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Shell has restarted crude oil deliveries from its Nigerian terminal to one of the country’s state-owned refineries, which is expected to resume operations this quarter after refurbishment.
Shell Nigeria delivered 475,000 barrels of crude oil from its Bonny export terminal to the Port Harcourt refinery in January, Shell’s Bonny oil terminal manager Osita Nnajiofor told Reuters in an emailed statement on Friday.
Port Harcourt is one of Nigeria’s four refineries which have been shut down for years and which the government is now looking to revamp and restart to cut reliance on fuel imports in OPEC’s largest African crude oil producer.
Port Harcourt is nearly ready for a restart and will initially process 60,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude, according to Reuters. The refinery is expected to ramp up processing rates to its full capacity of 210,000 bpd later in 2024.
Nigeria’s domestic fuel industry received a boost from the private sector earlier this year, when the Dangote Refinery, Africa’s biggest, launched production of fuels in January. The refinery, owned by the Dangote Group of Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, finally saw its start-up after years of delays.
The refinery with a capacity of 650,000 bpd will meet 100% of Nigeria’s demand for all refined petroleum products and will also have a surplus of each of the products for export.
The project, which has cost around $20 billion, up from initial cost estimates of between $12 billion and $14 billion, has seen years of delays.
Nigeria hopes the new refinery will alleviate its chronic fuel shortage that has turned Africa’s biggest oil producer into a fuel importer. Nigeria, OPEC’s top crude oil producer in Africa, has had to rely on fuel imports due to a lack of enough capacity at its refineries, which had to undergo refurbishment in recent years.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com