The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Wednesday deplored the recent increase in attacks on crude oil and gas pipelines, saying that it adversely affected the nation’s economy.
This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Mr Ohi Alegbe.
Alegbe said the nation lost about 60,000 barrels of crude oil per day to acts of vandalism on its pipeline.
Alegbe said the sudden increase in the activities of saboteurs around the Trans-Forcados Pipeline and the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline in the last six weeks was shocking.
He said that the Escravos-Lagos Gas Pipeline was vandalised with four breaks over the weekend.
“The act had robbed the nation of several billions of naira to the detriment of the national economy.
“NNPC loses between 50,000 and 60,000 barrels of crude oil and condensate on a daily basis to pipeline breaks,” he said.
NAN reports that at 53 dollar per barrel, Nigeria loses about 3.2 million dollars (about N534.3 million) per day to oil theft.
He said that there appeared to be a syndicate behind the economic sabotage.
Alegbe stated that most of the power plants, including those in Calabar, Alaoji, Omoku and Olorunsogo had been connected to gas.
He said that all the efforts of the Federal Government to construct unprecedented massive gas pipeline infrastructure were being sabotaged by pipeline vandals.
He said it was unfortunate that between January and early February 2015 alone, the Trans-Forcados Crude Pipeline was attacked and vandalised four times.
Alegbe said that none of NNPC’s gas pipelines had been able to run two straight days without being brought down.
He said the corporation was exploring a number of options on how to tackle the pipeline vandalism menace.
He said the options ranged from an aggressive community engagement to installation of technological gadgets to stave off the vandals.
Alegbe said that each time a gas pipeline was brought down by the vandals, power supply across the country dropped which adversely affected economic activities across the length and breadth of the nation.
He called for a holistic approach to resolve the pipeline vandalism scourge.
Alegbe said this should include tightening of security and expeditious judicial enforcement, to end the menace.