A group known as the Association of Surface Tank Oil and Gas Retailers (ASTOGRN) says it will work with other stakeholders to fight the menace of oil theft in the Niger Delta.
Chairperson of the group in Rivers State, Comrade Patience Uche, who spoke with The Tide in an interview in Port Harcourt at the weekend, said the body has inaugurated a special committee to work with other stakeholders to address issues of oil theft and pipeline vandalism.
She said statistics has revealed that oil bunkering activities and pipeline vandalisation in the Niger Delta cost the Federal Government about N5.9bn annually.
Apart from the huge losts in revenue, she said oil bunkering and pipeline vandalisation had also resulted in the lost of lives as most of the vandals are always consumed in pipeline explosions during the bunkering exercises.
Comrade Uche who decried the increasing involvement of youths in illegal bunkering activities advocated for a more proactive and corrective measure to bring lasting solution to the vice.
According to her, part of the solution is the building of modular refineries in the Niger Delta and developing the capacities of youths in the region to be actively involved in the oil and gas industry.
“Most of the youths who got involved in illegal oil bunkering and lost their lives in the process could have played a more creative and productive role in the oil and gas industry if they were functionally trained.
The Federal Government should be serious about the establishment of modular refineries and the training of youths to participate in the process, this will go a long way to tackle the challenges of illegal bunkering in the Niger Delta,” she said.
She said the major drive of the association was to make oil and gas bussines rural based, “to improve the socio economic and general living conditions of its members”
According to her, the association will achieve the targets by encouraging its members to have their licences from the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to be actively involved in the oil and gas business.
She pointed out that the initiative will also reduce petroleum supplies from foreign marketers through importation of products, and kill the spirit of bunkering from vandals as well as increase the Federal Government revenue on Surface Tank Retails bussines in Nigeria.
NNPC Shortlists 78 Firms For Pipelines Rehabilitation Bidding
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has shortlisted 78 companies to bid for the rehabilitation of oil pipelines and deport infrastructure across the country.
It would be recalled that over 300 companies applied through the official portal published in the national dailies on Aug. 7 and only 78 companies met the expiration time of noon on Sept. 18.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, at the virtual public bid opening for the rehabilitation of the NNPC group downstream critical pipelines and associated depots/terminal infrastructure on Friday in Abuja, said the corporation was committed to transparency.
Kyari said that the process of selection of companies would be transparent and those who would win the bid would undergo a process of Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) system.
He said that President Muhammadu Buhari had mandated the corporation to ensure transparency and accountability in all its operations.
He said that this would help the NNPC to deliver its services to all stakeholders efficiently, especially to the ordinary Nigerians, adding that the management of the corporation had aligned to the order.
The GMD said that it was unfortunate that the oil pipelines deteriorated over the years with activities of hoodlums and vandals, forcing its to be underutilised.
“You know that this project requires huge finances that is why we are adopting BOT, pipelines globally are managed by the private sector. What we are doing today is in line with global best practices.
“Some of them are as old as 40 years, they are due for replacement and when you want to do replacement of this scale, we do need a lot of resources, which we don’t have.
We have decided that we will bring in private partners who will rehabilitate the pipelines, they will fund it, they will operate it with us and ultimately, they will recover their investment from tariff on the pipelines.
“As soon as they recover their costs, earn their margins, they will hand over to the country, that is what we want to do,” he said.
Kyari said that the selected companies would have maximum of two years to deliver on the project, adding that by first quarter of 2021, the names of selected companies would be announced.
In his remarks, Mr Musa Lawal, the representative of the NNPC downstream, said that the corporation operated about 5,120km pipelines across the country.
SPDC’s Oil Production Hits 514,000 bpd
The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) says it has grown its oil output to an average of 514,000 barrels per day (bpd) and developed additional capacity to produce more.
The Chairman of Shell Companies in Nigeria Mr Osagie Okunbor, disclosed the production data in the oil firm’s 2020 briefing notes made available to newsmen last Wednesday in Yenagoa.
According to the publication, SPDC achieved the feat in 2019 when its production rose more than 10 per cent to 514,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) due to enhanced exploration and production activities.
On gas production, the SPDC stated it fed the domestic market and to the export market through the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) plant, adding that it supplied approximately 50 per cent of the NLNG plant capacity.
The company’s gas feed to the NLNG facility in Bonny Island in Rivers comes largely from the Gbaran-Ubie and Soku plants in Bayelsa and Rivers.
According to the publication, gas production from Soku facility increased from 100 Million standard cubit feet per day (MMscf/d) in 2018 to 350MMScf/d in 2019.
The SPDC also stated that the improved oil output was due to addition of 106 producing wells within its oil blocks in the Niger Delta.
The oil firm said that within the period under review, the Trans Ramos Pipeline which conveyed crude to its Focados oil export terminal was re-opened.
It said that the Gbaran-Ubie gas plant in Yenagoa, achieved peak production with 175,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
SPDC said it had the largest oil production asset in the country and operated a leased area of 31,000 square kilometres from which it produced while working to increase capability by investing in exploration and production activities.
“The SPDC JV’s assets include 340 producing oil wells consisting 97 land, 181 west and 62 central assets, 56 producing gas wells (10 land, three west and 43 central assets). A network of approximately 4,000 km of oil and gas pipelines and flow lines.
“The assets include 10 gas plants, two major oil export terminals, Bonny and Focados and an additional export facility a shallow water Floating Production Storage and Offloading Vessel christened `Sea Eagle’ currently stationed off Bayelsa coastline, One power plant,” the publication said.
Oyigbo Youths Responsible For Power Outage In PH – PHED
The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Plc, PHED, has blamed the power outage experienced in Port Harcourt metropolis, the Rivers State capital on the actions of Oyigbo youths who barricaded the Transmission Station in Afam Community.
PHED in a press statement signed by the Manager, Corporate Communication of the company, John Onyi, said the “Oyigbo youth also carried out the same habitual action on the 14th August 2020.
“The August action also culminated to total darkness in the Garden City, forcing a meeting of all stakeholders including Rivers State Ministry of Power on 27th August with a view to resolving the imbroglio.
“The said meeting led to the setting up of a subcommittee with the mandate of finding a lasting solution to incessant protests by the youth of the area and it was given ten working days to submit its report.
“The subcommittee therefore, had its inaugural sitting on 2nd September 2020 where every member was in attendance including the representatives of Oyigbo.
“While waiting for the report of the subcommittee, the youth in their numbers embarked on flagrant action and barricaded the TCN station without recourse to the action points of the sterling committee, thereby stopping PHED from evacuating power to the good people of Rivers State on daily basis at a period where the country is gradually recovering from the shock of the pandemic”.
PHED explained that the community was not disconnected by PHED as widely speculated by the youths, adding that the loss of power supply to the area was due to faults on the lines;
“We were going to fix the fault and discovered that it was huge which requires resources. But we are constrained to deploy such huge resources to a community that has never paid electricity bill for over seven years of PHED’s existence.
“At the present, we are struggling to pay salaries and other statutory obligations. Everyone knows that electricity is *NOT* free anywhere in the world”, he said.
PHED therefore, called for the intervention of the opinion leaders and security agencies to prevail on the youths to vacate the place to enable PHED distribute power to its esteemed customers and also appealed for their understanding while waiting for the final resolution.
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