Nigeria shutters two refineries following pipeline attacks

Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. (NNPC) has stopped production at two of its three major refineries amid disruptions to feedstock availability following mid-January attacks by Nigerian militants on crude oil pipelines that supply the processing sites.

NNPC simultaneously suspended operations on Jan. 17 at subsidiaries Kaduna Refining Co.’s 110,000-b/d refinery, Kaduna state, and Port Harcourt Refining Co.’s 210,000-b/d two-plant refining complex, Rivers state, after the Escravos-Warri crude supply line to the Kaduna refinery and Bonny-Okrika crude pipeline to the Port Harcourt complex suffered breaches as a result of the attacks, NNPC said in a series of recent posts to its social media accounts.

“In response to the unexpected setback, we have activated comprehensive remedial measures to sustain the prevailing stability in the supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country,” the state oil corporation said.

NNPC additionally confirmed that subsidiary Warri Refining and Petrochemicals Co.’s 125,000-b/d refinery in eastern Nigeria’s Delta state remains operational at a current fuel production rate of about 1.4 million l./day.

Prior to the Jan. 17 plant shutdowns, fuel production at the Port Harcourt and Kaduna refineries averaged about 4.1 million l./day and 1.3 million l./day, respectively, NNPC said.

The company did not disclose details regarding timelines for repairs to the pipelines or the possible restart of production at the refineries.

In December, NNPC achieved technical restarts of all three refineries following a series of prolonged operational and maintenance issues that left much of Nigeria’s nameplate refining capacity idled, according to the company’s monthly newsletter for December 2015.

As of early January, combined fuel production from the Port Harcourt, Kaduna, and Warri refineries averaged about 6.8 million l./day, which at the time, was projected to increase to more than 10 million l./day by the month’s end, NNPC said in a Jan. 5 release.

Contact Robert Brelsford at

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