Diezani-Alison-MaduThe minister of petroleum resources Diezani Alison- Madueke said only full deregulation of downstream oil sector can solve the problems of fuel refining in the country.

Speaking at the ministerial platform in Abuja the minister said Nigerians will continue to agitate for refining of fuel within but without deregulation nothing tangible will happen.

“We can’t eat our cake and have it, without deregulating of the downstream oil sectors, investors will not come and invest, so we must think of deregulating our downstream sooner or later for us to have a lasting solution”

She said efforts to revive the current refineries are on top gear, as already the turnaround maintenance of the three refineries is ongoing.

According to her even at that, there are interested investors in the refineries and already some private investors are in the sector, assuring that very soon some of them will start operation.

Alison-Madueke disclosed that the Turn-Around maintenance of the Port-Harcourt Refinery will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2013 while work on Kaduna and Warri Refineries is expected to be concluded by the fourth quarter of 2014.

She stated that massive pipelines and inland depots rehabilitation has also been carried out with long moribund Kaduna – Suleja, Kaduna – Gusau, Suleja – Minna, Kaduna – Jos and Jos – Gombe pipelines and adjoining depots now operational, besides the Aba and Benin depots that had earlier been commissioned.

She lamented the insistent vandalism and oil theft in the Niger Delta region which seriously brought down the crude oil production which appreciated in 2011 has drastically came down in recent times.

Presenting the ministry’s Mid-Term score-card event she highlighted the gains of the gas revolution to include the massive boost in gas to power supply for electricity generation up to 5GW (gigawatts), establishment of commercial framework for gas, massive development of gas infrastructure across the country and the stimulation of gas-based industrialization with the Ogidigben Gas City in Delta State as the flagship project with a capacity to create 100,000 jobs at the construction stage.

In a presentation titled ‘Moving the Oil and Gas Industry to the Next Level’, the Minister explained that Nigeria with gas reserves of 182Tcf (trillion cubic feet) as at the end of 2012 compared with total crude oil reserves of 36.8 billion barrels for the same period is more of a gas country than a crude oil country and that the global shift to the use of gas as a cleaner energy  makes the emphasis on gas development as directed by President Jonathan an imperative action for sustainable long term economic development of the country.


Information from Daily Trust was used in this report