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Dangote refinery gets NMDPRA’s approval to refine PMS

…To begin export of 10ppm diesel in June

Nigeria’s 650,000 barrels per day Dangote refinery will start exporting diesel conforming to European specifications along with gasoline (petrol) sales in June.

The Vice President for Oil and Gas, Devakumar Edwin, said over the weekend, “We expect before the end of next month we’ll also have gasoline in the market, and we’ll also have Euro V diesel for export, that is below 10ppm,” at a Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) event in Lagos.

Dangote Chief Executive, Aliko Dangote reiterated the planned June start for petrol on May 17. Dangote Refinery started its crude distillation unit in January, and received approval to start up a mild hydrocracker with its desulphurisation units in March.

A source at Nigeria’s downstream regulator, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) said the refinery has now received approval to start its residual fluid catalytic cracker. This implies that the facility can begin the refining of petrol.

Dangote started naphtha exports in March, low-sulphur straight-run fuel oil (LSSR) exports in May and began selling diesel and jet fuel domestically in April.

It has a waiver from NMDPRA to sell diesel with sulphur levels above 600ppm into the local market. At full capacity Dangote will be able to more than meet Nigerian domestic gasoline demand.

But a trader in the region said gasoline production is unlikely to start next month, citing the amount of cargo to be delivered to the country.

Exports of naphtha, a key blending component in finished-grade gasoline, are continuing from the refinery, with 80,000t due to load on May 31, according to Kpler.

Edwin, who hinted at a slowing of spot sales, said, “We had a meeting to see, probably, how we can slow down our sales because we have already made quite a few forward bookings.”

“Export, for example, aviation/jet, the last vessel went to the Caribbean islands. The next vessel we are booking for the US market,” he added.

Dangote recently added TotalEnergies as a buyer in a deal that could see the French company take refined products for its African network of 4,800 retail fuel stations, including more than 540 in Nigeria.

The deal could also see the oil major supply crude to the refinery. A source told Argus there is a deal for TotalEnergies to supply two crude cargoes each month, or around 2 million barrels.

Indications based on the refinery’s slate to date and TotalEnergies’ Nigerian crude equity suggest one cargo of the very light Amenam blend one of Bonny Light, the report added.

Meanwhile, in a drive towards its goal of boosting Nigeria’s oil production, the Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Gbenga Komolafe received a delegation from Schlumberger, led by its global President, Mr. Olivier Le Peuch, at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.

The high-level meeting between the NUPRC chief and officials of Schlumberger, the commission said, underscored its commitment to fostering strategic partnerships that would enhance Nigeria’s oil production and operational efficiency.

The purpose of the visit, a statement from the oil sector regulator stressed, was to explore specific areas of collaboration and partnership between both organisations.

Komolafe engaged the company  in an extensive discussion aimed at cultivating a long-term partnership that aligns with the commission’s goals and regulatory framework.

During the meeting, Komolafe emphasised that the NUPRC adopt a participatory and collaborative approach to facilitate ease of doing business in the oil sector.

He highlighted several of the commission’s achievements since its inception in 2021 under the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

Key achievements, he said include the establishment of 17 regulations aimed at improving industry standards and operational efficiency.

Additionally, he said the re-engineering of the Nigeria National Data Repository (NDR) has been a significant milestone, promoting the monetisation of oil blocks and aligning regulations with global energy transition initiatives and carbon footprint reduction goals.

The NUPRC chief executive also mentioned the ongoing licensing rounds as a testament to the commission’s proactive approach in regulating the sector.

One notable achievement, he noted, was the NUPRC’s commitment to eliminating gas flaring and commercialising flared gas under the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGCP).

The initiative, he pointed out, has designated 49 flare sites for commercialisation, demonstrating the commission’s dedication to environmental sustainability and resource optimisation.

Speaking on behalf of SLB Global, Mr. Olivier Le Peuch expressed satisfaction with the commission’s regulatory framework and indicated SLB Global’s readiness to collaborate.

 He reiterated the importance of such partnerships in unlocking Nigeria’s onshore and offshore oil potential, particularly through leveraging advanced technology.

Areas of mutual interest discussed included the development of Nigeria’s frontier basins and the integration of innovative technologies to enhance exploration and production efficiencies.

“At the end of the meeting, it was agreed that a contact team would be established to further investigate and identify more opportunities for collaboration.

“The team will focus on expanding the scope of mutual interests and ensuring that both organisations can effectively work together to achieve their shared objectives,” the statement added.

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