…Records 45,347 pipeline breaks in 18 years
Lagos — The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has laid out steps to mitigate the twin menace of pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft in the nation’s oil and gas industry.
Speaking Tuesday in Abuja at the inaugural Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, policy dialogue, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, said oil theft had remained a challenge in the industry despite strong interventions in the past.
A statement by the NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs, Mr. Samson Makoji quoted Kyari as saying a reduction in the menace was possible through improved collaboration and implementation of Global Memoranda of Understanding, GMoUs, and deployment of appropriate technologies, among other measures.
Mallam Kyari, who was represented at the event by the NNPC Chief Operating Officer, Upstream, Mr. Roland Ewubare, listed other measures to curb the menace to include a security architecture with single accountability for national critical infrastructure; industry and regulatory commitment to transparent crude oil and products accounting; realistic expectation by host communities; and emplacement of sustainable social investment mechanism.
He emphasised the need to inculcate integrity and transparency across every level of the governance structure for pipeline security and policy refill and enforcement of legal actions on economic saboteurs.
The NNPC GMD harped on the need to prioritise and instil in the nation’s teeming youth a sense of patriotism and national orientation.
On the immediate and remote causes of oil theft and pipeline vandalism, the he posited that most stakeholders were of the view that oil theft was essentially a social problem which underlying causes include poverty in the communities, community-industry expectation mismatch and corruption.
Others, he noted, included ineffective law enforcement, poor governance, poor prosecution of offenders, high unemployment in the communities, thriving illegal oil market involving both Nigerians and foreigners, and inadequate funding of resources to combat oil theft.
He lamented that NNPC, as an operator, had suffered severe attacks on its facilities and assets, noting that between 2001 to half year 2019, NNPC had recorded a total of 45,347 pipeline breaks on its Downstream pipeline network across the country.
Kyari said that for the Nigerian economy to prosper, NNPC and other oil companies must be able to operate efficiently and profitably.
In his presentation, Edo State Governor and Chairman of the National Economic Council, NEC, Ad Hoc Committee on Crude Oil Theft, Prevention and Control, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, stressed the need to institute a proper governance structure for pipeline security in the industry.
Gov. Obaseki called on the Nigeria Intelligence Agency , NIA, to work with the NNPC in identifying possible international markets and destinations of stolen Nigerian crude oil.