By Etuka Sunday
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday disclosed that it recorded a total of 45,347 pipeline breaks on its downstream pipeline network between 2001 and half year 2019.
The NNPC GMD, Mallam Mele Kyari, made this disclosure in a keynote address at the Nigeria International Pipeline Technology and Security Conference and Exhibition organized by the Pipelines Professionals Association of Nigeria (PLAN) in Abuja.
He said in 2018 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 posited that 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.
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 utilization 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.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Chairman of PLAN, Mr. Geoff Onuoha, described the nation’s pipelines as the arteries driving the prosperity of the national economy, assuring the management of NNPC of PLAN’s support to enable her run its pipelines efficiently.
In his submission, the Director General of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Engr. Chidi Izuwah, advocated for the adoption of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model as a solution to the funding challenge hampering the expansion and modernisation of the nation’s infrastructure.
Highpoint of the event was the tour of the various exhibition pavilions by the GMD alongside other dignitaries and participants at the conference.