24 July 2012, Sweetcrude, LAGOS – THE frequency of oil spillage in Nigeria is as a result of the age of its oil pipeline network, president of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists, NAPE, has said.
Mr Afe Mayowa, who urged the Federal Government to compel oil companies to embark on rehabilitation of pipelines to avoid further oil spills, said: “There is the need for federal government and the oil companies to carry out turnaround maintenance on the pipelines or completely remove them. l think they are old enough to be replaced so that we don’t have incessant damage or spillage in our environment.
“Oil spills are causing a lot of havoc in the country, we might not realise it today, but people are saying that the environmental degradation in the Niger Delta is really affecting children that are being born.
“So, the impact can be long term but what I will urge government to do is to encourage the companies to review some of the pipelines that have been installed for too long. Let them replace them, some of them are too weak to be maintained”.
He also urged oil companies to “completely do an overhaul of some of the pipelines;” stressing that the spills being witnessed in the Niger Delta “is not all about sabotage.”
Mayowa said that the country must evolve an unambiguous health, safety and environment, HSE, regulations for both onshore and offshore operations, adding that all parties, both national and international operators be made to feel that everyone is playing on the same field under same rules.
The NAPE boss, however, called on government to establish the rules of the game for both the domestic and international companies.
Speaking on the issue of illegal refineries and bunkering, Mayowa said that government should collaborate with host communities in addressing the situation.
“If there are illegal bunkering and refineries, this means that Nigeria will have a lot of expertise to even build some refineries in-country, government should therefore harness some of this local expertise, and there will be no need to import fuel from overseas,”. he said