The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has revealed that it is in the process of building a condensate refinery specifically to produce Premium Motor Spirit, popularly referred to as petrol.
The corporation also revealed that it had completed the feasibility studies on the refinery and the facility would utilize the huge amount of condensate in Nigeria to produce petrol.
The corporation’s Group General Manager, Greenfield Refineries Department, Sanusi Usman, in a report put together by the NNPC and obtained by a Punch correspondent in Abuja on Friday, revealed that the condensate refinery would particularly focus on the production of PMS, in contrast to what obtained in other conventional refineries.
He said, “Conventional refineries are set up to process crude oil into multiple products such as PMS (petrol), HHK (kerosene), AGO (diesel), fuel oil and others. Because you are dealing with high volumes here, you need to build different units to process and upgrade the quality of the various products.
“But in the case of a condensate refinery, the feedstock is condensate, not crude oil. And it is just one product you will get from it, which is PMS. This means that it does not need to have many units like a conventional refinery. If it is not very large, you can have the units in modular forms.”
Usman also added; “What we do in Nigeria is to blend some of our crude oil with condensate and sell. But condensate is not calculated as part of a country’s production in OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) quota. By including condensate as part of our production, Nigeria is actually losing some volumes of crude oil.”
He further explained that the other reason why the oil firm decided to build a condensate refinery was that in Nigeria the problem had always been the scarcity of PMS.
“By composition, condensate is almost like PMS; all you need to turn condensate into PMS is to do some conversion and quality improvement to upgrade it. The kind of equipment needed to do this is not going to be as expensive as the conventional refinery. That is why we settled for condensate refineries,” he stated.