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NNPC says third of Nigeria’s oil production lost to pipeline theft in 2016

19 February 2018

Nigeria National Petroleum Corp (NNPC) Group Managing Director Dr Maikanti Baru claimed in late 2017 that about 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil were lost in 2016 due to pipeline theft and sabotage. This brought Nigeria’s production down to 1.3 million bpd, against a target of 2.2 million for the period.

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According to the news site, Baru said that the 300,000 bpd capacity Trans Forcados Pipeline (TFP) recorded 17 breaches in 2016 and 15 in in the first three-quarters of 2017, while the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) also suffered 15 breaches in 2017.

He urged members of the Pipeline Professionals’ Association of Nigeria (PLAN) to conduct a systematic diagnosis of the pipeline system in Nigeria and come up with sustainable and actionable solutions to the menace of pipeline vandalism in the country.

Baru said the issue posed a great threat to the Nigerian economy in terms of revenue loss and environmental degradation.

Some of the measures deployed by NNPC to stem vandalism include: Horizontal Directional Drilling 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 Task Force.

He said the Nigerian government was trying to build a political solution to the agitation sabotage in the the south, where local tribes hamper oil operations to bring their grievances to public attention.

In a later meeting with southern politicians reported in The Daily Post, Baru said: “Nigeria’s energy supply security is underpinned by a robust pipeline network of over 8,000 kilometres used for transportation of crude oil, petroleum products and natural gas.

“Of this vast access, NNPC has the largest downstream footprint with over 5,130 kilometres of pipeline network and 21 depots around the country.

“This critical national asset has become a subject of incessant vandalism, theft and sabotage
“The consequence of this act of sabotage has often resulted in damage and shutdown of critical facilities, environmental impacts, injuries and loss of lives and property, thus causing the NNPC and by extension the federation huge maintenance costs.

“Non-availability of critical pipeline infrastructure has resulted in long-range haulage of petroleum products across the country with attendant risk of accidents and damage to our road infrastructure.”

The year 2018 is the 20th anniversary of the worst pipeline fire in Nigerian history in Jesse, Delta State, when in October 1998 a ruptured NNPC pipeline exploded and fire spread to surrounding villages, killing 1,098 people and injuring hundreds more.

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