Yenagoa — Nigeria LNG said there had been an improvement in the availability of some oil pipelines since the government and state oil firm NNPC LTD stepped-up efforts in August to combat theft.
Rampant pipeline theft had dragged oil production below 1 million barrels per day (bpd) that month for the first time since the 1980s and had a knock-on effect on gas availability, as the bulk of Nigeria’s gas comes as a byproduct of oil output.
“We have begun to see improvement in the availability of key crude oil transportation trunklines,” NLNG spokesman Andy Odeh said via email, adding: “If this trend is sustained, we expect it will support improved gas supply to NLNG once currently flooded oil and gas infrastructures becomes accessible,”
In August, the government and NNPC launched coordinated efforts to combat theft, including by hiring ex militants to protect pipelines.
NLNG declared force majeure last month due to the impact heavy flooding had on its gas suppliers but has continued to export cargoes. Odeh said the force majeure remained in place but declined to share the operational levels due to a “rapidly evolving situation.”
He said its Train 7 project, which would increase output at its Bonny Island LNG plant to 30 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) from 22 mtpa, was 32% complete.
“Construction has commenced in earnest and going according to plan,” Odeh said, without commenting on the expected completion date.
In May, NNPC CEO Mele Kyari said that the project is expected to be completed in four years.
*Tife Owolabi & Libby George; Libby George; Editing: Bernadette Baum – Reuters
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