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The incessant activities of oil thieves and pipeline vandals have forced indigenous oil and gas group, Neconde Energy Limited (Nestoil) to come up with innovative Alternative Evacuation Technology (AET).
Giving an insight on the brain behind the AET, the Chief Technical Officer at Nestoil, Engr Ifeanyi Ezuka, revealed that “This AET has a combination of technical and logistical issues. In Nigeria, we have the Forcados, Bonny, Brass and Escravos terminals, where crude oil is exported. Over the years, the pipelines that take oil to these terminals have become targets for vandals.
“Sometimes, the pipelines become targets whenever there are social and other issues with stakeholders, especially the government and communities, thus affecting operations. But with this system, we can now have control over the value chain.”
Continuing, he added that “It should also be noted that when we bought the asset from Shell, the mechanism in use was only able to separate oil from gas. But we had to put in place a mechanism to separate oil, gas and water before transporting it through barges.
“In other words, we had to convert our facilities to have the capability to separate water and provide dry oil that meet export quality.
Continuing, the Nestoil technical chief averred that “In the Nestoil Group, we have companies that fabricate these vessels as well as companies that did engineering. Specifically, Impac Engineering did the detailed engineering and then handed it over to our fabrication company, known as Energy Works Technology (EWT).
“EWT fabricated the systems and then we transported everything to the field base for installation and integration. We also got one equipment – the crude oil dehydrators – from the United States for installation before the commissioning process started,” Ezuka disclosed.
Explaining more on the imports of the rare technology, he said that “The new technology comes with a lot of benefits. The usual losses or leakages associated with pipeline issues are eliminated, meaning that we have control of the complete value chain to deliver specific volumes from the well-head to the terminal. Also, bankers now take us serious than before because they know and appreciate the certainty of our operations.
“There is also a significant drop in redundancy. We have been at full deployment since June, July last year. It has been great, everyone is happy because production has been stable. From all indications, we will be able to pay back borrowed funds.
Ezuka submitted further that “It can only get better,” stressing that “We are ready and currently discussing with some organisations. We look forward to delivering the AES, which includes the crew dehydration, the loading platforms, the vessels, and all the controls that are required within 14 to 18 months.”
“This is because we have integrated companies that provide complementary services, thus enabling us to deliver value on record time.”
Ezuka revealed further that Nestoil is working on a template to share the value adding technology with other investors in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry for posterity sake.
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