By Sopuruchi Onwuka
Nigeria deferred production of an average of 700,000 of crude oil per day in 2016 due to pipeline sabotage, and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is now to deploy law enforcement agencies to safeguard such critical national asset.
Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said the NNPC would continue to monitor its pipelines, saying vandalism accounted for Nigeria’s production fall from 2.2 million barrels per day (mbd) to as low as 1.3 million in the period.
Dr. Baru gave the two figures at two separate events in Abuja.
In his keynote address at the maiden edition of the Nigerian International Pipeline Technology and Security Conference (NIPITECS 2017), he said NNPC recorded 27 breaches on the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP), and 17 on 300,000bpd Trans Forcados Pipeline (TFP). He said TFP has already suffered 15 breaches this year.
He charged members of the Pipeline Professionals’ Association of Nigeria (PLAN) to conduct a systematic diagnosis of the pipelines system in Nigeria and proffer solutions to the pipeline vandalism and attendant revenue loss and environmental degradation.
He listed some of the measures deployed by NNPC to stem the tide of pipeline vandalism to include: Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) technology to bury pipelines deeper to prevent easy accessibility; technology-based pipeline surveillance mechanism with capability to detect, alert and deny access; and aerial monitoring and marine patrols by the Military Joint Tax Force (JTF).
Dr. Baru further said government was also working out a political solution to sabotage while the law enforcement agencies had been empowered to deal with those involved in oil theft.
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. SimbiWabote, said Nigeria now has two world class pipe mills in full operation.
On his part, the Director General of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Engr. ChidiIzuwah, challenged industry players to tap into the opportunities in Public Private Partnership (PPP) to boost pipeline and other infrastructures in the country.
Meanwhile, NNPC said it has intensified efforts to safeguard its pipeline from vandals and fire outbreaks in line with best safety practices.
Dr. Baru said the corporation would continue to monitor its pipelines and collaborate with the law enforcement agencies to safeguard such critical national asset.
He said that in line with safety standards, pipelines right-of-way across all locations had been clearly indicated to keep members of the public away from the facilities so as not to come to harm.