It has been revealed that Nigeria’s state oil corporation, NNPC Ltd, is set to provide the Dangote oil refinery with crude oil for testing purposes in a groundbreaking deal. This landmark agreement, exclusively reported by Reuters, marks a pivotal moment in the development of the 650,000 barrel-per-day Dangote oil refinery, funded by Africa’s wealthiest individual, Aliko Dangote.
The Dangote refinery, situated in the Lekki free trade zone near Lagos, is on the cusp of transforming the landscape of oil trading in the Atlantic Basin. Once fully operational, it is expected to redefine the dynamics of fuel distribution on the African continent, thereby reshaping the energy landscape.
Sources reveal that the NNPC, which has a 20% stake in the refinery, will deliver up to six crude oil cargoes in December to facilitate crucial testing activities. A senior NNPC official, who chose to remain anonymous, has specified that these six cargoes, equivalent to 200,000 barrels per day, form part of a one-year agreement, with volumes for the following months contingent upon mutual agreement and availability.
Additional industry sources suggest that the NNPC’s supply deal includes approximately 4-5 cargoes, representing at least 130,000 barrels per day. A representative from the Dangote Group, who requested anonymity, acknowledged the existence of confidentiality clauses within the agreements but refrained from offering further details.
This development signifies a significant step towards Nigeria’s aspiration to transition from being a nation heavily reliant on fuel imports to becoming a net exporter of fuel. It also signifies the culmination of years of effort and substantial investment in the Dangote refinery, which commenced the commissioning process in May this year. Despite substantial delays and cost overruns that saw the project’s budget swell from initial estimates of $12–14 billion to a final cost of $19 billion, the refinery’s commissioning is underway.
This process encompasses rigorous testing of the diverse units responsible for producing a range of petroleum products, including gasoline and diesel, while ensuring their seamless integration with control panels.