NIGERIA lost 109.5 million barrels of crude oil to oil theft in 2013, according to data released by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. Andrew Yakubu, group managing director, NNPC, said in a special keynote address at the ongoing Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference in Abuja, that the country lost 300,000 barrels per day, or 109,500,000 barrels in 2013 to severe attacks on its critical export pipeline system.
Yakubu said the incessant vandalism of crude oil export pipelines and domestic crude oil and refined petroleum product pipelines had resulted in negative consequences for the economy. “Nigeria has faced unprecedented challenges with regards to losses in production occasioned by incessant vandalism of crude oil export pipelines and domestic crude oil and petroleum product pipelines. In 2013, Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, suffered severe attacks on its critical export pipeline system leading to the loss and or deferment of about 300,000 barrels per day. This deferred production is equivalent to the total production of Equatorial Guinea and larger than the entire production of Ghana, Congo Brazzaville, Cameroon and Gabon,” he said.
According to the NNPC boss, Nigeria’s crude oil production is dependent on key arteries such as the Trans Forcados, Trans Niger, Nembe Creek line and Temidaba-Brass line, which connect three export terminals, Forcados, Bonny and Brass. Yakubu said the pipelines were usually shut anytime they were vandalised, lamenting that the shut-ins of such significant production facilities had received the attention of the Federal Government, which had set aside N15bn to tackle the menace. “The initiatives include the setting aside of N15bn for the purchase of security equipment to checkmate the scourge of oil theft in the Niger Delta approved by the National Economic Council,” he said.
Other measures to be taken to tackle the problem, Yakubu said, included the utilisation of new technology and radar surveillance to boost maritime security; increase in sea patrol by the Nigerian Navy; and inauguration of an inter-agency maritime operations coordination committee to provide synergy among agencies operating in the industry to ensure safety and security in the Nigerian maritime industry.
Others, he said, were the provision of air surveillance of the pipelines with modern aircraft manned by Nigerian pilots; and training under the Petroleum Technology Development Fund programme.
NIPP Gets New Target
THE federal government has set a target of 150 percent increase in power generation from the National Integrated Power Project, NIPP. Chinedu Nebo, minister of power, said this at the on-going Nigeria Power Forum, Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition in Abuja. He said experts in the sector should learn from the unfortunate experience of under-projection in the telecommunication sector, hence he urged them to make adequate provision in the area of projection.
The minister challenged the forum to come up with practicable solutions, both short and long term, on critical issues necessary for the sustenance of the electricity market, which he described as fragile. He listed the issues to include, market solvency, sustainable funding for transmission, security of gas infrastructure and legacy liabilities.
These issues, he said, were critical now as the market is at the threshold of the traditional declaration of transition electricity market by his office, which automatically kick-starts, contractual obligation of all market operators and participants.
Hope Rises for Oil Discovery in Lake Chad
OLUWOLE Oluleye, executive secretary, Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, has said that the discovery of oil in neighbouring Niger and Chad Republic has given an encouraging prospect that oil discovery in Nigeria’s sedimentary basins was not out of place. Oluleye, who was speaking at the end of the 2011/2013 Annual Oil and Gas Research Grant Competition in Abuja, was optimistic that the development would boost the nation’s oil reserves.
He stated further that findings from the research conducted on the Nigerian section of the Chad Basin had revealed that oil discovery in the sedimentary basins was realistic and achievable. “I want to use this opportunity to inform this gathering that adequate attention shall, henceforth, be given to renewable and unconventional energy in our grants. The discovery of oil in neighbouring Niger and Chad Republic has given an encouraging prospect of oil discovery in the Nigerian sedimentary basins. This, no doubt, will boost the Nation’s oil reserve. While progress is made in the discovery of fossil fuels in the Chad Basin, we should not lose sight of the fact that there is a global shift to environmentally-friendly source of energy. In this regard the Fund will sponsor more researches on the production of bio-fuels and biogas from non-edible fruits.
“Resources have been committed in this area and I am glad to inform you that the result has been positive although more work needs to be done, as we continue our efforts at ensuring bio-fuel production on a commercial scale in the next research cycle. The Fund has already endowed professorial chair on renewable energy in the University of Benin and the successful research work of Dr. Frank Oroka and his team further shows our effort in this direction. Findings from the research of Prof. John Adekoya and his team on the Nigerian sector of the Chad Basin shows further that oil discovery in the sedimentary basins is realistic and achievable. I wish therefore to call on National and International Oil Companies to cooperate with PTDF- sponsored researchers by providing them with relevant data and other assistance when needed. This will aid the solving of specific industry problems; enhance job creation and knowledge transfer in the country,” he said.
Oluleye said the sponsorship of indigenous research into critical areas of the petroleum industry is an aspect of PTDF’s intervention programmes to develop capacity for the industry.
Compiled by Anayo Ezugwu
— Mar. 31, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT