NNPC records 45,347 pipeline breaks

THE Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it recorded a total of 45,347 pipeline breaks on its downstream pipeline network between 2001 and in the first six months of this year.

It said it has pledged to deepen collaboration with the Nigerian Navy to tackle the menace of oil theft and attacks on oil and gas facilities across the country.

Its GMD, Mallam Mele Kyari, made this disclosure in a keynote address at the Nigeria International Pipeline Technology and Security Conference and Exhibition organised by the Pipelines Professionals Association of Nigeria (PLAN) in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said last year alone, a total of 19 fire incidents were recorded on the petroleum products pipelines, stressing that the theme of this year’s conference: Pipeline Assets: Critical Backbone for Socio-Economic Development, resonated with the thinking at the NNPC on the need to reinforce the narrative of the critical role of pipeline assets to the nation’s energy security and economic progress.

He said it was difficult for the oil and gas industry to deliver much value to the economy without effective and efficient pipelines operations.

“As a major player in the oil and gas industry, NNPC operates over 5,000 kilometers of pipelines traversing many communities to link terminals, 3 refineries and 20 depots for efficient transportation of crude oil and refined products. In addition, NNPC has over 1,700 kilometers of natural gas pipelines to supply gas to power plants and gas-based industries, including deliveries to trans-national reception points,” the GMD quipped.

He lamented that these huge pipeline assets have become difficult to operate efficiently as a result of incessant activities of vandals and other criminal syndicates that were becoming increasingly sophisticated.

Kyari  during a courtesy visit to the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas at the Naval Headquarters pledged to deepen collaboration between the two organisations.

He expressed gratitude to the Navy for its efforts at securing the nation’s oil and gas facilities in the creeks and deepwater.

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He said while the intervention of the Navy had brought some sanity to the system, there was need to do more as crude oil theft was still a potent reality in the nation’s oil and gas industry.

He said NNPC was ready to support the Navy in any initiative it could come up with to further check the menace.

In his presentation, Vice Admiral Ibas, said the Navy was currently working at integrating its system with those of other maritime operators such as the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to facilitate efficient operation.

He said the Navy has over 130 impounded vessels some of which are laden with stolen crude oil and petroleum products, stressing that it would live up to its mandate and work towards ending all forms of criminality in the nation’s territorial waters.

He listed a number of challenges to its operations which he said were receiving attention, adding that the corporation’s intervention in resolving some them was welcomed.

The NNPC helmsman said the corporation was ready to collaborate with PLAN and all stakeholders to respond aggressively to incidences of pipeline vandalism in the country with a view to mitigating them.

He said the current administration under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari was determined to boost domestic gas utilisation to improve power generation and boost industrial growth, stressing that the support of all, especially pipeline professionals, was required to drive the laudable initiative to fruition.

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