Rainoil MD says Nigeria unlikely to cut fuel sulphur levels anytime soon

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The head of a major Nigerian downstream company told the Platts refining conference in Brussels that Nigeria’s efforts to cut sulphur levels in its fuel imports are unlikely to succeed this year, Reuters reports.

The government has delayed its target to slash allowed sulphur on imports to 50 parts per million (ppm) for diesel and 150 ppm for petrol from July to December, but Rainoil managing director Gabriel Ogbechie said there was little chance of meeting the fresh deadline. The current maximum sulphur level is 1,000 ppm for gasoline and 3,000 ppm for diesel.

Rainoil, an integrated downstream oil and gas company, holds a contract for crude-for-fuels swaps, which have been the main source for the country’s petrol imports in the past two years. Prices for lower sulphur fuels were included in those contracts, but Ogbechie said that as long as the government caps petrol prices, it will not opt for higher quality fuel that would cost $10-$20 more per tonne.