In a landmark moment for Nigeria’s oil industry, Dangote Refinery marked a historic milestone on Thursday as it received the first shipment of crude oil, signaling the imminent commencement of its $20 billion operations.
The highly anticipated arrival was made by the OTIS (crude oil) tanker, carrying a substantial 950,000-barrel cargo of Nigeria’s Agbami crude. The tanker set sail on December 6 and is currently en route to Lekki, the nearest land port to Dangote’s offshore crude receiving terminal, according to Dailytrust.
Chartered by the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), this tanker represents the initial crude supply for Dangote’s state-of-the-art refinery, marking a crucial step as the facility gears up for production.
The official estimated arrival time for the Suezmax tanker was Thursday, December 7, at 8 pm. This significant development follows the official commissioning of the refinery by former President Muhammadu Buhari in May, raising expectations for the commencement of full-scale operations.
NNPC, which holds a 20% stake in the refinery, recently entered into an agreement to supply 6 million barrels of crude oil as feedstock to Dangote Refinery in December, aimed at jumpstarting its operations.
Agbami, operated by Chevron, is a major deepwater development in Nigeria, boasting a daily output of approximately 100,000 b/d in the central Niger Delta. Known for its light sweet crude qualities, Agbami yields significant proportions of naphtha and kerosene.
NNPC has chartered further shipments from various Nigerian offshore fields to the refinery, marking the beginning of a series of scheduled crude supplies throughout this month, according to industry sources.
Designed to process multiple crudes concurrently, Dangote Refinery aims to process three Nigerian crude grades — Escravos, Bonny Light, and Forcados.
An inside source at Dangote revealed that the refinery’s management has made arrangements to receive the shipment, with plans to commence the necessary regulatory clearance and barging of the crude.
Oil and gas expert, Jasper Nwachukwu, emphasized the need for domestic supply to ensure the refinery’s sustainability and maximize benefits for Nigeria as an oil-producing nation. Nwachukwu stressed the importance of Nigeria directly supplying Dangote Refinery, underlining the significance of this development for the country.