Rather than just buying crude oil from Nigeria, China and India have agreed to build oil refineries in the country’s Niger Delta region, according to a report by Industrial Info Resources (www.industrialinfo.com). The crude oil will be refined in Nigeria, and the product oil will be exported. This project in being touted as a way to boost development of Nigeria’s local economy and help alleviate the country”s unemployment situation. Nigeria is Africa”s biggest oil producer, but its limited refining capacity has left the country relying heavily on imports.

Tony Chukwuemeka, director of Nigeria”s Department of Petroleum Resources, recently announced that three Chinese oil giants — China National Petroleum Corporation (www.cnpc.com.cn), China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (www.sinopec.com) and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (www.cnooc.com.cn) — have agreed to build oil refineries in the country. Most of the details remain undisclosed.

Meanwhile, Industrial Info reports that India”s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (www.ongcindia.com) and Mittal Steel Company (www.mittalsteel.com) have also committed to building a refinery in Nigeria.

Nigeria”s government had issued 18 construction permits to potential investors in order to have more refineries constructed in the country; however, according to Industrial Info, most of the investors were reluctant to commit capital out of fear of financial loss.