NNPC defends government’s stance on illegal refineries
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has defended the Federal Government’s plan to transform illegal refineries in the Niger Delta into legal entities for proper integration of the youths in the region.
The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, argued that getting the youths to form consortia to set up 1,000 barrels per day modular refineries would get them off criminality and create jobs.
An illegal refinery is made up of smaller and mobile parts (skid-mounted) – that are more easily fabricated, and can be more quickly transported to site. They are scattered all over some Niger Delta swamp.
Their activities had resulted to crude oil loses to the Federal Government as the illegal refineries most often rely on stolen crude oil for operations.To bring lasting solution to the unrest in the Niger Delta, the Federal Government decided to recognise illegal and local refineries that dotted the Niger Delta and have them transformed into modular refineries.
Speaking at the 53rd International Conference and Exhibition of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) in Abuja on Wednesday, Baru expressed government’s commitment to transform the NNPC from an oil and gas company into an integrated energy group with interest in power generation and transmission.
In a paper entitled: “Challenges and Prospects for the Diversification of the Upstream, Downstream and Frontier Basin Exploration in the Oil and Gas Sector”, Dr Baru said NNPC had identified opportunities in the power sector and was ready to take advantage of them to transform from being a gas supplier to the power sector, into a major player, in the sector.
He said the Corporation was already working on a project to generate four Megawatts (4MW) of electricity while also exploring the possibility of investing in the transmission segment of the power sector.
He explained that the Corporation’s decision to diversify into the power sector was hinged on the need to bridge the huge energy gap in the Nigerian market.He said contrary to the impression that the poor power situation was caused by inadequate gas supply, the real problem was inadequate transmission capacity, adding that there was enough gas to generate eight gigawatts (8GW) of electricity but the transmission grid could not support such volume of power without complications.
In the upstream, he said his goal was to accelerate frontier exploration and grow crude oil reserve to 40 billion barrels from the current 37 billion.He also challenged the geoscientists on the need to deploy more sophisticated technology and drill deeper than the current 13,000 to 15,000 feet in the Niger Delta to produce more oil.
“We have to look deeper with intensive 3D and 4D seismic surveys over the so-called matured Niger Delta. The older, the better,” he declared.Meanwhile, the NNPC Management has raised an alarm on the existence of some dubious syndicates with specialty in extorting money from unsuspecting members of the public under the pretext of a purported recruitment exercise and promise of phantom job placements in the Corporation.
The Corporation in a statement by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughmadu, said the NNPC at this time is not conducting any recruitment exercise, noting that the Corporation would advertise vacant positions whenever it has need to recruit.
Throwing more light on the method of operation of the fake job syndicate, the NNPC explained that the group deploys various means ranging from text messages, social media platforms and forged letters to invite gullible job seekers for non-existing job interviews after ostensibly extorting money from them.
‘’To this end, we wish to once again appeal to members of the public, particularly unsuspecting applicants to be wary of fraudulent invitations for job interviews at the NNPC Towers. Anyone who entertains such invitations or deals with peddlers of such invitation does so at his or her own risk,’’ the NNPC stated.