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ND Western MD calls for more modular refineries

An energy expert, Dr Layi Fatona, has said for Nigeria to be energy-independent, it has to encourage the building of more small-sized refineries by marginal field operators.

He said this at the annual lecture of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society/Mobil themed, ‘Nigeria’s energy independence-recipe for its attainment.’

Fatona who was the guest lecturer at the event, noted that the volume of production of oil by the modular refineries would make use of the crude oil being exported for internal production.

This, he said, would steadily and increasingly lead to Nigeria exporting less of its crude oil and at the same time importing less of refined petroleum products.

He said, “Building more small to medium-sized modular refineries by independent marginal field operators, who by elimination would have removed their crude oil production volumes from the export category, moving same to internally processed production.

“This will ensure that Nigeria exports less of its crude oil production and at the same time importing less of refined products, yearly.”

Fatona, who described energy independence as an emotional subject to him, said this should also be a major concern to Nigerians, “as it is a goal worth reaching for.”

While he lamented that the country took most of its substantial income from oil and gas exports to pay for refined petroleum products imports, he noted that the International Oil Companies “are today significant investors with accountabilities only to their respective home offices and investors. It will be difficult to expect a shift in their respective philosophy and focus.”

Fatona who is the managing director, ND Western Limited, said it would be difficult to expect a shift in their philosophy and focus.

He added that their ‘energy consignment’ and ‘dedicated to export situation’ could and would change as wished, willed and expected for Nigeria’s future purpose without a dedicated and comprehensive study of Nigeria’s energy economy within its socio-political circumstances.

He said the shift in focus and expectations therefore, would then rightly fell on the steps of the newly emerging Independent Nigerian Petroleum Producing Group.

Among other suggestions for the nation’s energy independence included increasing domestic oil and gas production for internal processing, rather than for export, deliberate and focused investments in energy forms that would bring independence.

Earlier, the Chairman of the event, Mr Jim Orife, a fellow of the NMGS, and the President, NMGS, Simon Nkom, underscored the importance of this year’s annual lecture as it focused on energy.

Nkom added that the NMGS would continue to partner the government in driving policies that would enhance energy sufficiency.

The Exploration Manager of Mobil Exploration Unlimited and President of Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists, represented by Mr Gbenga Olumurewa, said that the NMGS/Mobil annual lecture was a means of giving back to the society.

He reiterated the continuous support of the organisation to the annual lecture.

Source:  The Punch