Baker Hughes Eyes Nigerian Refineries, Marginal Fields

 Baker Hughes Eyes Nigerian Refineries, Marginal Fields

Baker Hughes, a global oil and gas conglomerate, has committed to investing in Nigerian refineries, as well as participating in the forthcoming bid round for marginal oil fields in Nigeria.

Baker Hughes, headquartered in Houston, US, is one of the world’s largest oil field services companies operating in over 120 countries.

Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of state for petroleum resources (Oil), engaged the Chairman/President of Baker Hughes, Lorenzo Simonelli, at a meeting on the sidelines of the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference in the United Arab Emirates.

Nneamaka Okafor, Special Adviser to the petroleum minister on media and communications, said in a statement issued in Abuja that during the meeting, Baker Hughes “expressed keen interest in sustaining and enhancing their investment in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, including the readiness to invest in refineries.”

Simonelli reiterated his company’s commitment to contributing to the energy transformation agenda of the Federal Government.

“Nigeria is a blessed nation with vast potentials and great opportunities in diverse sectors. As a partner with the Federal Government over the years, we are inspired to direct investment in the refinery domain of oil and gas. Therefore, whatever we can do to support to get started, I am willing to do that even now,” he said.

In addition to highlighting the critical position that Nigeria plays in the global energy scene, Simonelli emphasized the significance of public-private partnerships in fostering significant advancement.

In response, Lokpobiri stated that Baker Hughes’ action will support Nigeria’s efforts to enhance its production of gas and oil as well as its domestic processing of crude oil.

The minister emphasized the company’s accomplishments over the years and voiced hope for strengthening the partnership with more funding for the country’s oil and gas sector.

Assuring the Baker Hughes delegation that sufficient steps would be taken to enable the smooth realization of Baker Hughes’ investment plans, he reaffirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to fostering investments in the refinery industry.

“I am very happy that you have joined other companies in identifying the great opportunities and government’s favourable policies in our oil and gas sector and with the advent of the PIA (Petroleum Industry Act), we now have a workable framework that guarantees a conducive environment for investment,” Lokpobiri said.

The three refineries in Nigeria—Port Harcourt, Warri, and Kaduna—have been idle for many years, but restoration efforts are currently underway at the sites as Port Harcourt is scheduled to reopen by the end of this month.

What does this mean for Nigeria?

Politically, this may mean that the message of the renewed hope agenda of the President is resonating well across the world, and more firms are willing to invest in Nigeria. This would boost the FDI investment drive of President Tinubu.

On the other hand, the proposed investment by Baker Hughes would also increase Nigeria’s crude oil refining capacity. Nigerians eagerly awaits the commencement of operations of the well celebrated Dangote refinery with a 650,000-barrel-per-day refining capacity. The NNPC has also recently reiterated its commitment to complete the turn-around maintenance project on the Port Harcourt refinery by December 2023. It would be recalled that the BUA Group, another business conglomerate in Nigeria, also plans to build a 200,000 bpd refinery in Akwa Ibom State. The BUA project has been awarded to Axens a French technology solutions provider.

With the various refineries set to come on stream soon, and the Baker Hughes proposed refinery, Nigeria is set to become a net exporter of refined petroleum products which will boost the countries economic fortunes.

What does this mean for Nigerians?

For Nigerians, this would mean more product availability within the country. It has also been suggested that with more refined products in-country, the pricing for petroleum products may become more competitive and cheaper. This is in view of the elimination of import logistics costs and other overheads.

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