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Nigeria’s New Oil Minister’s Ambitious Goal

Heineken Lokpobiri, who re-started serving as Nigeria’s minister of state for petroleum this week announced that the country expects all four oil refineries to be ready by the end of the year, with the southern Port Harcourt facility possibly beginning operations as early as December. Due to insufficient capacity and poor maintenance, Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, imports virtually all of its refined petroleum requirements. The 110,000-barrel Kaduna facility in the north and three facilities in the oil-rich Niger delta, including the 125,000-barrel Warri refinery, are among four state-owned deteriorating refineries that formerly produced a combined 4450,000 barrels per day. Following the award of the contract for the work to be completed in 2021 to Italy’s Tecnimont, the Port Harcourt refinery is undertaking a $1.5 billion overhaul. The oil ministry estimated in April of last year that the renovation would take 44 months to complete. The nation is now resting its hopes on a 650,000-barrel-per-day refinery being built by Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, to put a halt to gasoline imports.