Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, will begin production of oil from two assets he snapped up from Royal Dutch Shell Plc in July, adding a new source of income to a fast-expanding business empire. This marks Dangote’s new presence in the downstream oil business.
In an interview with Bloomberg, the group executive director at Dangote Industries Ltd, Devakumar Edwin, said Dangote is working with Chinese and Malaysian contractors and has completed a development plan for the Kalaekule field on its Oil Mining Lease 72 asset.
Work will then move to an undeveloped KI discovery on Block 71, a small shallow water asset in south-eastern Niger River delta.
“We are looking at the first phase of 20,000 barrels a day but our objective is to expand it to 100,000 barrels a day for the two blocks.
“If everything goes well, we can do that in 12 to 15 months because we are already doing the 3D seismic studies,” Mr Edwin was quoted as saying.
Production from the fields is expected to feed Dangote’s privately built refinery which is expected to start work early 2021, with 650,000 barrel a day. It will probably be the biggest single refinery in the world.
The refinery is expected to double Nigeria’s refining capacity and while providing cost savings helps in meeting the increasing demand for fuels.
According to Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index, Dangote’s net worth is about $15.6 billion, the majority of which he got from his 85 per cent stake in publicly-traded Dangote Cement. He holds the shares in the company directly and through his conglomerate, Dangote Industries.
Dangote Group’s main publicly traded businesses are Dangote Cement, Dangote Sugar, Dangote Flour Mills, and Nascon Allied Industries.
The group makes up about one-third of the market capitalisation of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.