ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria’s state oil company received 128 bids from companies that want to exchange processed fuels for as much as 800,000 barrels a day of unrefined crude in 2017, it said on Thursday.
“This year’s programme for DSDP (direct sale of crude oil and direct purchase of products) is about 800,000 barrels (per day) at most,” Maikanti Baru, head of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), told reporters in Abuja after the bidding window had closed.
In exchange for the crude oil, Nigeria will take fuel with sulphur content of no higher than 50 parts per million (ppm), he said. Environment Minister Amina Mohammed has promised the country would require the 50 ppm level for imports from July 1.
Last year the OPEC oil producer had replaced crude oil swap deals with a system under which it will directly sell crude oil to refiners and purchase refined oil products from them.
Nigeria is almost wholly reliant on imported gasoline, kerosene and other petroleum products despite exporting 1.7 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil.
(Reporting by Paul Carsten and Camillus Eboh; Additional reporting by Libby George in London; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by David Goodman)