Port Harcourt Refineries Company (PHRC), and the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC), processed 331,705 Metric Tonnes (MT) of crude oil in October last year.
The combined value of output by the three refineries (at import parity price) for the month of October 2017 amounted to ₦43.27billion.
This, according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), translates to a combined yield efficiency of 90.48 per cent compared to crude processed in September 2017 of 115,441MT, which translates to a combined yield efficiency of 78.09 per cent.
NNPC, which made this disclosure in its Refineries Operation report, said the refineries produced 228,222MT of finished petroleum products, and 71,919MT of intermediate products out of 331,705MT of crude processed at a combined capacity utilisation of 17.63 per cent compared to 6.34 per cent combined capacity utilisation achieved in the month of September 2017.
The Corporation attributed the improved operational performance recorded to increase in crude processed by PHRC and WRPC, while the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC), remained shut down during the month under review.
The on-going revamping of the refineries, according to NNPC, will enhance capacity utilisation once completed.
It stated: "The Corporation has been adopting a Merchant Plant Refineries Business Model since January 2017. The model takes cognizance of the Products Worth and Crude Costs. The combined value of output by the three refineries (at import parity price) for the month of October 2017 amounted to ₦43.27 billion while the associated Crude plus freight costs and operational expenses were ₦42.08 billion and ₦8.95 billion respectively. This resulted to an operating deficit of ₦7.76 billion by the refineries. Also, during the period under review, refineries combined capacity utilization was 17.63 per cent."
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, and Board Chairman, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, said it was imperative to explore options which would open up the market. This is to allow oil marketers to import petroleum products and complement the ongoing efforts by the NNPC to sustain the sanitisation of the products supply and distribution matrix.
The Minister listed some of the measures that may paved the way to marketers' participation in the fuel import regime to include: flexible tax-wave window to accommodate extraneous cost elements, an exchange rate modulation programme and price plurality regime, which could allow the Marketers sell at different a price from the NNPC's.
The Minister said the 18-months emergency window would be boosted with a quick revamp and effective use of the nation's pipeline infrastructure, saying pipeline remains the most reliable means of transporting petroleum products.
He however noted that ultimately what the country needed is to have its refineries working, saying it makes better business sense to add value to crude oil than sell the commodity raw.
The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said the Corporation had made arrangements to import additional cargoes of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) between January and March 2018, with a view to keeping the country wet, in addition to ensuring a beef-up of the nation's strategic reserves.
The NNPC GMD explained that the expected cargoes would also help to bridge the identified leakages in the system.
The additional volumes are premised on the prevailing NNPC one-cargo-per day fuel import arrangement designed to guarantee the daily discharge of over 40 million litres of petrol.
As part of measures to sustain the current fuel supply situation, Baru said in addition to the increased volume of products importation, the Corporation is also working in consultation with other stakeholders to increase the throughput arrangement with members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN). This is however, subject to acceptable guidelines to be reached with the Group.