Investors in the oil and gas industry are being driven by the recent deregulation of premium motor spirit to establish modular refineries alongside seven refineries already at various completion levels, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has said.
Sarki Auwalu, the Director of the DPR, made the disclosure in a statement on the agency’s website on Friday, adding that Nigeria was on course to ramping up fuel production to the level that will catapult it to a net exporter come 2022.
“We are looking at about 750,000 barrels per day and that is excluding the four refineries owned by the government,” the regulator head said.
According to him, petrol will ultimately become a product only affordable to the rich given that the Nigerian government is advocating the adoption of liquefied petroleum gas, compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas, which are comparatively cheap.
Engagements across the sector are currently pursued to speed up migration to cleaner automotive fuel under government’s autogas policy and deepen the utilisation of Nigeria’s copious gas resources.
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The DPR boss noted that gas, as an alternative energy source, would be a buffer for the adverse consequence of petrol deregulation.
“Nigerians should have a choice of energy they want to use. That is price freedom. We want motorists to switch to autogas (CNG, LPG, or LNG) because it is cheaper and cleaner than petrol.
“In the next two years, PMS will be for people who have money. We believe that this will reduce the cost of transportation, which will positively affect other sectors of the economy.”
Much as Nigeria’s proven gas reserve is 203 trillion cubic feet, the utilisation level still comes to 5.5%, Auwalu said.
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