NNPC Completes Gas Pipeline Repairs

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Alison-Madueke

Hope rises for steady gas supply as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation completes the repairs of the Escravos-Lagos gas pipeline, which was vandalized nearly seven months ago

THE nearly seven months of nationwide gas shortage which resulted from the vandalisation of the Escravos-Lagos gas pipeline is about to end. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has completed the repair of the gas pipeline in Delta State.  Almost 200mmcf/d of gas is now being re-instated into the grid.  This will improve power availability in the country, after the prolonged period of outages.  An additional 60mmcf/d is expected within three weeks when ongoing repair works at the Utorogu gas plant is also completed.  With this development, Nigerians should expect continuous steady improvement in power availability throughout the course of the year.

Despite short term challenges being experienced, it is essential to state that the gas sector reform is on course.  Alison-Madueke, minister for petroleum resources, directed the NNPC to embark on an accelerated implementation of the Nigerian Gas master-plan.  This resulted in an aggressive infrastructure drive and major reforms of the commercial framework for gas in Nigeria.  In the last three years alone, over 400km of new gas pipelines have been completed, thereby expanding pipeline capacity and enhancing connectivity between various gas supply sources.  Today, all the power plants of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, and the National Independent Power Project, NIPP, are connected to gas pipeline infrastructure.  An additional 450km are currently under construction of which 340km are due to be concluded by the end of 2014 and the balance by 2016.

The ongoing gas infrastructure work is the most extensive the nation has ever seen, with many a new km of pipeline being added every day.  Gas production and supply have also grown to an all- time high of 1500mmcf/d from less than 500mmcf/d four years ago.  A major part of this new supply is being directed to the power sector, whilst the non-power sector such as cement, manufacturing etc. has seen a doubling in supply to them within the same period.  Unfortunately, challenges of pipeline attack continue to undermine the impact of these efforts.

Supply growth remains the priority of the ministry of petroleum resources and the NNPC.  Many projects are being progressed to ensure the realisation of this objective.  Before the end of the year, about 200mmcf/d new gas will be added to the grid as some projects are due to be completed in June and September.  The trend is expected to continue through 2015 when many more projects are to be completed.  Nigerians should be assured that all efforts are being put in place to ensure a sustainable growth in gas supply, with particular focus on the Power sector.

— Apr. 21, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT

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