South African-based oil firm, Petrocam has joined in the list of International Oil Companies, IOCs, wishing to build refineries in Nigeria, as the firm recently indicated interest to enter the nation’s oil industry.
Petrocam, which is known in crude oil trading in Africa and beyond, said its decision was driven by the need to explore opportunities in crude oil processing in Nigeria.
The Chief Executive Officer, Petrocam Trading Nigeria Limited, a partner to Petrocam South Africa, Mr. Patrick Ilo said his firm would like to improve the production and supply of fuel in the country by building a refinery.
He said Petrocam would look at the guidelines for building refineries, and afterwards go ahead to set up a refinery immediately it is satisfied with the guidelines.
Ilo said: “We, at Petrocam would not hesitate to have our own refinery in Nigeria once we are satisfied with the guidelines, introduced by the Federal Government to guide the operation of refineries. We would, in the first place, set up a modular refinery and thereafter, build a bigger refinery in order to process crude oil in large quantities and further help in improving supply of petroleum products in the country.”
Speaking on competition, Ilo said his firm would stave off competition from other companies that are investing in refineries if it sets up a refinery. He said the more investors in refineries, the better for the downstream segment of the industry.
‘’Competition is good for the development of any nation’s economy. For a country’s economy to develop, it must accommodate many players. Anything short of this will affect growth. As regards private refineries, there will be competition among the operators, and the competition will in turn drive the growth of the industry. In view of this, competition is welcome,” he said.
The United States (US)-owned oil giants – Chevron and ExxonMobil – as well as Royal Dutch Shell and Italian oil giant, Eni, have indicated interests in building refineries in Nigeria to boost fuel supply and add value to the industry.