…Says increase in activities of saboteurs shocking
Oscarline Onwuemenyi 05 January 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has deplored the recent increase in attacks on crude oil and gas pipelines, saying it was adversely affecting the nation’s economy.
This was contained in a statement in Abuja by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr Ohi Alegbe, who stated that the nation lost about 60,000 barrels of crude oil per day to acts of vandalism on its pipelines in the last six weeks.
Reports show that at $53 per barrel, Nigeria lost about $3.2 million (about N534.3 million) per day to oil theft during the period.
Alegbe added that the sudden increase in the activities of saboteurs around the Trans-Forcados Pipeline and the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline in the last six weeks was shocking.
He said the Escravos-Lagos Gas Pipeline was vandalised with four breaks in the first weekend of this month (February).
According to Alegbe, “NNPC loses between 50,000 and 60,000 barrels of crude oil and condensate on a daily basis to pipeline breaks. The act had robbed the nation of several billions of naira to the detriment of the national economy.”
The NNPC spokesman said there appeared to be a syndicate behind the economic sabotage.
Alegbe said none of NNPC’s gas pipelines had been able to run two straight days without being brought down.
He regretted that these acts of vandalisation have adversely affected power generation given that most of the power plants, including those in Calabar, Alaoji, Omoku and Olorunsogo had been connected to gas pipelines.
“All the efforts of the Federal Government to construct unprecedented massive gas pipeline infrastructure are being sabotaged by pipeline vandals.
“It is unfortunate that between January and early February 2015 alone, the Trans-Forcados Crude Pipeline was attacked and vandalised four times,” the NNPC spokesman noted.
He added that the corporation was exploring a number of options on how to tackle the menace of pipeline vandalism.
The options, he said, ranged from an aggressive community engagement to installation of technological gadgets to stave off the vandals.