The Federal Government says it expects more modular refinery operators who obtained licence to begin operations soon.
Mr Ahmad Shakur, Acting Director in the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), made this known while inspecting a modular refinery – the Niger Delta Petroleum Resources (NDPR) – facilities on Friday in Ahoada, Rivers.
Shakur said the Federal Government was passionate about the success of modular refineries in the nation’s oil and gas industry.
“To this end, we are expecting more modular refineries to take off soon.
“Many of them had been given licence to operate, and so with what is happening in NDPR it will put pressure on those given license to begin operation,” he said.
Shakur disclosed that NDPR was the first marginal operator, first to acquire licence for modular refinery and the first to commence production.
“The refinery started production with 1,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) and it is currently producing 6,000 bpd.
“NDPR intends to move production further to 11,000 bpd which will add a lot of value and backward integration in the oil and gas industry.
“We intend to make the firm a reference point for other marginal operators to follow,” he said.
The director said in spite of the recent protest by some community members demanding participation in the refinery, NDPR had so far maintained good relationship with its host community.
Addressing staff at the DPR office in Port Harcourt, Shakur said the department had recently improved surveillance to curb illicit activities by some petroleum marketers.
“We intend to keep the tempo going all through the year until we reduce the unwholesome practice to the barest minimum.
“I can assure that those who commit acts of infractions against the extant rule in the petroleum industry will be brought to book,” he said.
Newsmen report that the department had in the last few months sealed off over 33 filling stations in Port Harcourt caught under-dispensing, over-dispensing and operating without valid licence, among other crimes.