14 October 2013, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The Nigerian government says it will soon begin the surveillance of oil pipelines in the country with aircraft manned by Nigerian pilots, trained under the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, programme.
Mr. Oluwole Oluleye, Executive Secretary, PTDF, made this known at the Upstream and Downstream Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference in Abuja, saying it was the latest move by the government to arrest the growing incidence of pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft.
According to him, the pilots that would be involved in the programme had been effectively trained in line with international standards.
Oluleye was represented at the event by Mr. Jacob Neeka, Head, Research and Documentation, PTDF. He said the pilots would be contracted to survey the pipelines right of way in order to monitor the pipelines, identify crude theft points and provide the necessary intelligence for the government to act on.
PTDF was also collaborating with the military in ensuring the effective surveillance of pipelines and petroleum assets across the country, Oluleye said, adding: “PTDF has undertaken the training of 20 Nigerians as pilots. They will do the real surveillance, through piloting of our oil and pipelines right of way and other facilities in the country.
“The reason is because we have to sustain oil and gas facilities. We have to ensure that they are well protected. Of course, if we have pilots that can carry out that responsibility, it is a huge contribution in saving the cost of maintenance, repair or replacement of some of the broken down pipelines”.
He also added: “PTDF is actually contributing towards that direction and I believe that over time, we are going to come to the front burner to ensure that Nigerians get the recognition and value addition for money.
“We trained even military personnel in our scholarship programmes in some of the trainings that will help them maintain effective surveillance activities across our pipeline right of ways in the country. Collaboration is ongoing and is effective too.”