Govt spends N12.4bn on pipeline security, repairs

Haruna Momoh, PPMC MD

Haruna Momoh, PPMC MD

21 March 2014, Abuja – The Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said it spent over N12.4 billion on repairs of vandalised pipelines and in securing them between 2008 and last year.

The PPMC Managing Director, Prince Haruna Momoh, who made this known on sidelines of the Nigeria Oil and Gas conference in Abuja, said between 2008 and 2010, the company recorded over N377 billion losses due to crude theft.

He also noted that activities at the Port Harcourt refinery were almost grounded last year as the plant was starved of crude.

He said last year, the refinery did not run for 82 days because it couldn’t get crude from Bonny as a result of pipeline breakage, adding that they recorded 3567 line breaks, a drop from the 5518 line breaks recorded in the past.

He explained that it was not that the refinery was not technically in order, but no crude to feed it. But another source at the refinery told The Nation that there is another alternative option the management is exploring to get feedstock to the plant. The source said there is plan to supply crude to the plant with vessels through coastal marine from where it would be taken to the plant for refining and noted, specifically that by June, this arrangement would be operational and whatever quantity that comes through the pipe would only be complementary.

Momoh said: “The spate of vandalism had risen in recent times far above what obtained in past. We have recorded 5518 lines breaks but as at last year, it dropped to 3567. The impact of this in monetary terms is that between 2008 and last year, we have spent over N12.4 billion on repairs and securing our pipeline.

“In terms of crude oil and product losses, between 2008 and 2010, we are talking of over N377 billion. Now we have adopted the Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD), another kind of technology to protect the pipeline from thieves accessing them. We are already implementing it Arepo, Ogun State and Ije-Ododo in Lagos.

”But this is at enormous cost. Imagine laying a pipeline of about seven metres below sea level, and you take it up 40 to 50 kilometres, and  we are talking about an average of $4.5 million per kilometre, multiply this by the 5,106 kilometres of pipeline that we operate in the country, we will be talking of $23 billion. Where do we get the $23 billion from?

“As we have started, in a couple of years, we will be able to achieve a reasonable number of points that are HDD compliant.”

He explained that the challenges of security in Nigeria is well known to everybody, wondering if at the end of the day, the government would not bring the Japanese Red Army to help us police these pipelines.


– Emeka Ugwuanyi, The Nation

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