Nigerian federal government plans to commence privatizing four state-owned oil refineries before the end of the first quarter of 2014, the Minister of Petroleum Resources Diezani Alison-Madueke told Bloomberg TV Africa in London.

The refineries are 125,000 barrel-per-day Warri refinery, 60,000 bpd Old Port Harcourt refinery, 150,000 bpd New Port Harcourt refinery and 110,000 bpd Kaduna refinery.

With a combined 445,000 barrel-a-day capacity, the four refineries were recommended to be sold by a presidential audit report last year due to inadequate government funding and “sub-optimal performance.”

In an interview with Bloomberg, the minister expressed government’s plan to move the running of major infrastructural entities such as refineries into the private sector.

The refineries are currently under a maintenance program. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation said that improvements to the refineries will be completed next year.

The Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics announced recently crude oil production in the third quarter of the year increased more than 7 percent from the second quarter to 2.26 million bpd.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer and a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), produced 1.8 million bpd of crude in October, OPEC said.


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