Nigeria’s energy group, Forte Oil has become the latest to announce intentions to join crude oil refining race.

Forte Oil announced on Friday that it was in talks with a major refinery (yet to be named) to form a strategic partnership for local refining of petroleum products in Nigeria.

Nigeria is in dire need of efficient crude oil refineries. The ageing refineries have a combined daily domestic refining capacity of 6 million litres, while daily consumption stands at 35 million litres.

At the moment, the 29 million litres deficit are imported.

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This present federal government has also been seeking new investments in local refining to reduce reliance on imported oil products which consume a huge chunk of the country’s foreign currency reserves.

"We are aggressively pursuing M&A opportunities along the energy value chain," Akinfemiwa told investors in Lagos.

He said the company, with interests in fuel distribution and power, would diversify into the upstream sector through acquisition of marginal oilfields.

This comes amid growing interest in local crude oil refining, part of which was government’s adoption of modular refinery to legitimize hitherto illegal refineries in the Niger Delta.

Also in May this year, another energy company, Oando Plc said it is in talks to work with Italian energy company, Eni to rehabilitate the Port Harcourt refinery.

And this is even as Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote builds a $17 billion oil refinery with a capacity of around 650,000 barrels a day, which is expected to start operation by 2019.