Licensed 38 modular refineries at various stages of completion ― Kachikwu

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu

GRADUAL respite might be coming to the ways of Nigerians, especially illegal oil refinery operators in the Niger Delta as Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu has disclosed that no fewer than 38 modular refineries, which have been licensed, are at various stages of completion.

He disclosed this at the recent 2018 graduation ceremony of the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun, Delta State.

Kachikwu further hinted that two of the 28 refineries, one in Delta State and the other in Rivers, would be completed and inaugurated in December 2018.

Kachikwu, who was represented at the occasion, enthused that the Federal Government was increasing its attention to the eradication of gas flaring, utilization and monetisation of the abundant gas resources of the country.

Underscoring the benefits of modular refineries and eradication of gas flaring, Dr Kachikwu said environmental degradation, fuel and gas scarcity would be mitigated.

“As I mentioned during my last visit, the Federal Government is very much interested in constructing modular refineries.

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“The development of modular refineries would help to address the perennial shortage of domestic supply of petroleum products, create jobs and stop illegal refining of crude oil and the attendant deleterious impact of the practice on the environment.

“The Federal Government is increasing attention to the eradication of gas flaring, utilization, and monetisation of the abundant gas resources of the country.

“This is in the realisation of the place of natural gas as the energy of the future. Although it is not yet Uhuru as a substantial quantity of this precious resource is still being wasted through routine flaring, the Federal Government has become conscious of the need to be on the driver’s seat to drive the optimisation of value from this resource.

“The Federal Government has doubled her efforts in ensuring effective policies that would drive gas utilization and commercialization.

“We have decided to invest in the Seven Critical Gas Development Projects in Nigeria.

“These projects would deliver about 3.4 billion standard cubic feet of gas per day to bridge the medium-term supply gap by 2020.

“You are all aware that this administration approved the Nigeria National Gas Policy in 2017. Its implementation for the realization of its full potentials to the Nigerian economy is ongoing.

“The policy is key to the realization of a full-blown domestic gas market in Nigeria in the nearest future,” the former NNPC managing director noted.

He, however, lamented the dearth of critical manpower in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the gas industry, which, he averred, training institutes like PTI should be able to intervene in the area of training and certifying technicians, technologists, and engineers in gas and its related fields.