By Bimbola Oyesola
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) yesterday, raised the alarm that between October 2021 to February 2022, over 90 percent of crude oil pumped into the Trans National Pipeline (TNP) by operators was vandalised.
Addressing journalists at a world press conference on Wednesday in Lagos, President of PENGASSAN, Festus Osifo, lamented that the issues of crude oil theft have been exacerbated in recent times. This, he noted has made Nigeria lose out on accruing more revenue in spite of the current high price of crude oil in the international market.
“We currently produce an average of 1.2 to 1.3 million barrels of crude oil daily from a capacity of about 2 million barrels of crude oil per day.
Reconciliation/Fiscalisation at Bonny terminal shows that between 5 – 10 percent of crude oil metered from the operators gets to the terminals,” he said.
Osifo said another problem arising from vandalism is that companies are forced to go into curtailment when these assets/export pipelines are damaged as they cannot export what they produced, thereby incurring production losses. He stated that an operator loses an average of 10 days of production shut-in every month due to vandalism.
He said, “Recent preliminary work showed that about 150 illegal tappings were used in siphoning crude oil from the TNP.
“This has forced all operators injecting crude into the TNP to suspend export/injection thereby shutting-in production. TOTAL Energies and SPDC for example stopped production into the TNP pipeline while Agip ENI declare force majeure on their brass terminal.
“Beyond the reduction in revenue to the operating companies and the country, this act of sabotage has caused serious environmental degradation to the host communities and region. The health implication of this unholy act will be monumental in years to come.”
As a matter of urgent national importance, the Association charged the Federal Government to work with stakeholders in the oil and gas industry as well as the national security architecture to find a lasting solution to this menace that is almost bringing the oil and gas industry to its knees.
He said, it is the union’s expectation that the pipelines integrity will be sound enough to enable safe transportation of crude and products all over the country, while government establishes a special force committed to strict enforcement of Pipeline Right of Way.