Only about 38% of the over 5,120 kilometre pipeline owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is functioning, the state oil corporation has admitted.

The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mele Kyari, said this situation accounts for why the Corporation has struggled to efficiently operate the facilities over the past two decades.

Speaking at Energy & Corporate Africa-organised forum on, “Next Level: Critical Pipeline Infrastructure and Promoting Gas Utilisation Option Post Cover-19,” Kyari said recurring pipeline vandalism remained the biggest challenge of NNPC in the infrastructure segment, adding that it results to huge losses annually.

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Kyari, who was represented by the Managing Director, Nigerian Pipeline and Storage Limited, Ada Oyetunde, noted that dearth of investment, accelerated deterioration, and lack of investment in technology to secure the pipeline are critical barriers to the development of the downstream infrastructure.

He admitted that, “currently about 38 per cent of the pipeline system is operational,” adding that with the mandate to overhaul the refineries to 90 per cent capacity, there was a need to improve the pipelines.

He assured however that pipelines, depots and terminal infrastructure all over the country are being rehabilitated, with some of the projects on the verge of tendering, stressing that build, operate and transfer (BOT) model is being used to resuscitate most of the assets in the face of dwindling revenue and economic challenges.

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The new pipelines being designed would come with holistic monitoring technology, including supervisory control and data acquisition systems and other technologies to detect intrusion and leaks as well clear right-of-way and smart fencing.

On these infrastructures, Kyari said the operators would charge market-reflective tariff on them to allow for recovery of their investments.

By Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja

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