ByÂ Hector Igbikiowubo, Luka Binniyat & Tordue Salem
THE Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has warned that crude oil supply to refineries will dry up in 15 days if the vandalism of oil pipelines in the Niger Delta continues unabated.
In a related development, the Italian giant, Eni, has confirmed declaring a force majeure on shipments from the Brass export terminal in Nigeria after an attack on a pipeline facility operated by its subsidiary, Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC).
NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, raised the alarm over refinery supplies at an interactive session with the Rep. Abdul Ningi-led ad-hoc committee on the Niger Delta crisis.
â€œYes, what we currently have now is for 15 days sufficiency and after that it will finish. The consequence is that no refining would take place, therefore, no product would be available from Kaduna because the pipeline that would have supplied crude to Kaduna was vandalised and until it is repaired we cannot pump crude,â€ he said.
The GMD was represented by his Assistant and General Manager, Technical, Mr. Gabby Meheux, who regretted that since the military operations in the region began two months ago, militants have been targeting the oil pipelines of Shell, Chevron and AGIP for attacks.
He said as at last Friday, the average production output from its JVC stood at a reduced level of 1.3 million barrels per day, adding that the Port Harcourt and the Warri refineries had ran out of crude and shut down as a result of the damages on the Nembe-Port Harcourt and Escravos-Chanomi pipelines respectively.
According to him, the damage of the pipeline feeding Warri means no supplies to Kaduna refinery, hence the resort to the use of already stored crude which is expected to run down in 15 days time.”
â€œYes, what we currently have now is for 15 days sufficiency and after that it will finish. The consequence is that no refining would take place therefore no product would be available from Kaduna because the pipeline that would have supplied crude to Kaduna was vandalized and until it is repaired we cannot pump crude,â€ Meheux explained.
Also speaking on the impact of the crisis on its operations in the region, the Director, Chevron/NNPC Joint Venture, Supo Shadiya revealed that his company has incurred more losses than ever since the May 13th military operations.
He said there had been escalated attacks and sabotages on their facilities more than it used to be in the past.
â€œSince May 16th till date that this crisis started, we have lost 1/3 of our production capacity in West Africa and that is about 105, 000 barrels per day,â€ he said.
He disclosed that most of the pipelines exporting crude and gas from the companyâ€™s offshore to onshore bases have been sabotaged and as a result, crude could no longer be transported through them.
Shadiya added that the companyâ€™s wells in MKB-5 and Abiteye-1 have been vandalised while the latter has been on fire since June 13 till date because the integrity of the well was affected.
â€œWe have not been able to put off the fire because we cannot. The integrity of the well has been compromised and we donâ€™t have the facility to control it. So we have brought in two well fire control specialists from abroad and they are still studying the fire to come up with a solution on how to put it off,â€ he stated.
Also speaking, the representative of the Managing Director of the SPDC,Â Oriseh Agbarah told the lawmakers that his company which produces about 350,000 barrels per day before the May military operation started is currently doing less than 200,000. â€œWe are doing less than 30,000 from the whole of Delta region,â€ he disclosed.
Concerned about the insensitivity of the multinationals on the humanitarian condition in the area in their presentations, the lawmakers took turns in blaming the NNPC for failing to coordinate with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on the provision of relief materials to the people in the crisis area.
Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Ningi frowned at the level of non-commitment by NNPC and the multinationals in attending to humanitarian issues in the area since the military operations started.
â€œI want to tell you the multinationals that you would have yourselves to blame for failing to assist in the humanitarian crisis in the area. There has been lack of trust amongst you and this has not been auguring well. I think you just have to rise up to these challenges and work towards ameliorating the humanitarian crisis being suffered by the innocent people of the region.â€
Earlier, he said the meeting with the stakeholders was to get reports from them on the challenges of their humanitarian interventions in the area since the crisis started while he commended NEMA for rising to the occasion.
Eni declares Brass force majeure
The company said it declared force majeure after a pipeline to the terminal in Bayelsa state was attacked and shut in on 18 and 19 June.
Militant group the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) attacked the Ogoda Manifold-Brass Terminal pipeline about 10 kilometres from the terminal during the night of 18 and June.
In a statement released the day after after the attack, Eni-controlled Agip, which operates the pipeline, said: â€œProduction was immediately shut off (after the attack).
â€œAt present, the total amount of production loss is equivalent to 33,000 barrels per day of oil and about 80 million cubic feet per day of gas.â€
MEND launched its latest sabotage campaign after the military last month carried out its biggest offensive against armed gangs in the western Niger Delta for at least a decade.
The militantsâ€™ initial attacks were in Delta State where the military offensive took place, but widened their operations into Bayelsa state, targeting Shell, Chevron and Agip operations, in the middle of this month.
Since it first started in early 2006, MEND attacks have shut in between 20% and 30% of Nigeriaâ€™s output.