The Port Harcourt refinery is expected to process 60,000 barrels per day / Photo: Getty Images

British multinational oil and gas company Shell says it has supplied crude oil from its Bonny export terminal in Rivers State, southern Nigeria, to the state-owned refinery in Port Harcourt, which is expected to start operations in the first quarter of 2024.

Shell Nigeria spokesperson Bamidele Odugbesan told Reuters by phone that the oil deliveries to the refinery were made this week.

The refinery is expected to process 60,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil before ramping up to its full capacity of 210,000 bpd later this year.

Nigeria’s state-run oil company, NNPC, announced at the start of 2024 that it planned to resume operations at the refinery many years after it shut down.

Western dominated sector

The West African nation has an abundance of crude oil deposits, but most of the exploration and production are carried out by western companies.

This also extends to refinery servicing firms, with Nigeria's cabinet awarding a $1.5 billion contract to Italian firm Tecnimont to modernise the Port Harcourt oil refinery in March 2021.

"Future supplies from Bonny oil and gas terminal would be guided by the demand for the product," Shell's Bonny oil terminal manager Osita Nnajiofor said.

Port Harcourt is where one of four state-owned refineries is located. The facilities have been mothballed for years but the government says it is trying to revive them to end the country's reliance on fuel imports.

Last year Dangote oil refinery, which is Africa's largest refinery, was launched. The 650,000 barrel per day plant begun producing diesel and aviation fuel last month after years of construction delays.

Owned by the continent's richest man Aliko Dangote, the refinery is located on the outskirts of the commercial capital Lagos.

Click here to follow our WhatsApp channel for more stories.

TRT Afrika and agencies