Nigeria’s OPEC Status: Lowest refining member averages 10,600 BPD over 5 years

Nigeria's OPEC Status: Lowest refining member averages 10,600 BPD over 5 years
Nigeria's OPEC Status: Lowest refining member averages 10,600 BPD over 5 years

Nigeria has been identified by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as its least proficient member in terms of oil refining.

Over a span of five years, Nigeria’s average daily refining output amounted to a mere 10,600 barrels.

Nigeria’s refining challenges in contrast to Saudi Arabia’s success

The data, as reported in the latest OPEC Annual Statistical Bulletin for 2023, reveals that Nigeria’s refining performance stood at 33,000 barrels per day in 2018, declining to 8,000 in 2019, 1,000 in 2020, 5,000 in 2021, and 6,000 in 2022.

In stark contrast, Saudi Arabia emerged as the top-performing refining member of OPEC, boasting an average equivalent of 2.6 million barrels per day during the same period.

Specifically, Saudi Arabia’s refining figures reached 2.8 million barrels per day in 2018, 2.6 million in 2019, 2.3 million in 2020, 2.5 million in 2021, and 2.9 million in 2022.

It’s worth noting that Saudi Arabia possesses five fully operational refineries, whereas Nigeria has four non-functional state-owned refineries along with some privately-owned facilities.

Nigeria’s continued reliance on petroleum product imports from the global market can be attributed to inconsistent policies, inadequate long-term funding, and challenges related to securing foreign exchange and feedstock for new refinery construction.

Industry experts have cited past opportunities for investors to participate in crude oil lifting as an incentive for refinery investments.

However, they also point out the lack of access to long-term funds, foreign exchange limitations, and the absence of a reliable crude oil supply as obstacles to sustained progress.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri, expressed optimism during an inspection of the Port Harcourt Refining Company, stating that the federal government aims to cease fuel importation by 2024.

He indicated that refineries across the country were undergoing upgrades, and this endeavor would lead to increased fuel supply and economic improvement in Nigeria.