The recent attacks on the Escravos gas pipeline cost Nigeria about N470 million daily on gas sales and power shortage, federal government has disclosed.
The breach of the vital facility also affected the 600megawatts (mw) Olorunsogo plant in Ogun State and other plants in the western axis, according to a statement issued by Hakeem Bello, media aide to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola.
The Escravos pipeline that was blown up by suspected vandals connects the Nigeria Gas Company (NGC) pipeline to Chevron Nigeria Limited’s facility and its impacts on the nation was beyond monetary terms.
According to government, following the incident, the Olorunsogo power plant, one of the 10 plants under the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) was shut-down due to the cut in gas supply.
“The sabotaged gas pipeline which contributes to the Escravos Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) has led to a loss of 160mmsfcd of gas daily. At a cost of $2.50 per thousand scf, this loss means N788million (about $400,000) loss to the country daily in gas volume,” the statement read.
It further disclosed that the loss was in addition to losses to be incurred daily from affected power generation of N391.680million daily, amounting to an estimated N470.479million. Evaluating the cost of repairs for the pipeline, power ministry said it might cost about N120million.
According to latest official records, about six incidences of vandalism occurred between December, 2014 and February 2015 affecting the Trans Forcados Pipeline and the Escravos pipeline. The incidence caused a loss of 1,100MMScfd resulting in a loss of over 4,000mw, industry experts have said.
The statement said the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was forming a committee including the Police and the Joint Task Force (JTF), along with community vigilante groups to secure more pipelines.
Similarly, the Federal Government has allayed fears on the destruction of oil pipeline in the Niger Delta region. Minister of Niger Delta, Usani Uguru while meeting with inter-agency on the recent destruction of pipeline that affected some refineries in the country, said the focus of the government is now towards finding solution to the recent challenge of pipeline vandalism in the region. Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, Brigadier General Paul Boroh also said the programme was on course and that most former militants had dissociated themselves from pipelines vandalism.
By Olisemeka Obeche