The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has expressed willingness to work with the Spanish National Oil Company (REPSOL) to boost its refining capacity.
Presently over 80 percent of petrol consumed in Nigeria are imported from foreign refineries. The nation’s four refineries located in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna have over the years operated far below installed capacity due to poor maintenance and shortage of crude oil due to pipeline vandalism.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Dr. Maikanti Kachalla Baru said, while receiving the Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Alfonso Barnuevo to the NNPC Towers in Abuja on Thursday, that Nigeria and Spain are ready to strengthen their bilateral trade relationship especially in the oil and gas industry for the benefit of the two countries.
A statement by the corporation’s Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, Garba Deen Muhammad said Baru noted that NNPC as an integrated oil and gas company is currently undergoing transformation which includes increasing the corporation’s refining capacity.
Baru added that the corporation would work closely with the Spanish REPSOL to improve the technical capacities of the refineries.
He said: “As you know, we have challenges with our refineries and with REPSOL refining about 900,000 barrels of crude oil per day, we can collaborate on that, going forward.
“While we are fixing our refineries, we also have the opportunity to bring in more petroleum products into the country to meet our domestic needs,” he added.
He stated that the corporation was partnering well with some Spanish companies in the area of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) also known as cooking gas.
The GMD also expressed NNPC’s desire to boost safer energy utilisation in the country through promoting LPG consumption, explaining that the corporation was also working on the Trans Sahara Gas Pipeline Project and would rely on the technical support of some Spanish companies towards addressing the challenges of gas supply.
Earlier, Ambassador Barnuevo said Nigeria and Spain have an established cordial relationship dating back to over three decades.
“This visit is to further strengthen these good ties between our nations and in particular, between NNPC and REPSOL,” Ambassador Barvueno stated.
According to him, Spain is Nigeria’s 2nd best client in the area of oil and gas. The country currently buys about 4.6billion Euros worth of oil and gas from Nigeria.
He explained that in the first Quarter of 2015, Spain represents nine per cent of the total export from Nigeria.
“Therefore, NNPC and REPSOL will benefit tremendously from sustaining this collaboration,” the Ambassador added.