18 June 2014, Lagos – Fire last night gutted the pipelines near the Atlas Cove Depot in Lagos belonging to the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
THISDAY gathered that the fire incident, which lasted for several hours, was caused by vandals who tapped into the pipelines to scoop fuel.
Sources within the area told THISDAY that the vandals went with canoe to tap into the pipelines in Ilado area of Lagos when they caught fire, resulting in thick smoke, which was seen for several hours.
The spokesman of the NNPC, Mr. Ohi Alegbe, confirmed the incident late last night, saying officials of the company were already at the scene to put out the fire.
He further stated that the incident would not cause fuel scarcity as the pipeline was shutdown immediately the fire was spotted.
Alegbe also stated that the extent of the damage would be ascertained as soon as the fire was put out.
Despite NNPC’s assurance, the fire incident will however, affect the operation of PPMC’s System 2B pipeline network, which pumps petroleum products from Atlas Cove Depot to other depots in the South-western part of the country.
This could result in fuel crisis as System 2B accounts for the distribution of 60 per cent of petroleum products used in the country,
Under System 2B, which is the most active pipeline network in the country, petroleum products are pumped through pipelines from Atlas Cove to the NNPC depots in Ejigbo in Lagos; Mosimi in Ogun State; Ore in Ondo State; Ibadan in Oyo State and Ilorin in Kwara State.
PPMC recently restored normal distribution of petroleum products in system 2B network, after it repaired the vandalised pipeline at Arepo in Ogun State and the vandalised Ije-Ododo pipeline in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State.
Before the rehabilitation of the depots and pipelines under System 2B, data made available by the NNPC showed that the pipeline between Atlas Cove and Ilorin Depot was vandalised at over 774 points.
Between Atlas Cove and Mosimi depot for instance, the NNPC recorded 181 break points caused by vandals.
About 421 vandalised points were recorded from Mosimi to Ibadan, while 50 points were recorded from Mosimi to Ore.
Also between Ibadan and Ilorin, there were a total of 122 break points
The most vandalised pipeline under the network is Arepo in Ogun State, which has suffered persisted fire incidents caused by vandals.
– This Day