Pipeline vandalism affect PPMC operations

The Pipelines Products Marketing Company, PPMC a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC is worried about the vandalism of petroleum pipelines in the nation.

The firm stated over the weekend that the continued rupturing of both crude oil and gas pipelines in the country was becoming frustrating.

The Managing Director, PPMC, Mr. Haruna Momoh, told journalists on Saturday that efforts to arrest the menace were becoming difficult as the vandals had made it a daily routine.

Momoh, who spoke through the company’s Executive Director, Commercial, Mr. Francis Amego, said, “Between 2008 and 2013, the total loss recorded is over N376bn and we have not seen the desired improvement. And all effort to curb this act proves to be more difficult by the day.”

On the rupturing of pipelines, he said there had been a gradual increase in the trend from 1999 to 2013.

“In 1999 we had 497, but last year we had 3,571, and this had a huge impact on product availability and the cost of maintaining the pipelines.”

He noted that pipeline vandals were becoming notorious in their acts, and stressed that they rupture crude oil infrastructure within hours after the lines had been fixed.

Momoh said, “You will identify a leak today. You will repair it and in less than 48 hours the leak will be opened again or another leak will be formed just a few meters away from the one you repaired. This, of course, hampers the distribution of our products massively.”

He called for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill as this would help with policies that would enhance the effective mitigation against oil theft and pipeline vandalism.

The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Andrew Yakubu had told reporters that the continued rupturing of pipelines was a major problem that eats deep into the NNPC’s revenue.

Yakubu, while explaining why it would be difficult for NNPC to comply by the Senate’s recommendation to remit $218m into the Federation Account, said pipelines vandalism, amongst other issues, came at a huge cost to the oil firm.

“We have had challenges in Arepo and many other parts and you know very well that anytime that line is breached, I cannot use it. I have vessels and I also need to understand energy crisis in the country and this means that I must have strategic storage.

“But now I don’t have access to my onshore facilities and my pipelines.”

He argued that if the corporation had failed to provide petroleum products, the senate would have summoned it.

Yakubu said, “If I did not do it last year, the same senate will summon me and ask me why there is no product. So the only person that can do that (Senate’s demand) is the magician.

“However, we will continue to engage and explain to them to make this fact clear and let us know if I should be punished for being the supplier of last resort?”

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