The oil refinery in Warri has been shut down temporarily and operations will resume by early next week a spokesman for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said yesterday.
Oil sales account for about 70% of government revenue in Africa’s top crude producer.
It imports most of the fuel used by its 170 million inhabitants, however, because of its ageing, inefficient refineries in Warri, Kaduna and Port Harcourt.
NNPC spokesman Ohi Alegbe said the decision to shut down the Warri refinery was taken because there was insufficient crude oil in the system.
“They are supposed to have at least a 25-day sufficiency in the supply of crude. So because of the depletion in the volume of crude they have had to temporarily shut down,” said Alegbe. “It was shut down on Monday. This is a temporary measure and it should be up and running by Tuesday,” he said.
The move comes a day after NNPC announced it had cancelled its contract for the delivery of crude to Nigeria’s refineries.
Rooting out mismanagement
The state oil company also said on Thursday it has reduced the number of off-takers that will emerge after a competitive bid for the proposed 2015/16 crude oil term contract to 16 from 43.
NNPC, which announced a raft of measures aimed at rooting out mismanagement in Nigeria’s oil sector, said it had extended invitations to Mobil and Forte Oil, in addition to an earlier published list, to bid for the new proposed offshore processing agreement.