Upsurge in Crude, Gas Pipelines Vandalism

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David Ige

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, is losing several billion of naira to the both crude and gas pipeline vandalism which has also adversely affected power supply in the country

By Maureen Chigbo  |  Feb. 16, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT  |

THE Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has been losing between 50,000 and 60,000 barrels of crude oil and condensate on a daily basis to pipeline breaks. The Corporation also believes that there is a syndicate behind this economic sabotage which has robbed the country several billion of naira in the last six weeks, according to David Ige, group executive director, Gas and Power, NNPC. The upsurge in pipeline vandalism is coming five months after the management of the NNPC and the Navy agreed to work together in the September 2014 to protect the pipelines and curb pipeline vandalism.

There has increase in attacks on crude oil and gas pipelines with the Escravos-Lagos Gas Pipeline being vandalised with four breaks at the weekend. Ige, group executive director, Gas and Power of the NNPC, said in Abuja acknowledged the sudden increase in the activities of saboteurs around the Trans-Forcados Pipeline and the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline in the last six weeks.  Between January and February 2015 alone, the Trans-Forcados Crude Pipeline was attacked and vandalized four times, adding that none of the NNPC’s gas pipelines have been able to run two straight days without been brought down.

The group executive director stated that most of the power plants including the Calabar Power Plant, Alaoji Power Plant, Omoku Power Plant, and Olorunsogo Power Plant, among others have been connected to gas and that all the efforts of the federal government to construct unprecedented massive gas pipeline infrastructure are being sabotaged by pipeline vandals.

Ige said the NNPC was exploring a number of options on how to tackle the pipeline vandalism menace ranging from an aggressive community engagement to installation of technological gadgets to stave off the vandals.

Ige noted that each time a gas pipeline was brought down by the vandals, power supply across the country drops which adversely affects economic activities across the length and breadth of the nation. He called for a holistic approach to resolve the pipeline vandalism scourge ranging from tightening security to expeditious judicial enforcement to bring to an end the menace which has deprived the country of several billions of revenue.

It should be remembered that as part of efforts to stamp out illegal oil bunkering and strengthening security of the pipelines, the NNPC and the Nigerian Navy last year pledged to work together to curtail the crude oil theft and other social crimes in the Nigerian maritime waters. NNPC had applauded the Navy for its tremendous support to the NNPC and its partners in fostering and ensuring a secure environment for its personnel, facilities and operations.

The NNPC had maintained that the gallant security presence of the Navy has gone a long way in stabilising NNPC operations in Escravos, Warri, Port Harcourt, Bonny, Atlas Cove in Lagos and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC operations in Benin city and environs. NNPC had expressed its the readiness to sustain the engagement with the Navy and other security personnel especially in the areas of pipeline security, vandalism, crude and product theft and the associated crimes of kidnapping and abduction of oil workers on the near shore, offshore and deep water. But the recent upsurge in pipeline vandalism raises questions as to whether the partnership with the Navy is actually working.

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