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Factual Reportage

After its recent assurance that the Port Harcourt refinery will commence production in two weeks time, after failing to meet the first target of December 2023, the federal government has again expressed fears that the major petrochemical refineries in the country may not have enough crude to commence full operation when the ongoing rehabilitation work is completed

The Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, who expressed the fear on Tuesday in Abuja, said the newly inaugurated Dangote Petrochemical refinery, Port Harcourt refinery, Warri Refinery, Kaduna refinery and modular refineries in the country may not get enough crude oil locally for the production of petroleum products without increase in production in the sector.

Lokpobiri, who spoke at the 2024 sector retreat for the ministry, with the theme: ‘Building Synergy for Enhanced Development in the Oil and Gas Sector.’ noted that the unending crude oil theft in the country has led to the nation’s low production challenges

The minister said the retreat was convened to discuss how to achieve the targets and mandates set for the ministry by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the ministerial retreat held in November, 2023.

He said: “The first target is to see how we can ramp up production, and then we can meet our target in terms of increase in revenue, meet our obligation in the mid-stream and upstream.

“One of the challenges I am afraid of is, if we finish fixing our refineries, we will be unable to get feed stocks. It will be very embarrassing that we finish Port Harcourt, Kaduna, Warri and Dangote and BUA and we don’t have feed stocks.”

Recall that the minister had first raised the alarm in November, 2023, when he spoke to State House correspondents during a three-day retreat at the Presidential Villa.

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