The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Wednesday estimated that Nigeria currently loses about 60,000 barrels of crude oil and condensate per day through petroleum pipeline vandalism and sabotage.
The NNPC also said the current crude oil production capacity loss has increased in recent times due to upsurge in attacks on crude oil and gas pipelines, especially on the Escravos-Lagos Gas Pipeline (ELGP) which it disclosed was vandalised at four different break points over the last weekend.
NNPC’s current crude oil production loss figures however suggests a drop from its 2013 estimates which its then Group Managing Director (GMD), Andrew Yakubu, said was about 150,000bpd.
The corporation in a statement in Abuja quoted its Group Executive Director Gas and Power, Dr. David Ige, to have revealed in a recent television interview that the sudden increase in the activities of saboteurs around the Trans-Forcados Pipeline and the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline in the last six weeks have robbed Nigeria several billions of naira to the detriment of the national economy.
Ige stated that the NNPC loses between 50,000 and 60,000 barrels of crude oil and condensate on a daily basis through pipeline breaks and that there appears to be a syndicate behind the economic sabotage.
He equally stated that most of the thermal power plants including the Calabar,
Alaoji, Omoku and Olorunsogo power plants, among others had been connected to gas supply sources and that all the efforts of the federal government to construct exceptional massive gas pipeline infrastructure are being sabotaged by pipeline vandals.
Ige lamented that between January and February this year, the Trans-Forcados Crude Pipeline has been attacked and vandalised four times, adding that none of NNPC’s gas pipelines has been able to run two straight days without been brought down.
According to him, the corporation was exploring a number of options on how to tackle the pipeline vandalism menace, ranging from an aggressive community engagement to installation of technological gadgets to stave off vandals.
While noting that each time a gas pipeline was brought down by the vandals, power supply across the country drops and adversely affect economic activities across the country, Ige also called for a holistic approach against pipeline vandalism.
He specifically suggested the tightening of security and expeditious judicial enforcement to bring an end to the menace which has deprived the country of several billions of revenue.