The Dangote Refinery, located on the outskirts of Lagos, is gearing up for the commencement of production as it prepares to receive its first crude oil cargo. The arrival of the cargo from the Agbami field is seen as a significant step toward the refinery’s operation and is expected to contribute to Nigeria’s efforts to reduce reliance on gasoline imports.
- Crude Oil Cargo Arrival:
- The first crude oil cargo to signal the initiation of petroleum product production is set to arrive at the Dangote refinery receiving terminal on December 7. The OTIS tanker, carrying a 950,000 barrel cargo of Nigeria’s Agbami crude, is en route to Lekki, the nearest land port to the refinery.
- Initiation of Crude Supplies:
- The tanker’s arrival is seen as the commencement of crude supplies for the Dangote Refinery’s operations. Despite the refinery’s official completion in May, the lack of domestic crude feedstock had delayed oil product manufacturing.
- Production Scaling Down:
- Aliko Dangote, the Chairman of Dangote Industries Limited, mentioned in a recent interview that the refinery is scaling down production to start with 350,000 barrels per day, contrary to the initially planned 650,000 barrels per day.
- Crude Feedstock Agreement:
- The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), which holds a 20% stake in the refinery, has entered into an agreement to supply six million barrels of crude oil as feedstock to the Dangote refinery in December. This agreement aims to kickstart the refinery’s operations.
- Scheduled Crude Supplies:
- The NNPC has chartered further shipments from various Nigerian offshore fields to the refinery, signifying the beginning of a series of scheduled crude supplies throughout December.
- Refinery Design and Capacity:
- The Dangote Refinery is designed to process multiple crudes concurrently, including Nigerian crude grades such as Escravos, Bonny Light, and Forcados. The facility is expected to produce various petroleum products, including gasoline, gasoil/diesel, jet fuel/kerosene, and propane/LPG.
- Hope for Nigeria’s Self-Sufficiency:
- The commencement of Dangote’s operations is seen as a positive development for Nigeria’s goal to reduce its reliance on gasoline imports. The refinery has the potential to transform Nigeria’s oil industry landscape and contribute to self-sufficiency in gasoline production by the 2040s.
- Full Operational Capacity:
- While Dangote officials expect an initial output of 370,000 barrels per day, industry analysts anticipate the refinery to achieve its full operational capacity around mid-2025, with potential delays still looming.
Conclusion: The imminent arrival of the first crude oil cargo at the Dangote Refinery marks a significant milestone in Nigeria’s quest for self-sufficiency in petroleum product production. The refinery’s initiation of operations is expected to contribute to the transformation of Nigeria’s oil industry landscape and address the country’s gasoline import challenges.