Excitement rippled through the air as the Dangote refinery marked a significant milestone by receiving its first shipment of crude oil, heralding the commencement of operations for the eagerly anticipated $20 billion plant.
The OTIS tanker, carrying a cargo of 950,000 barrels of Nigeria’s Agbami crude, set sail on December 6 and is en route to Lekki, the closest land port to Dangote’s offshore crude receiving terminal. This shipment, chartered by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), signifies the initiation of crude supplies for the refinery’s operations.
The tanker’s estimated arrival on Thursday, December 7, at 8 pm marked the beginning of a new era for the Dangote refinery, which former President Muhammadu Buhari officially commissioned in May. The excitement was palpable as the refinery gears up to contribute to Nigeria’s oil industry.
The NNPC, holding a 20% stake in the refinery, agreed to supply 6 million barrels of crude oil as feedstock to jumpstart Dangote’s operations. The first shipment is a symbol of this initial supply.
Agbami, operated by Chevron, is a major deepwater development in Nigeria’s central Niger Delta, producing approximately 100,000 barrels per day of light sweet crude. The refinery is designed to process multiple crudes concurrently, with plans to handle three Nigerian crude grades—Escravos, Bonny Light, and Forcados.
As the ship approached the Lekki Anchorage area in Lagos, an insider from Dangote revealed that preparations were in place to receive the shipment. Following regulatory clearances, the refinery’s management is set to commence the process of barging the crude, with ceremonies planned to commemorate this historic event.
Jasper Nwachukwu, an oil and gas expert, emphasized the significance of ensuring sustainable domestic supply to the refinery for maximum benefit to Nigeria. He suggested that as an oil-producing nation, Nigeria should be the direct supplier to the Dangote refinery. The commencement of operations is not only a momentous event for Dangote but also a positive development for the Nigerian oil industry.