In an effort to fast track infrastructural development in Rivers State, the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority (GPHCDA) has indicated interest in collaborating with the World Energy Cities Partnership in Houston, Texas, United States.
The World Energy Cities Partnership (WECP) is a collaboration of over 14 “energy cities” around the world. City membership of the WECP encourages the exchange of energy industry knowledge, as well as economic and infrastructure development strategies.
In addition to city collaboration, the WECP provides a worldwide network of industry support services and resources. It also facilitates trade missions for local business leaders to travel to member cities and capitalize on business development opportunities.
Port Harcourt City, in Rivers State, is a member of the World Energy City Partnership, making it the third African city which also includes Luanda, Angola and Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. The admission followed its presentation by the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce at its May, 2008, conference in Houston, Texas, and thus makes Port Harcourt a globally acknowledged economically progressive city.
Speaking at the authority’s Head Office, when the representatives of the World Energy Cities Partnership from Houston, Texas, paid her a courtesy visit, the GPH Administrator, Dame Aleruchi Cookey-Gam, said despite the fact that Port Harcourt hosts several international and local oil companies, the city still offers a lot of additional investment opportunities in various areas, especially in oil and gas.
Mrs Cookey-Gam also said that GPHCDA was established to drive the vision of the Governor, Rt. Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi to build a new city that would improve the living standards of the people, restore the beauty of the Garden City and also expand its frontiers to make it more attractive and reachable by investors.
She further stated that government has come up with a regulatory framework to structure both the present and future development in Port Harcourt, saying that GPHCDA has left no stone unturned in the planning process for the take off of the new city.
The administrator stated that the Energy City proposed by the state government will be built within the New Greater Port Harcourt Area, around the present Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone, adding that the authority will explore the opportunities afforded by WECP’s visit to seek collaboration in infrastructure development.
Speaking earlier, the leader of the delegation, Mr. Genaro Pena said Port Harcourt is significant to fellow World Energy Cities Partnership (WECP) member cities as well as the world due to her potentials in trade and market development, saying that the essence of their visit was to look for areas of business opportunities and collaboration in the state, in addition to direct airline links between Houston and Port Harcourt.
Member countries of the Energy Cities are: Aberdeen and Scotland, UK; Calgary, Halifax, and St. Johns, Canada; Dammam, Saudi Arabia; Daqing and Dongying, China; Doha, Qatar; Houston, USA; Luanda, Angola; Malabo, Equatorial Guinea; Perth, Australia; Port Harcourt, Nigeria; San Fernando, Trinidad & Tobago; Stavanger, Norway;and Villahermosa, Mexico.
In the visit were, Ms. Saba Abasha of World Energy City, Houston, Commissioner for Energy and Natural Resources, Dr. Dawari George, Commissioner for Power, Austin Nwokocha, Rivers State representative in WECP, Dr. Emi Membere-Otaji, special assistants to the governor on Investment Promotions, Abiye Amachree, and Petroleum, Joetex Kpako, and Permanaent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, Dr. George Worlu.
Others are directors of Administration, Gas, Conflict Resolution and Statistics; head of Petroleum Department in the ministry.
NSCDC Parades Five Suspects Over 24,000 Litres Of AGO
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) last Friday paraded five suspected oil thieves caught with over 24,000 litres of illegally refined Automotive Gasoline Oil (AGO) concealed in sack bags in Rivers State.
Rivers State Commandant of NSCDC, Michael Besong Ogar, while parading the suspects, reiterated that there was no room for illegal oil bunkering activities in Rivers State, warning that perpetrators would be smoked out of their hideouts.
Ogar said the newly-reconstituted anti-vandal team has made successes in the relentless war against vandalism of oil pipelines and illegal dealings in petroleum products through massive arrests and subsequent prosecution of cases in the court.
“The Commandant General, Ahmed Abubakar Audi, has promised that in a short while there would be a drastic reduction and possible eradication of illegal dealings in petroleum products across the nation
“Our major task is to massively arrest oil pipelines vandals and their sponsors as we take the Anti-vandalism war to the enemies’ domain.
“The nation is losing millions of dollars per barrel due to the increase in pipelines vandalism and illegal oil bunkering, but I can assure you that this menace would be a thing of the past because we are fully committed to the mandate of the Corps’ in safeguarding all critical national assets and infrastructures.
“The suspects will be charged for contravening the Anti-sabotage Act, the Petroleum Act and the Miscellaneous offences Act 2004, laws of the Federation.
“They are: Ifegbu Uche ‘m’ aged 42years, Obinna Ogbonna ‘M’ 42years, Emmanuel Smart ‘m’ 19 years, Lawrence Gibson ‘m’ 35years, and Emeka Desmond ‘m’ 35years, who were arrested while conveying about 24,000 litres of illegally refined AGO concealed in sack bags and carefully packed in a Toyota Sequoia with plate number AbujaGWA386GVA; a Volkswagen Bus with Registration Number: Lagos APP 831 XX, which was intercepted at Abuloma Community in Port Harcourt, a Truck DA1700 with number plate KadunaXE653KA impounded at Abonnema Wharf, and a Ford E- 250 intercepted in Etche respectfully.
“We also intercepted and impounded another short white Mercedes truck with unquantified litres of illegally refined AGO along Ozuoba-Rumuigbo axis in Obio/Akpor LGA, Port Harcourt Rivers State.
“We are very excited that the court has resumed session as the suspects would definitely have their time in Court while application for forfeitures of the products and mode of conveyance would be made and proceeds be remitted in the Federal Government coffers,” NSCDC said.
Eni Decries Production Loss From Bayelsa Gas Pipeline Explosion
Eni, the Italian parent company to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), has said the impact of the Ogboinbiri/OB-OB gas pipeline explosion on gas output was significant.
Production data from NAOC shows that the incident cut Agip’s gas exports by 5million standard cubic meters per day.
Media Relations Manager, in charge of African Operations at Eni, Mr Domenico Spins, said the gas leak has been brought under control.
Spins in a statement announced that the incident was caused by sabotage and third-party interference.
“Eni confirms that a third party’s interference hacksaw cut caused a gas leak at the Ogbainbiri-Ob/Ob gas pipeline.
“The line is depressurised and is currently being repaired. Production losses due to the shutdown are important,” Eni stated.
The Director-General of the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Dr Idris Musa, who confirmed the pipeline blast, said the agency would lead an investigation into the incident as soon as it is safe to do so.
NOSDRA had also directed NAOC to shut down the oil and gas wells feeding the breached pipeline to extinguish the pressure and pave the way for a Joint Investigative Visit.
FG Confiscates 20m Litres Of Illegally Refined AGO
The Federal Government says the continued efforts by security agencies has led to the confiscation of over 20.2million litres of illegally refined Automotive Gasolme Oil (AGO), otherwise known as diesel.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this in Port Harcourt while carrying out an aerial survey of illegal refinery sites and hotspots along the Nembe Creek Trunk Line and the Trans-Niger Pipelines’ right of way on Friday.
Mohammed said over 210 suspects have been arrested in its efforts to combat crude oil theft in the Niger Delta region, lamenting that the activities of vandals and economic saboteurs have severely impacted the country’s crude oil production.
The Minister said over 461,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit, 843,000 litres of Dual-Purpose Kerosene, and 383,000 barrels of crude oil have also been confiscated.
He said an additional 365 illegal refining sites were destroyed, with about 1,054 refining ovens, 1,210 metal storage tanks, 838 dugout pits, and 346 reservoirs also destroyed.
“Since the post-covid pandemic recovery of crude oil prices, Nigeria has been unable to meet its OPEC Production quota, hurting the Nigerian economy.
“Due to the nefarious activities of vandals, Nigeria has been losing out on producing approximately 700,000 Barrels of oil daily. This volume is split between crude stolen and production deferment (shut-ins) due to legitimate fear of losing substantial volumes in transit.
“Terminal receipts have persistently declined, leading to decisions such as the Force Majure declared at the Bonny Oil and Gas Terminal in March 2022,” he said.
The Minister also disclosed that the NNPC Ltd had set up a new security architecture to serve as a solid response to detect, deter, and respond to the activities of vandals.
He said the security architecture leveraged collaboration between the Upstream operators, Industry Regulators, Government Security Agencies, and Private Security Contractors.
He further said NNPC Ltd.’s Command and Control Centre has been set up for round-the-clock monitoring of petroleum operations and activities within the Nigerian Exclusive Economic Zone.
According to him, all vessel movements within the Nigerian Exclusive Economic Zone as well as all Ship-to-ship activities within the same zone are now monitored.
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