By Edith ike-Eboh
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said Indonesia has indicated its interest in increasing its purchase of crude oil from Nigeria.
The NNPC in a statement signed by Mr Ndu Ughamadu NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs division in Abuja on Tuesday disclosed that Indonesia currently purchases about 90,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Nigeria.
According to the statement this is in addition to about 140,000 barrels per day from Saudi Arabia to supplement its 900,000 barrels per day production.
Speaking during a visit to the Group Managing Director of the NNPC Mr. Maikanti Baru, the Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Harry Purwanto also stated that his country looked forward to lifting crude oil directly from Nigeria, rather than through a third-party as was currently the case.
He said that the President of the country, Joko Widodo, had instructed Indonesia National Oil Company, Pertamina, to direct its attention to Nigeria in its quest to meet the country’s surging energy needs.
He added that a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, on possible areas of co-operation between Nigeria and Indonesia was in the works.
The NNPC said the call by the ambassador signifies the prospects of soaring Nigeria’s market share in Asian emerging economies which include China and India, having lost grounds in crude oil sales in the United State of America due to advances in shale oil exploration in recent years.
Responding Baru, said the NNPC was interested in working with Indonesia on its initiative to replace firewood and kerosene with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as primary domestic fuel for cooking.
He noted that the NNPC was aware of the huge success of the kerosene substitution programme in Indonesia and would like a collaboration to help Nigeria achieve a similar feat.
He added that the NNPC would also like to partner with Indonesia in the area of bio-fuels production to diversify the nation’s energy mix and meet its energy needs.
He challenged Indonesia to consider participating in the forthcoming bid round in order to realize its aspiration of maintaining a presence in the Nigerian oil and gas sector.