March 24, 2016 - 4:22 AM EDT
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Dept of Petroleum Resources Blame IOCs' for Pipeline Crisis in Nigeria

The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has blamed the International Oil Companies, IOCs in

, for failing to adequately maintain the various pipelines they operate in transporting crude oil and natural gas products across the country.

This, according to the industry regulator has contributed to the frequent crisis

is currently suffering in the petroleum and energy sector of the economy.

Deputy Director, Engineering and Standards Division, DPR, Dr. Olumide Aladeke, made this disclosure while representing Director General, DPR, Mr. Mordecai Ladan, at a forum organised by the Pipeline Professionals Association of Nigeria, PPAN, in


He noted that most of the pipelines currently being used in the country have been in existence for over 30 years without replacement, adding that this gave room for natural eruptions of the pipelines.

Although, he could not confirm what percentage of pipelines affected by natural acts, Adeleke said most of the cases attributed to pipeline vandalism may not be true, but can be attributed to the rusting of pipelines due to ageing.

He maintained that most of the IOCs' operating in

are not imbibing the correct and globally accepted standard for pipeline operations.

His words: "Most of the operators are not in tune with correct maintenance cycle. In fact, as we speak right now, we are engaging some of the IOCs who have failed in the maintenance of their pipeline system, some of the pipelines they own have been overdue for up to 10 to 20 years and they are still operating them.

"Most of the pipelines installed are not just available, when I say not available I didn't meant they are not constructed, they were constructed but not effectively maintained. To keep them ready for the service they need to make our lives much easier."

Speaking on the topic, "The DPR Vision: Effective pipeline systems for rapid growth in

economy," Adeleke lamented that although
is a crude oil producing country, the finished product is not readily available because of the poor pipeline infrastructure in place. "It is paramount for us to look at how the pipeline system and activities affect the Nigerian economy. If we look around us, we will see that in a society where we produce crude oil, it is so difficult for us to buy the product at the filling stations. Why? Because even though we are not producing as we should, even the imported product cannot get to the stations or terminals due to lack of pipeline network which should have facilitated easy transportation.

"It is cheaper, faster and better to transport crude or petroleum products from one location to the other through pipelines, which is what we have tried to do. We cannot continue to overemphasis that fact," he said.

Explaining the role pipeline vandalism plays in creating the energy crisis the country is currently experiencing, Adeleke said: "As a regulator, we have firsthand experience of what those people go through which include issues of losses due to vandalism. It is something that has to do with our social political environment, because if people are actually adequately satisfied, they don't have any business to destroy something that is going to make life easy in order to benefit their personal interest."

To address the challenges, the DPR proposed that "We take the social vices very important and make the people feel satisfied." He said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has gone into discussions with the communities, even proposing and providing social amenities and empowering them, adding that such engagements have reduced the level of pipeline vandalism in such areas.

"We can then begin to look at the laws, so we can say if you want to build pipelines, you must have some social economic programmes that will build security around what you are trying to do. That will also guarantee the availability of your pipelines and the value that you are looking for can be achieved.

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Source: News (March 24, 2016 - 4:22 AM EDT)

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