Nigeria’s Dangote refinery gets 1 million barrel crude cargo from NNPC

LAGOS (Reuters) – Nigeria’s new $19 billion Dangote oil refinery has received 1 million barrels of oil from state-owned oil company NNPC Ltd, its second crude cargo this month, as it steps up preparations to begin operations, a Dangote spokesperson said on Wednesday.

The refinery is years behind schedule but its operations are expected to turn Africa’s largest oil producer into a net exporter of fuels, a long-sought goal for the OPEC member that almost totally relies on imports.

The Dangote spokesperson said the crude had been loaded at Bonny Terminal operated by Shell and would be discharged at the refinery outside Lagos on Wednesday. Another 3 million barrels were expected before month end, the spokesperson added.

Dangote has said it expects more cargoes to be supplied by NNPC this month as well as one from ExxonMobil.

Nigeria’s OPEC oil quota for next year is 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) but the government says it plans to produce 1.8 million bpd to ensure supplies to the Dangote plant and state-owned refineries that are being upgraded. (This story has been officially corrected to change the source of crude cargo to NNPC, not Shell, in headline and paragraph 1, and to add that 3 million barrels expected before month end in paragraph 3)

(Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)