…call for partnership with HOSTCOM on pipeline vandalism, crude oil theft

Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced the introduction of a new gas flare regime for every new project that would benefit host communities in Nigeria. The national oil company is refocusing on commercialising existing gas flare projects.

Disclosing this in Abuja while addressing a delegation of Host Communities of Nigeria (HOSTCOM), the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, stated that the NNPC would continue to partner the various host communities to enable them to benefit maximally from the exploitation of the nation’s hydrocarbon resources.

Dr Baru said that the corporation would make sure that no new gas project would be approved without zero gas flare modalities, stressing that for already existing gas flare projects, the NNPC was exploring various options to commercialize the gas flare with a view to eliminating it.

The GMD commended HOSTCOM for restoring sanity to the Niger Delta region, saying the relative peace had given operators the leverage to concentrate on production for the benefit of the national economy.

“I want to thank the Oba of Benin for midwifing HOSTCOM and the traditional rulers of Oil Mineral Producing Communities of Nigeria (TROMCON). For us as operators, we will continue to dialogue with the bodies so as to create enabling operating environment for the business and for the communities,” Baru stated.

He urged HOSTCOM, as a pan-cultural organization, to partner with NNPC in stemming the incessant pipeline vandalism, illegal refineries and illegal crude oil bunkering in the Niger Delta, adding that the elimination of those vices would reduce to the barest level, incidences of environmental pollutions.

The NNPC helmsman noted that the clean-up of Ogoniland had commenced in earnest with the release of the first tranche of the funding for the project since last year, adding that HOSTCOM should ensure that the environment, water and aquatic animals of the region are not impacted negatively by illegal bunkering and breaking of petroleum products pipelines.

He pledged the commitment of Oil and Gas Operators to abide by Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMOUs) entered into with the communities and noted that GMOUs should not be seen as a replacement for government interventions in communities.

The NNPC GMD noted that the Oil and Gas business was a global business hence HOSTCOM should provide a friendly environment that would encourage investors to continue to prefer Nigeria to other investment destinations in Africa.

Speaking earlier, the National Chairman of HOSTCOM, High Chief Tamaranebi, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and Baru for always granting host communities a listening ear, assured that HOSTCOM and TROMCON would continue to collaborate with the Federal Government for the common good of all.

He commended the Federal government for the ongoing clean-up of Ogoniland, while urging that other communities with similar challenges should be cleaned up as well for the well-being of members of such communities.

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