New Orient Petroleum Resources refinery to boost Nigerian oil production

Goodluck Jonathan OPR NigeriaPresident Jonathan inaugurated the refinery on 30 August. (Image source: GDK/Wikimedia Commons)Orient Petroleum Resources (OPR) has announced that by December 2013 it will be processing 20,000 barrels of crude oil per day at a new oil refinery in south-eastern Nigeria

Last month, the government commissioned OPR to develop an oil production facility in Aguleri, Anambra State, located close to its two oil blocks, OPL 915 and 916.

At the inauguration of the facility on 30 August 2012, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said, “OPR decided in early 2011 to fast-track the development of its two oil blocks, commencing with drilling rig activities in one of its oil wells in OPL 915, which has culminated in the present oil production test.

“OPR’s analysis of the field data, together with this production test, has established the presence of economically developable oil reserves in the Anambra basin. 

“Following interpretation of the 3D seismic data, OPR plans to drill some high capacity wells to guarantee the crude oil feedstock for the Orient refinery. These oil development activities will facilitate the funding and early completion of the refinery, expected by the end of 2013,” he added. 

Despite being one of the top ten oil producers in the world, Nigeria imports petroleum products and then supplies them locally at a subsidised rate, accumulating a heavy financial burden on the country’s budget. This year, Nigeria has to date spent US$5.5bn on fuel subsidies.

The situation has been worsened by the prolonged dilapidated state of its refineries, with previous efforts to build new refineries being either cancelled or delayed.

According to Reuters, Africa’s biggest oil producer currently has only four refineries, with an estimated production capacity of 445,000 bpd, but their eventual production level is only 30 per cent of the reported capacity.

Emeka Anyaoku, chairman of OPR, said, “We expect that by the end of next year we should be refining 20,000 barrels of oil everyday and gradually after that we will build up to 35,000 then 55,000 and possibly higher.”

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