement with the militants had continued to enhance production.