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The Port Harcourt Refinery is on the verge of resuming operations thanks to Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited’s delivery of 475,000 barrels of crude oil, the first supply in recent years.

After undergoing extensive rehabilitation and testing to address its deteriorated state, the refinery is now prepared for sustained operations.

According to International Center For Investigative Reporting, previous reports indicated that the technical completion of the Port Harcourt refinery rehabilitation had been achieved, with production expected to start, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

Shell has confirmed this milestone, praising the collaborative efforts and dedication of the Port Harcourt Refinery Company (PHRC) and the Bonny Oil and Gas Terminal (BOGT) teams.

Pressure and leak testing for pipeline integrity, undertaken by relevant subsidiaries of NNPC Limited, along with integrity and maintenance work on the Oil and Gas Terminal, BOT refinery export pumps, and associated instrumentation, were diligently executed by the BOT operations and maintenance teams.

The recommencement of crude oil supply from the Bonny Oil and Gas Terminal to the Port Harcourt Refinery is considered a significant achievement for the industry and the country as a whole.

Shell emphasized the intense preparations and collaboration between the involved teams as crucial in overcoming challenges and ensuring a safe and efficient supply operation. This milestone aligns with the government’s goal of consistent petroleum product supply to the downstream market, offering associated economic benefits.

The NNPCL Ltd. has fulfilled its commitment to achieving mechanical completion of rehabilitation work on the Area 5 Plant of the PHRC. Rehabilitation efforts, ongoing for over two years, aim to complete the first phase of the project around December 31, 2023.

As of December 15, 2023, 84.4 percent of Area 5 Plant and 77.4 percent of the overall rehabilitation project have been completed, based on reports from NNPC Ltd.’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mele Kyari.

Industry analysts predict that enhanced domestic refining of crude will impact the daily consumption of petroleum products in Nigeria, reducing pressure on foreign exchange spent on fuel imports.

Billy Gillis-Harry, the President of the Petroleum Retail Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN), emphasized that local refining would lead to stable pricing of petroleum products, saving costs related to export, shipping, trans-shipment, and insurance. This development is seen as a positive and welcome change for the sector.