Respite seems to be on the way for Nigerians, as the much-anticipated Dangote refinery got its first 950,000-barrel crude supply yesterday (Thursday). The development of 650,000 b/d Dangote’s refinery indicated that fuel production at the new $19 billion facility is finally set to start after years of delays.
According to the report, the OTIS tanker loaded a 950,000-barrel cargo of Agbami crude on Dec. 6 and was discharged at the refinery’s terminal on Thursday. It is pertinent to note that the Suezmax tanker, chartered by state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Company, is the first of Dangote’s initial crude supplies as the giant new plant starts to ramp up operations, a West African oil trader said.
The privately owned refinery was officially completed in May but has yet to make any oil products due to a lack of domestic crude feedstock. Furthermore, NNPC, which owns a 20 per cent stake in the refinery, recently agreed to supply 6 million barrels of crude oil as feedstock to the refinery in December.
Operated by Chevron, Agbami is one of Nigeria’s largest deepwater developments pumping about 100,000 b/d in the central Niger Delta. Agbami produces light, sweet crude with a gravity of 47.9 API and a sulfur content of 0.04 per cent, according to Platts’ Periodic Table of Oil. The crude is known in the market for yielding a large proportion of naphtha and kerosene.
NNPCL has chartered a number of other tankers to transport further crude shipments from offshore fields to the refinery later this month, the oil trader said. The refinery’s startup has been repeatedly delayed since the project was unveiled in 2013, although most of the key units were installed in 2019.
The crude distillation unit has been designed to process 12 crudes at one time and has been engineered to process three Nigerian crude grades — Escravos, Bonny Light and Forcados. Once fully operational, the plant will yield 327,000 b/d of gasoline, 244,000 b/d of gasoil/diesel, 56,000 b/d of jet fuel/kerosene, as well as 290,000 mt/year of propane/LPG, according to previous Dangote presentations.