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Don’t connive with illegal refineries’ operators, DPR warns Depot owners

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Friday warned depot owners not to connive with operators of illegal refineries to avoid sale of adulterated products to unsuspecting consumers.

Mr Antai Asuquo, the Warri Zonal Operations Controller, gave the warning at the “2019 Annual General Meeting between DPR and the Depot and Petroleum Product Marketers Association (DAPPMA) in Warri.

“We should be careful of the ‘third parties’ that may want to influence us to accept adulterated products into our facilities. It is very tempting. It can ruin our huge investment.

“Investigation is going on right now that some depot owners are into sharp practices; they are conniving with people that burn products in the creeks.

“Any depot caught with confirmed evidence that they indulge in that practice, their licences will be withdrawn, this is government policy,” he said.

Asuquo also urged the people to leverage on the modern technology to optimise their operations and maximised the economic of scale inherent in the petroleum business.

“Technology is revolving fast, and it is those on top of their game in terms of working with the most recent advancement that will have an edge in the business.

“We need to get the knowledge and spirit on our personnel to sustain our business so that we can remain relevant,” he said.

Asuquo advised them to always carryout periodic calibration of the measuring instruments for accuracy under direct supervision of DPR officials.

He also advised them to have their floating rule safety device intact, noting that they were dealing with highly inflammable products.

“Tanks that are older than 10 years should be calibrated every five year, while those below 10 years should be calibrated every two year, because they are exposed to all manner of weather,” he said.

Asuquo urged the people to be safety cautious at all time and manage traffic in their areas of operations in the interest of their business and the host communities.

He said the aim of the meeting was to reappraise the performance of the operators in the last one year and how to sustain the success.

The meeting, according to him, was also to brainstorm on how to strengthen the existing mutual relationship and understanding between the regulatory agency and the operators.

He said this had led to value addition in the petroleum business, storage and transportation over the years.

Also, Mr Victor Ojiakor, DPR Team Leader, Operations, Warri, said that plan was underway to introduce the use of automated machines to clean tanks as against the manner being used by the operators.

Ojiakor also said the regulatory agency has seasoned engineers that monitored the petroleum products in the depot.

Also, Mr Victor Ohwodiasa, DPR Manager, Gas, said that there was huge potential in the gas industry.

Ohwodiasa urged people to leverage on the opportunity to expand their businesses.

“Nigeria is the second largest producer of gas in Africa. Our gas utilisation is growing very fast.

“We should take advantage of the opportunity available in the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), which is used for cooking, heating, driving vehicles and enhance clean environment,” he said.

Commenting, Mr Raphael Biu, the Terminal Manager, Matrix Energy Limited, spoke on behalf of the other depot owners.

Biu said Matrix would partner DPR in creating awareness on climate change and also enlightened people on the use of cleaner gas.

“Carbon emission of LPG is quite cleaner. We carry out environmental impact assessment, we take safety and environment very seriously,” he said.