NNPC Shuts PH, Warri Refineries … Fuel Crisis Looms


The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has shut the Port Harcourt and Warri refineries in the wake of unrelenting militant attacks on oil facilities especially pipelines in the troubled Niger Delta region.
The Technical Assistant to the NNPC Group Managing Director, Mr. Gabby Meheux, who made this known said the Kaduna refinery would be shut within the next 15 days due to the destruction of the pipeline that supplies it crude oil.
Representing the NNPC chief executive, Dr. Mohammed Barkindo, Meheux told an interactive session organised by the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on Niger Delta crisis with stakeholders in the oil sector, that since the beginning of the military offensive in the Niger Delta on May 13, there had been increased militant attacks aimed at crippling operations of the oil companies.
Between May 16 and June 14, this year, militants have reportedly attacked seven oil facilities. They include the Nigeria Gas Company Pipeline, Escravos – Warri PPMC pipeline, Abiteye – Escravos, 12-inch pipeline and Utonna Flow Station.
Others were the Makaraba-Abiteye pipeline, Makaraba-5 and Abiteye well and the Abiteye Jacket I Christmas tree.
Meheux noted with regret that 1.3 million barrels of crude oil is shut daily due to activities of militants. On the Kaduna refinery, Meheux said, “As of today, we have crude volume that will last for 15 days. Once that is exhausted, we will shut the Kaduna refinery.
With this development, sources said another fuel crisis is looming in the country. The Director, Chevron/NNPC Joint Venture, Mr. Supo Shadiya, painted a gloomy picture if nothing was done, saying Chevron had faced sustained attacks from militants in form of sabotage and vandalism of oil facilities and pipeline.
Also speaking at the meeting, a representative of Shell, Mr. J.O. Agbara, lamented that Shell operations had been grounded in Bayelsa State, and that the company is producing less than 30,000 barrels per day in the Delta area.
Earlier, the chairman of the ad-hoc committee had said the meeting became necessary to acquaint members with the situation in the Niger Delta.