• Puts country’s consumption at 38.2 litres daily

Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the supervisory body for the country’s petroleum industry operations, has said that the country has a stock of the product to last the next 23 days.

Information gleaned from the department’s official National Stock Reports on Sunday also indicated that Nigeria currently consumes about 38.2 million litres of petrol everyday, thereby clearing the air on the controversy surrounding the country’s actual daily need which had been put at between 36 million to 54 million.

The DPR further noted that the organisation was working round the clock to ensure that Nigeria’s dream of getting an alternative to petroleum through the use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) becomes a reality.

According to the department, given the current stock and Nigeria’s daily consumption, citizens can be assured of constant supply of petrol even with disruptions in the market.

It said that as at the weekend, the cumulative depot stock of petrol at the depots was 893,723,753 litres, including the combined petrol stock owned by PPMC, major and independent marketers.

“Applying the estimated daily national demand of 38,200,000 (thirty-eight million two hundred thousand) litres, available depot PMS stock of 893,723,753 litres is sufficient for 23 days,” the organisation said.

According to the DPR, while the Lagos zone with 25 depots has 483,894,000 , the Calabar/Eket Zone with seven depots contains 78,731,000, Warri with 11 depots has 177,599,593, Port Harcourt comprising seven depots has 96,011,000, Umuahia, 6,938,000 and Kaduna 9,679,000.

Also speaking during a visit by the Crude Oil Monitoring Committee of Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) at the DPR headquarters in Abuja at the weekend, DPR’s Director/CEO, Sarki Auwalu, who described 2020 as the year of gas, stressed that the CNG when realised would serve as a cheaper form of energy for Nigerians.

Compressed natural gas is fuel that can be used in place of gasoline, diesel fuel and liquefied petroleum gas and its combustion produces fewer undesirable gases than the one currently used in the country.

It is produced by compressing natural gas to less than its volume at one per cent standard atmospheric pressure to provide adequate driving range, making the engine cleaner and more efficient.

Before the recent crisis in the international crude oil market, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, had also said that plans were ongoing by the federal government to expand the use of Compressed Natural Gas in order to stop subsidy payment on petrol, especially for commercial transportation.

Auwalu said: “2020 is a year of gas and efforts are in top gear to provide Nigerians with alternate energy source. Nigeria is a gas country and measures are fully in place to harness this God-given resource.

“The Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) will soon become available and affordable to Nigerians. If achieved, this will serve as an alternative to Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).”

While welcoming the monitoring team, Auwalu said that the visit was critical, adding that the department was ready to share any information that may be required with the RMAFC team.

While responding, the Chairman of the Committee, Ahmed Gumel (Commissioner representing Jigawa State), said the DPR was important to Nigeria’s revenue source.

He urged the DPR to be firm in discharging its duties and urged the organisation not to relent in meting sanctions to operators, including IOCs involved in breaching the rules.

He said: “The Commission has a mandate to monitor accruals to and disbursement of revenue from the Federation Account. The oil and gas revenue is a major contributor to the national coffers hence the need for this important visit.

“The Commission is of the view that DPR being the chief regulator of the industry should at all times enforce regulatory compliance to the International Oil Companies (IOCs), Independent Producers and Marginal Field Operators and impose sanctions where necessary to ensure maximum revenue accruals to the Federation Account.”

In the meantime, the DPR has restricted physical contact in its operations nationwide as a result of the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It said that in view of the ongoing efforts by government to contain the outbreak of Covid-19 and directives by relevant agencies on the subject, the department was taking proactive steps to realign its operations towards ensuring personnel safety and business continuity across the industry.

“These measures include limiting official meetings and engagements, restriction on travels and tours, promoting social distancing, enhanced screening as well as good personal hygiene.

“Although, this will impact on normal business operations, the department will ensure continuous support to your operations through communication channels including video conferencing, online meetings, use of emails, phone calls, etc.

“In light of the foregoing, you are hereby advised to adopt similar measures in your offices and areas of operations to assist in containing this scourge. We crave your understanding on this matter as we look forward to returning to normal operational practices imminently,” the DPR noted