Licenses given to individuals and corporate organisations for the establishment of private refineries which were not utilised are soon going to be revoked.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, while speaking on the sidelines of ongoing annual Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, U.S, said that he had had discussions with the Department of Petroleum Resources on the matter.

DPR’s statutory functions include processing application for various licenses, permits and approvals across the oil and gas value chain.

Kachikwu said that the aim of giving licenses was to reduce the huge capital flight to fuel importation, meet local demand and look at possible exports.

“I have spoken with DPR on the matter. Those who have not been able to move forward will have their licenses withdrawn,” he said.

The Federal Government, under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, had granted licenses to some private concerns to build refineries but only Aliko Dangote had put it to use.

Dangote's refinery is nearing completion, and he recently assured that the 1.3 million metric tonnes per annum petrochemical plant in Lagos would commence operation in the last quarter of 2018.

The minister explained that the review of the system was necessary as the nation’s existing refineries, which had a combined capacity of 446,000 barrels per day (bpd), were grossly inadequate to meet national daily demand.