Uche Usim, Abuja
As the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) intensifies its search for hydrocarbon deposits in the Benue trough, the Group Managing Director of the Corporation Dr Maikanti Baru, has said that plans have been concluded for the spudding of Kolmani River Well 2 on January 19, 2019.
Spudding is the process of beginning to drill a well in the oil and gas industry by removing rock, dirt and other sedimentary materials with the drill bit.
In a New year message to staff, he explained that activities would resume in the Chad Basin as soon as there was sufficient greenlight from security agencies on the situation in the enclave.
The move was to avoid the kidnapping of NNPC engineers like it happened in 2018 by Boko Haram insurgents.
With regard to midstream operations, the NNPC GMD stated that in 2018, Nigeria achieved an average national daily gas production of 7.90bscf, translating to three per cent above the 2017 average daily gas production of 7.67bscf.
He said out of the 7.90bscf produced in 2018, an average of 3.32bscfd (42%) was supplied to the Export market, 2.5bscfd (32%) for reinjection/Fuel Gas, 1.3bscfd (16%) was supplied to the domestic market and about 783mmscfd (10%) was flared.
The GMD stated that out of the 1.3bscfd supplied to the domestic market, an average of 71mmscfd went to the Power Sector, while 470mmscfd was supplied to the industries and the balance of 69mmscf delivered to the West African Market through the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP).
Baru said NNPC would bridge the medium-term domestic gas supply deficit by 2020 through the corporation’s Seven Critical Gas Development Projects (&CGDPS), adding that a reputable Project Management consulting firm was collaborating with an NNPC team to achieve accelerated implementation of the projects.
He assured that full implementation of the project would boost domestic gas supply from about 1.5bscf/d to 5bscf/d by 2020, with a corresponding 500 per cent increase in power generation and stimulation of gas-based industrialisation.
Baru said all existing power plants in the country now had a permanent gas supply pipeline infrastructure, even as he stressed that the corporation would continue to expand and integrate its gas pipeline network system to meet increasing domestic gas demand.
He listed key gas pipeline infrastructure projects on which he noted significant progress had been made in their execution to include: Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS II), Obiafu/Obrikom-Oben (OB3), Odidi-Warri Expansion Pipeline (OWEP), Trans Nigeria Pipeline Project (TNGP) – Ajaokuta-Kaduan-Kano (AKK) Pipeline, Trans Nigeria Pipeline Project (TNGP) and Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline (NGMP) Project.
In the Midstream Refinery Sub-sector, Dr. Baru regretted that the nation’s three refineries had not undergone Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) for an aggregate of 42 years combined.
Despite the challenge, he explained that major rehabilitation works were carried out in all the three refineries, saying, WRPC had its Distribution Control System (DCS) successfully upgraded, PHRC had major interventions in Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit (FCCU) and Power Plant Unit (PPU) fixed, while KRPC was undergoing major repairs of its FCCU, Catalytic Reforming Unit (CRU) and Crude Distillation Unit 2 (CDU2).
He noted that efforts were afoot to get the original builders of the refineries to carry out TAM on them after securing favourable private funding for the exercise.
In the Downstream Sector, Dr. Baru noted that even though 2018 was riddled with some supply shortages, he was delighted that the corporation rose to the occasion with the support of President Muhammadu Buhari and the resilience and hard work of NNPC staff, saying as at today, there was fuel in all the nook and crannies of the country.
“It gladdens my heart to hear the positive comments made by motorists and filling-station owners during my routine checks on some filling stations at the eve of Christmas,” Baru stated.
He said the corporation’s depots had been resuscitated and put to use through decanting of over 140 Million litres of PMS nationwide, explaining that systems 2B and 2E pipelines supplying petroleum products to South West, South-South and South East regions had been resuscitated.
The GMD assured that NNPC was on track in respect of the corporation’s 12 key Business Focus Areas (BUFA), and the vision of President Buhari to improve the status of oil and gas infrastructure through ensuring products availability to support national economic recovery and growth.