A recent report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has projected that the Dangote Refinery, nearing completion in Nigeria, will have a significant impact on the country’s petroleum industry. The report anticipates that by 2028, the refinery will lead to further price increases in the sector. The EIU’s forecast is based on several developments in the Nigerian petroleum industry, including:
1. Near Completion of the Dangote Refinery: The imminent operational status of the Dangote Refinery plays a pivotal role in this projection. The refinery, one of the largest in Africa, is expected to transform Nigeria’s refining capacity significantly.
2. Stability in the Niger Delta: Over the years, achieving stability in the Niger Delta region has been a significant challenge for the petroleum industry. Recent improvements in this regard have bolstered the industry’s prospects.
3. Commercialization of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC): The EIU report highlights the full commercialization of NNPC, which will enable the company to operate as a commercial entity, in accordance with the 2021 Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
The EIU suggests that the Dangote Refinery’s operation will lead to further deregulation of prices in the Nigerian petroleum market. This move is designed to encourage the refinery to sell its products domestically rather than exporting them. It aligns with the PIA’s provisions and aims to stimulate the local market.
The report also indicates that the commercialization of NNPC will enhance investor confidence. Multinational venture partnerships with NNPC are expected to become more confident about meeting their financial commitments. This boost in confidence is attributed to the new regulatory framework and the strategic changes in the petroleum industry.
Despite a decade of declining oil output, the EIU’s report predicts a gradual increase in production. It estimates an increase from an average of 1.12 million barrels per day in 2022 to 1.4 million barrels per day in 2028. This anticipated growth is set to present operational challenges, especially in the Niger Delta.
In a recent interview with S&P Global Commodity Insights, Devakumar Edwin, a senior executive director at the Dangote Group, outlined the refinery’s production timeline. He mentioned that the refinery would commence with the production of diesel and aviation fuel in October, with an output of approximately 370,000 barrels per day. By November 30, the refinery is set to gradually ramp up production to reach its full capacity of 650,000 barrels per day, particularly in the production of petrol, addressing a critical aspect of Nigeria’s fuel demand.
The Dangote Refinery, commissioned in May 2023, has faced delays but is now gearing up to commence production, heralding a new era in Nigeria’s petroleum industry. As it becomes fully operational, it is expected to have a substantial influence on the local market, though these changes may also lead to upward pressure on prices.
The impact of the refinery’s operation will be closely monitored, as it may bring both opportunities and challenges to the Nigerian petroleum sector.