The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, has revealed that an average of 700,000bpd of crude oil was lost in 2016 due to pipeline sabotage, bringing Nigeria’s production down to as low as 1.3 million barrels per day from 2.2 million barrels targeted for the period under review.
Computing the loss vide the current average price of $52 per barrel, the country can be said to have lost well over $13.286 billion (N4.05 trillion).
Explaining more in his keynote address at the maiden edition of the Nigerian International Pipeline Technology and Security Conference (NIPITECS 2017) in Abuja, Baru revealed that “Year-To-Date 2017; NNPC had recorded 27 breaching incidents on the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP), adding that for the Trans Forcados Pipeline (TFP) with a capacity of 300,000bpd, 17 breaches were recorded in 2016”.
“NNPC also suffered at least 15 breaching incidents on the TFP, while charging members of the Pipeline Professionals’ Association of Nigeria (PLAN) to conduct a systematic diagnosis of the pipelines system in Nigeria and come up with sustainable and actionable solutions to the menace of pipeline vandalism in the country.
But to tame the tide in the face of emerging cut threat by OPEC before the end of the year, NNPC urged all key players to rally round the pipeline professionals to proffer solutions to the pipeline vandalism challenge as it posed a great threat to the Nigerian economy in terms of revenue loss and environmental degradation.
Baru listed some of the approved measures deployed by NNPC to stem the tide of pipeline vandalism to include: Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) technology to bury pipelines deeper to prevent easy accessibility; technology-based pipeline surveillance mechanism with capability to detect, alert and deny access; and aerial monitoring and marine patrols by the Military Joint Tax Force (JTF).
However, he made mention of a new plan by government to work out a political solution to the socially induced agitation sabotage while the law enforcement agencies had been empowered to deal with those who engage in pipeline vandalism out of criminality such as oil theft.
Nigeria economy has been dependent on oil earnings since the last 45 years after the collapse of produce driven economy on oil discovery.