LAGOS‚ÄîThe Management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Sunday said it had successfully clamped the ruptured point along the Mosimi‚ÄìIbadan line and resumed fuel supply operation to Ibadan and its environs.
The repairs came less than 24 hours after men suspected to be oil thieves ruptured the Mosimi‚ÄìIbadan fuel supply pipeline along the crucial System 2B Pipeline network, which erupted into an inferno¬† weekend.
The Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Ms. Tumini Green, in a statement said a team of engineers and technologists from the NNPC and its downstream subsidiary, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC, worked assiduously over the weekend to restore the line to normal operation.
The NNPC spokesperson said the Corporation responded quickly because of its determination to ensure that Nigerians do not experience any form of scarcity in petroleum products supply on account of the activities of some unpatriotic citizens.
‚ÄúAt exactly 20.06 hrs on Saturday, the Mosimi‚ÄìIbadan line was re-streamed after repair works at the ruptured point. While we remain committed to our resolve in ensuring unimpeded distribution of petroleum products across the country despite the mounting odds, we call on members of the public to support the NNPC and the security agencies in this fight against oil thieves and pipeline hackers,‚Äù the statement read in part.
The NNPC called on Ibadan residents and the adjoining communities to refrain from panic buying or hoarding of petroleum products in anticipation of scarcity.
Litany of vandalism
Efforts by the NNPC to ensure unimpeded distribution of products through its vast artery of pipelines have come under serious threats due to the activities of oil thieves especially along the System 2B Pipeline network, which accounts for a third of products supply in the country.
The Corporation said there have been over 774 ruptured points between August and October, 2012 along the System 2B line, adding that it is currently working with the Engineering Corps of the Nigerian Army to clear the pipeline right of way from the Atlas Cove in Lagos to the Ilorin Depot in KwaraState.
The Corporation is also introducing the Horizontal Direct Drilling System, HDD to redirect the pipelines from the reach of vandals.
Pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft has attained a worrisome dimension over the years, with the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, saying the country loses about N954 billion ($6 billion) to crude oil theft annually.
Last year, the Minister of Petroleum Resources said Nigeria lost about N1.908 trillion ($12 billion) to pipeline vandalism and oil theft in 2011, while adding that of the total amount, $5 billion was spent on pipeline repairs, while the amount lost to crude theft was valued at $7 billion.
Confirming this, the Minister of Finance and Coordinator of the Economy, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said Nigeria is losing an estimated 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil, resulting in about 17 per cent reduction in export sales, costing the nation‚Äôs treasury about $14 billion in 2011 alone.
Also, the PPMC said Nigeria lost about N165 billion in the last four years to pipeline vandalism, adding that the sum includes the cost of repairs and products theft.
Managing Director of PPMC, Mr. Haruna Momoh, noted that the activities of vandals at Arepo in particular, and products theft across the country had become a recurring national embarrassment and had cost the country, N165 billion between 2009 and 2012.
He added that on a number of occasions, the vandals at Arepo, who have become notorious in their operations, attacked personnel of PPMC with guns and other dangerous weapons, and prevented them from fixing the damaged pipelines.
This, he said, led to the death of a number of personnel over the years and had brought about a huge cost on PPMC in the area of repair of the vandalised pipelines.
He said: ‚ÄúIn one case, the vandals killed one of our personnel, who had gone to fix a vandalised pipeline and buried him in an unknown grave. It took the intervention of the management of PPMC, who pleaded with the community for several days before they could show us the grave, allowing us to exhume the body so as to give the personnel a befitting burial.‚Äù