Despite the OPEC’s revising downward review of its world oil demand in 2020, to an estimated 8.9 million barrels daily, some downstream operators have expressed the optimism that the future of the sector remains bright.
Specifically, the Managing Director, Petrocam Trading Nigeria Limited, Patrick Ilo, believes there is going to be a boost in demand and supply of oil at the global market as soon as economic activities resumed.
Ilo during the formal opening of Petrocam new solar powered filling station in Ogolonto, Ikorodu, Lagos, said the fuel station has five metric tonnes gas skid and six underground tanks with 45,000 litres capacity each, five tanks for PMS and one tank for Automated Gas Oil (AGO).
According to Ilo, people will soon learn to live with COVID-19 and the disease will be managed like other ailments.
While commenting on the effect of COVID-19 on the downstream sector, Ilo said: “COVID-19 has severely affected the downstream sector. The economy is not in full swing and we have been experiencing low patronage. Downstream is a function of a number of cars or trucks doing their commercial activities. It is when people are doing their commercial activities that they buy fuel. At this period people are not buying compared to pre COVID-19 era and sales have reduced drastically, but it is only for a period of time.”
On Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency’s (PPPRA) statement that it will continue to provide “guiding price” for petrol despite deregulation, he said: “it is one of their statutory functions; until the Act is scrapped they will continue to do that. Deregulation has to be effective, until this is done, PPPRA will continue to do what they are doing.”
Also, the Chief Operating Officer, Petrocam Trading, Eyo Oghogho, said the newly inaugurated filling station is the station’s 17th outlet of which 13 are solar-powered.
She disclosed that the firm plans to go round Lagos State and neighbouring towns to build one-stop filling stations where people can buy fuel, gas, lubricants and grease, service their cars etc. before launching to other state capitals.
Oghogho said so far, they have outlets in Alimosho, Eti Osa some other local councils, adding that “we have itemized the Local Governments with high population in Lagos State, and Ikorodu is one of them, and that is one of the reasons behind our coming to Ikorodu.”
Contrary to reports that the firm planned to build a modular refinery, Oghogho said it was never in their plan, but rather to build more outlets.
She added: “With the Federal Government involvement in LPG, which is to encourage the usage of the product, we are going to the suburbs in Lagos State to provide LPG plants, where people can have access to LPG without travelling miles. We are looking at going to Mowe, Igbesa, and other neighbouring towns.”