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FG deploys Chevron gas as Shell shuts plants

By Hector Igbikiowubo

LONDON – THE Federal Government, yesterday, deployed gas from the operations of Chevron Nigeria Limited to cushion the impact of temporary closure of the Sapele and Oben gas plants operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC.

Following the deployment of gas from Chevron’s operations, consumers may have been spared a worsening of the already precarious electricity supply situation.

Vanguard reliably gathered that following the closure of both Oben and Sapele gas plants, about 500 million standard cubic feet per day of gas would have gone offline but for the alternative arrangement with volumes from Chevron operations.

Spokesman of Chevron Nigeria Limited, Mr. Femi Odumabo, who confirmed the development, said his company has completed repair works and commissioned its EGP 1 and 11 which supplies gas to the Nigerian Gas Company, NGC. The NGC is a subsidiary of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

He said: “Following completion of repair works and commissioning of our damaged EGP 1 & 11 lines, we have resumed robust gas supplies of processed gas to the domestic market,” noting that he had to come out of a meeting to return a phone call from the Vanguard and could not immediately oblige requests for exact gas volumes being supplied to the market.

SPDC Managing Director and Country Chair, Shell Nigeria, Mutiu Sunmonu, said the temporary closure followed the need for re-commissioning after repairs following numerous incidents of sabotage.

He said: “We are totally committed to supplying gas for power generation as has been the case for a very long time, and we have delayed the shut down in order to minimize the impact it will have.

“However, recent sabotage incidents have resulted in damage to the TFP and we have been unable to evacuate the condensate that is produced with the gas through this pipeline. Accordingly, we resorted to temporary evacuation and storage at the Warri Refinery for which we are most grateful for the understanding and responsiveness of NNPC.

Temporary evacuation and storage

In the absence of this, we would have had no alternative than to shut down the gas plants until the damaged liquids evacuation pipeline is re-commissioned.

“SPDC Joint Venture has the capacity to supply about 500 million standard cubic feet per day of gas into the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System, all things being equal. It recently completed repairs on the latest sabotage leaks, and is now ready to re-commission the Trans Forcados Pipeline.

“We deeply regret the inconvenience any temporary shutdown might cause but it is absolutely necessary that we repair damaged facilities and bring them to safe and normal operations as quickly as possible. We sincerely thank NNPC for their support in condensate handling in the past months.

“Damage to crucial facilities such as the TFP – caused either by oil thieves or other acts -  has huge impact on several stakeholders. The pipeline is responsible for the delivery of significant oil and condensate production from SPDC JV as well as Pan Ocean. SPDC is the single biggest supplier of domestic gas and we remain committed to doing our utmost to ensure adequate supplies despite the frequent interruptions and huge costs that damage such as these causes.”

SPDC Joint Venture pioneered gas supply to industries in Nigeria in the 1960s, and currently supplies over 75 per cent of the domestic gas for power and other industries in the country. SPDC-JV also owns and operates the 650MW-power plant at Afam, which represents over 20 per cent of current national power supply.


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