The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said about 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil were deferred in 2016 due to pipeline sabotage.
Dr Maikanti Baru, Group Managing Director, said this in Abuja on Wednesday in a statement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr Ndu Ughamadu.
Baru said the sabotage brought Nigeria’s production down to as low as 1.3 million bpd from 2.2 million barrels targeted for the period.
The NNPC boss, in the statement, said Year-To-Date 2017, NNPC had recorded 27 breaching incidents on the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP), adding that for the Trans Forcados Pipeline (TFP) with a capacity of 300,000 bpd, 17 breaches were recorded in 2016.
According to him, Year-To-Date 2017, NNPC has suffered at least 15 breaching incidents on the TFP.
He urged members of the Pipeline Professionals’ Association of Nigeria (PLAN) to conduct a systematic diagnosis of the pipelines system in Nigeria and come up with sustainable and actionable solutions to the menace of pipeline vandalism in the country.
Baru urged key players to rally round the professionals to proffer solutions to the vandalism challenge as it posed a great threat to the Nigerian economy in terms of revenue loss and environmental degradation.
”The foregoing summarizes the effect of pipeline vandalism and therefore underscores the importance of protecting our pipeline system and treating them as National Assets.
”On the strength of that, we must endeavor to carry out a systematic diagnosis and proffer workable, practicable and actionable solutions that will guarantee sustainability of pipeline infrastructure,” Baru said.
He listed some of the measures deployed by NNPC to stem the vandalism to include: Horizontal Directional Drilling technology to bury pipelines deeper to prevent easy accessibility
Other measures include technology-based pipeline surveillance mechanism with capability to detect, alert and deny access and aerial monitoring and marine patrols by the Military Joint Tax Force.
He said government was working out a political solution to the socially-induced agitation and sabotage while the law enforcement agencies had been empowered to deal with those who engaged in pipeline vandalism out of criminality such as oil theft.