Nigeria’s refineries are expected to restart before the end of February, after attacks on their feedstock pipelines forced their closure in January, Reuters reported. The state oil company halted crude flows and shut down the refineries last month after the key pipelines feeding the plants were attacked. The 150,000b/d Port Harcourt refinery is expected to restart its crude distillation unit after receiving crude supplies by sea to be followed by a resumption in pipeline supplies. Meanwhile, it has still been able to produce gasoline from its fluid catalytic converter, TheNewsNigeria added.
In Nigeria’s southern state of Bayelsa, crude oil pipeline was attacked on January 28th, following a previous one in Gbaramatu kingdom Delta state.
On top of being neglected for years, the refineries have always had supply problems due to attempts to steal oil via pipeline taps. It forced the state firm to switch to expensive crude deliveries by sea that cost more than $7 per barrel.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari is keen to revamp the plants in order to wean the country off gasoline imports, but a return of militancy targeting the pipelines in the oil-rich Niger Delta region could scupper these plans.