08 March 2015, Lagos – Nigeria is to lose $12.6 million, about N2.52 billion, following acts of vandalism on the Escravos-Lagos pipeline and its subsequent closure by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and the Nigerian Gas Company, NGC.
Specifically, the 200 million Standard Cubic Feet per day (SCFD) pipeline, according to Mr. Dafe Sejebor, Managing Director, NGC, was vandalised, Monday, March 2, 2015, at Inikorogha community at the creeks in Delta state, leading to its closure.
Sejebor, who was represented at a press briefing, yesterday, in Warri, Delta state, by Mr. Joseph Olisa, Executive Director, Services, NGC, added that the country will be deprived of about 1,500 mega watts of electricity during the period which the pipeline will be shut.
He, however, stated that work has commenced on the repairs of the pipelines , Thursday, adding that the work will be concluded in about two weeks. This brings the period the pipeline will be shut and gas supplied deferred to about three weeks.
The NGC put the cost of gas at an average of $3 per 1,000 SCF, this translates to a loss to the country of about $12.6 million or N2.52 billion for the minimum of 21 days that the 200 million SCF per day pipeline will be shut.
Sejebor said the recent increase in the spate of vandalism is negatively affecting the economy of the country and the operations of the company. He said, “The spate of vandalism of our pipelines have been on the increase and this is alarming.
We are hurting, especially as it has affected us negatively. It is a willful damage and not as a result of our inability to maintain our pipelines.”
As a means of stemming the tide, he disclosed that the NGC is already having several engagements with all its stakeholders – contractors, security agencies and leaders of communities in its areas of operations — on ways to ensure the safety of the pipelines.
He added that the various communities have assured it of better relationship henceforth, noting also that the company is considering a number of new incentives for communities where it did not record any incident. Also speaking, Mr. Gabriel Aggrey,
Acting Executive Director, Operations, NGC, Warri, disclosed that between January and now, the company has recorded three major sabotage of its pipelines, costing the company and the country hundreds of millions of naira to fix and also in terms of shut-ins.
According to him, repairing these damages is not an easy task, as we have to contend with gaining access to these points of sabotage with our personnel and equipment, adding that the terrain are rough, difficult and treacherous. He said,
“With the sabotage of the pipeline, the country will experience power outage exposure of between one to 1.5 gigawatt (GW) as a result of the direct and indirect impact; gas volume deferment of 200 million SCF per day; high cost of operations and danger posed to lives and properties.”
The 24 inches by 6 kilometer pipeline is an expansion of the Escravos Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) and it transmits gas from Warri to Lagos. The NGC said it sensed something was wrong when it recorded a drop in pressure at its systems in Warri and a follow up call from some members of the community near the spot, reporting that they heard a loud bang around 6am on the fateful day.
The company said a portion of the pipeline, measuring about five meters was affected, adding that it will also conduct a Non-Destructive Testing, NDT, to ascertain if the joints closed to the affected spot was damaged.
*Michael Eboh – Vanguard