By John Ikani
Nigeria’s state oil firm, NNPC Ltd, is set to deliver up to six crude oil cargoes to the new 650,000 barrel-per-day Dangote oil refinery in December for test runs, according to informed industry sources.
Funded by Africa’s wealthiest individual, Aliko Dangote, this refinery is poised to revolutionize oil trading in the Atlantic Basin.
It will diminish a key market for fuels from Europe and the United States, which have traditionally fueled vehicles and generators across the continent.
Situated in the Lekki free trade zone near Lagos, the refinery is expected to transform Nigeria, a notable oil producer, into a net exporter of fuels, a significant milestone for the OPEC member nation that has been predominantly reliant on imports.
An NNPC official, requesting anonymity, revealed the plan to supply six cargoes, equivalent to 200,000 barrels per day, during December as part of a year-long agreement.
Future volumes will be determined through mutual agreement and availability.
Additional sources mentioned a plan for approximately 4-5 cargoes, totalling at least 130,000 barrels per day.
A representative from the Dangote Group indicated that “some of the agreements have confidentiality clauses” when asked about the NNPC supply deal.
It’s worth noting that NNPC holds a 20% stake in the refinery.
The refinery initiated its commissioning process in May this year, albeit after facing significant delays and a cost increase from the initial estimates of $12-14 billion to $19 billion.
The commissioning process involves rigorous testing of various units responsible for producing gasoline, diesel, and ensuring their responsiveness to control panels.