The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has outlined plans to tackle pipeline vandalism in the oil and gas industry.
A statement released by Ndu Ughamadu, Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, stated that the corporation plans to establish a security advisory council to bring a lasting solution to sundry security challenges bedevilling the nation’s oil sector.
The statement quoted the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Maikanti Baru, as saying that there was need to evolve new measures to bring an end to pipeline vandalism which is a major threat to the nation’s economy.
According to the statement, Mr. Baru said the security advisory council would involve critical stakeholders which include security agencies, Niger Delta leaders, as well as international oil companies, IOCs.
While commenting on developmental measures put in place by management of the corporation, the GMD explained that aside increasing the nation’s oil and gas reserves to 37 billion barrels of oil and 192 trillion cubic feet of gas respectively, the Corporation has also commenced exploratory activities in the Gongola Basin with the aim of further growing the nation’s oil and gas reserves and taking advantage of low oil prices which make inland exploration cost effective.
The NNPC boss explained that since coming on board, he has ensured that the NNPC was run as a FACTI-based corporation (Focused, Accountable, Competitive and a Transparent organisation conducting its business with Integrity), noting that the corporation’s monthly operational and financial reports were always in the public sphere for all to see.
Mr. Banu said that it was this new wave of openness and transparency that has earned the NNPC rave reviews and accolades among Nigerians.
“With the consistent release of our monthly financial and operational reports, the Nigerian Extractive Industries and Transparency Initiative (NEITI) recently commended us for embracing openness, subjecting our activities to greater public scrutiny and providing real-time information about the state of the nation’s oil and gas sector,” the NNPC boss remarked.
Speaking on the mandate of the Security Advisory Council, the NNPC boss explained that the selected stakeholders would address all security and host community agitations in the region.
“We want to passionately appeal to those behind indiscriminate acts of infrastructure vandalism to put an end forthwith to these despicable acts which are a great threat to the economy, the eco-system and energy security of the country,” Mr. Banu said.
Nigeria’s oil production output has been hampered by the vandalisation of pipeline in the oil-rich Niger Delta region by militants like the Niger Delta Avengers, and vandals.
In August 2016, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, claimed that in 2015 alone, there were 3,000 incidences of pipeline vandalisation, translating to loss of over 643 million litres or N51.28 billion.
In the same vein, between 2010 and 2015, the NNPC said Nigeria recorded 18,000 of such incidents of pipeline vandalism.
The corporation also disclosed that between January and May 2016, no fewer than 1,447 incidents were recorded leading to a loss of 109 million litres of petroleum products and 560, 000 barrels of crude oil to refineries.
By October 2016, NNPC said that between January and October, the Nigerian government lost 7 billion dollars (N2.1 trillion) to the activities of militancy groups and oil pipeline vandals in the Niger Delta region.
In the third quarter of 2016, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a military offensive as government’s response to the sabotage by the Niger Delta Avengers and other similar groups that had emerged in different communities across the region.
As an alternative means of bringing lasting solutions to the crisis in the region, the Nigerian government also adopted a peace talk with leaders of the region, but did not cancel the military operations.
But in its latest threat, the Niger Delta Avengers threatened that it would bring Nigeria’s oil production to “zero”
The group said on Friday that it had launched two simultaneous operations to restart its disruption of Nigeria’s oil and gas production in 2017.
In a statement signed by its spokesman, Mudoch Agbinibo, the group expressed its frustration at President Muhammadu Buhari’s “deaf” approach towards the ongoing dialogue with leaders of the region.
“It has been evidently clear that the Nigerian state is not ready for any form of dialogue and negotiation,” the Avengers said.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian government plans to execute a substantial part of its 2017 budget with funds from oil earnings. While presenting the budget to a joint session of the National Assembly in December 2016, Mr. Buhari said about 40 per cent of the N7.29 total appropriation would be funded from oil revenue.