Nigerian govt looks up to Saudi Arabia to revive moribund refineries

Nov 30, 2018

In its determination to ensure all the refineries belonging to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) begin to perform at full capacity, the Federal Government, Wednesday, said that it would collaborate with Saudi Arabia.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu stated this in Abuja after playing host to the Saudi Minister for Oil and Energy, Khalid Al Falih.

According to Kachikwu, Nigeria was currently tapping from the vast experience of Saudi Arabia, adding that both countries would take strong business decisions on the matter in due course.

The minister, who was making comments on some of the discussions which the Federal Government had with the delegation from Saudi Arabia with respect to refineries at a press conference he addressed, said they looked at what the experience had been for the two countries.

He said: “As you know, the refineries have been very close to my heart. So, I did bring up the issues of experiences that we’ve had so far and he shared his own experiences in terms of successes that they’ve had.

“We’ve got an understanding to come look deeper into how they’ve done their own trajectory to get to where they are today and what experiences we can pick from there. No formal things agreed yet, but there is the willingness to collaborate and learn from one another. These are usually very strong business decisions and at the appropriate time, we will nosedive into the details of that.”

Kachikwu also stated that the meeting with the Saudi delegation was with respect to the current outlook in the global crude oil market, adding that Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, as members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, need to look at the prevalent dynamics in the crude market.

“OPEC is a very strong voice in the oil sector, not just in terms of satisfying the needs of members but also in stabilising the market fundamentals for the rest of the world. Quite frankly, working together is some of the fundamentals to what has been the resurgent OPEC and what we have done with pricing."

Also speaking at the press conference, Al Falih said his country was willing to share experiences with Nigeria on how to help Nigeria revamp its refineries.

Al Falih said: “Saudi Aramco has become successful to a large degree by building a number of large world scale refineries through joint ventures and finding very attractive financing schemes with foreign direct investments.

“There is technical, project management and financing success and Saudi Arabia is becoming a major exporter of value added products integrated with petrochemicals, which improves the profitability of manufacturing companies.”

The Saudi minister further revealed that he had invited Kachukwu to come and see how Saudi Arabian oil giant operates, adding that it would help to improve the operations of Nigerian refineries.

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