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IOCs manipulating crude oil prices to frustrate our refinery - Dangote laments

The Dangote Refinery said the IOCs are deliberately jacking up the high premium price of local crude above the market price.

IOCs manipulating crude oil prices to frustrate our refinery - Dangote laments

Devakumar Edwin, the Vice President, Oil and Gas at DIL made the accusation in a statement on Sunday, June 23, 2024, obtained by this reporter.

According to Edwin, IOCs are deliberately and wilfully frustrating the refinery’s efforts to buy local crude by jerking up the high premium price above the market price, thereby forcing it to import crude from countries as far as the United States, with its attendant high costs.

He also lamented the activity of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) in granting licences indiscriminately to marketers to import dirty refined products into the country.

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“The Federal Government issued 25 licences to build refinery and we are the only one that delivered on the promise. In effect, we deserve every support from the Government.

"It is good to note that from the start of production, more than 3.5 billion litres, which represents 90 per cent of our production, have been exported.

"We are calling on the Federal Government and regulators to give us the necessary support in order to create jobs and prosperity for the nation,” Edwin said while speaking to a group of Energy Editors at a one-day training programme, organised by the Dangote Group.

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The DIL Vice President stressed that while the NUPRC is pulling its strength to make crude available to the refinery, the IOCs continued to deploy every tactic to sabotage their efforts.

“While the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) are trying their best to allocate the crude for us, the IOCs are deliberately and willfully frustrating our efforts to buy the local crude.

"It would be recalled that the NUPRC, recently met with crude oil producers as well as refineries owners in Nigeria, in a bid to ensure full adherence to Domestic Crude Oil Supply Obligations (DCSO), as enunciated under section 109(2) of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA). It seems that the IOCs’ objective is to ensure that our Petroleum Refinery fails.

"It is either they are deliberately asking for ridiculous/humongous premium or, they simply state that crude is not available. At some point, we paid $6 over and above the market price. This has forced us to reduce our output as well as import crude from countries as far as the US, increasing our cost of production," he noted.

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Edwin concluded that available evidence suggests that the foreign oil companies are hell-bent on seeing that the Dangote Refinery fails.

“It appears that the objective of the IOCs is to ensure that Nigeria remains a country which exports Crude Oil and imports refined Petroleum Products.

"They (IOCs) are keen on exporting the raw materials to their home countries, creating employment and wealth for their countries, adding to their GDP, and dumping the expensive refined products into Nigeria - thus making us to be dependent on imported products.

"It is the same strategy the multinationals have been adopting in every commodity, making Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa to be facing unemployment and poverty, while they create wealth for themselves at our expense.

"This is exploitation - pure and simple. Unfortunately, the country is also playing into their hands by continuing to issue import licences, at the expense of our economy and at the cost of the health of the Nigerians who are exposed to carcinogenic products," he added.

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