In a crucial development for Nigeria’s energy landscape, Dangote Refinery has officially started operations, receiving its inaugural crude supply via the OTIS tanker. Loaded with a cargo of 950,000 barrels of Agbami crude on December 6, the Suezmax tanker, chartered by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), discharged the cargo at the refinery’s terminal on Thursday.
Despite its official completion in May, the privately owned refinery faced delays in producing oil products due to a lack of domestic crude feedstock. The NNPC, holding a 20% stake in the refinery, recently agreed to supply 6 million barrels of crude oil as feedstock for December.
Agbami, operated by Chevron, serves as one of Nigeria’s largest deepwater developments, contributing approximately 100,000 barrels per day in the central Niger Delta. Recognized for its light, sweet crude properties, Agbami boasts a gravity of 47.9 API and a low sulfur content of 0.04%, yielding a significant proportion of naphtha and kerosene.
While the refinery’s startup has faced repeated delays since its announcement in 2013, the commencement of operations is a pivotal moment. Dangote Refinery’s crude distillation unit is designed to process 12 crudes simultaneously, including three Nigerian crude grades: Escravos, Bonny Light, and Forcados.
Once fully operational, the refinery is expected to produce 327,000 barrels per day of gasoline, 244,000 barrels per day of gasoil or diesel, 56,000 barrels per day of jet fuel or kerosene, and 290,000 metric tons per year of propane or LPG, according to previous presentations by Dangote. The startup marks a significant step towards Nigeria’s enhanced self-sufficiency in oil production and refining.