Group General Manager of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), Mr Bala Wunti, at the weekend announced that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) had concluded the clamping of the damaged Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) in the Niger Delta.
It is believed that with the fixing of the pipeline which hitherto had up to 90 per cent of crude oil pumped into it stolen or spilt, Nigeria’s production will be substantially ramped up.
Recently, while leading a nationwide protest over the magnitude of vandalism and oil theft in the country, President of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Festus Osifo, lamented that just between 5-10 per cent of crude oil metered from the operators gets to the terminal.
This has forced all operators injecting crude into the TNP to suspend export/injection thereby shutting-in production and declaring force majeure at various times.
The conclusion of the repair is coming a few days after the NNPC announced the discovery of a four-kilometre or 2.5-mile illegal connection from the Forcados export terminal, which typically exports around 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil.
Nigeria has been losing potential revenue from some 600,000 bpd of oil, mostly as a result of shut-ins due to vandalism, with crude oil exports falling to as low as 972,000 bpd in August for the first time since at least 1990.
But Wunti explained that the NNPC was determined to resolve all the outstanding issues blocking Nigeria from realising its full Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) production quota.
With the renewed effort by all stakeholders to stamp out the oil theft menace, Wunti stated that Nigerians will begin to see a reduction in oil spill in the oil-producing areas.
Specifically, making public the latest development public on his Twitter handle after his visit to the area, Wunti noted that the repair around Bodo marked the beginning of a new era of revamping all the assets of the NNPC impacted by the activities of vandals.
He added that the NNPC’s efforts in rebuilding trust among its host communities was taking shape and paying off, explaining that with the completion of the repair, environmental remediation will commence in full.
Wunti stated that all parties had decided to respect the outcome of the open discussions that led to the fixing of the pipeline, noting that in the coming days, not only will the Bodo community indigenes live in a cleaner and healthier environment, but the nation will also receive some much-needed relief.
“Today, we achieved another great milestone on my second trip (within a week) to Bodo community. The faulty section of the Trans Niger Pipeline was clamped, and the spillage successfully stopped. With the completion of repairs, environmental remediation will commence in earnest.
“We will all go to bed feeling better tonight, knowing that the oil spill into the Bodo community has successfully been contained and that NNPC trust rebuilding efforts with our beloved host community has fully taken shape and paying off.”All the parties have respected the outcome of the open discussions that led to this moment. In the coming days, not only will the Bodo community indigenes live in a cleaner and healthier environment, but the nation will also receive much-needed relief.
“Watching the contractors plug the leak and tighten the bolts to hold the clamp in place was gratifying. This memory will live with me for forever,” the NAPIMS boss said.
At the NNPC, Wunti stressed that the commitment to ensuring safety and safeguarding the well-being of the company’s host communities remains unwavering.
“Our appreciation and gratitude go to the members of the host communities, the community leaders that stood up to be counted, and the hardworking and indefatigable government security agencies, NNPC staff, and contractors involved throughout the process,” he added.
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The TNP line, which could haul as much as 180,000 bpd takes crude from production fields to the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) joint venture terminal in Bonny Island in Rivers.
Thisday learnt that the Bodo community had given both the SPDC and the industry regulators some conditions before granting them access to fix the asset.
Meanwhile, OPEC’s Secretary General, Haitham al-Ghais, has explained the reasons behind the decision to cut 2 million barrels per day starting in November till the end of December 2023.
The producer group insisted that uncertainty over demand and the health of the global economy were the reasons behind the cut, not politics. However, the decision has been met with criticism from the United States.
“We see several macroeconomic headwinds for the global economy and potentially now the likelihood of a recession. This is not something that just passes.
“And this is something that is almost a consensus between major global economic banks, financial institutions, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Economic Forum (WEF),” he told Energy Intelligence.
He added that from past experiences, it was prudent to pre-empt and to be proactive and give clear guidance to the market to ensure stability.
“It’s very clear we obviously don’t want this to happen, but if there is a recession and some people are already saying we are in a recession, the first thing that will be affected as always is global oil demand. And hence the decision to be proactive and adjust production by 2 million bpd,” he noted.
But he said that since some countries are already having issues with meeting their current production targets, the net effective cut would be closer to 1 million bpd, rather than the whole 2 million bpd.
Stressing that OPEC decisions will always be based on data , rather than sentiments, he explained that there is no political agenda behind the latest decision.
“We are OPEC and this is a group that discusses technical parameters, economic parameters, supply, demand, production figures, state of the global economy, all the things that are purely fundamentally related to the market.
“We intend to always try to keep doing what we’ve done for all these years, which is try to preserve a balanced and stable and good health of the oil market condition. This is our objective. There is no politics behind it,” he explained.
OPEC and its oil-exporting allies known as OPEC+ had announced a 2 million barrel per day cut in oil production this month.
The oil cartel also slashed Nigeria’s oil production output by 84,000 bpd, although it’s not likely to substantially impact the country which has underperformed by as much as 600,000 bpd to 700,000 bpd in the last couple of months.