By Jimitota ONOYUME
PORT HARCOURT – DEEP burial method for installation of pipelines has been identified as a better way to protect these facilities from attack by oil thieves and sabotage.
Making this known at the end of its 9th conference/exhibition in Port Harcourt, Pipelines Association of Nigeria, PLAN also urged government and stakeholders in its communiqué to evolve measures to “deploy the deep burial method on existing pipelines in the country”.
The communiqué which was signed by the President of the association, Dr Joseph Dorgu and two others decried what it termed incessant third party interference on oil pipelines in the country, adding that practical steps should be taken to checkmate the condemnable acts.
Continuing, the group urged government and other stakeholders to see pipelines as strategic national assets, adding that security operatives should also step up their effort in securing these facilities.
“Pipeline assets should be treated as strategic national assets; like road networks, airports etc., and the Government should protect them as such. Improving the response time of security agencies would also serve as an effective recovery measure in the event of an emergency”
On UAVs, real time satellite surveillance and Intruder detection systems, the group said it is mainly an effective method for data gathering and status monitoring of situations around pipelines.
“Continuous horizontal directional drilling methods are able to achieve deep burial, however there is the potential limitation of third parties being able to access the buried pipeline from the CHDD installation receiver pits; manholes”, it said.
The group also enjoined government and other stakeholders to effectively collaborate with a view to resolving challenges around pipeline security, stressing that as a body, it would be actively involved in policy formulation, planning and execution of pipeline related matters
“PLAN should reach out to policy makers to encourage more commitment in policy formulation, planning and implementation to ensure pipeline assets protection and lifecycle management and help enhance the impact of proposed technical methods “, it said.
While also calling for a robust public and private partnership in pipeline protection, the group said it would continue to emphasize the need for pipeline integrity and management inputs into the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
“PLAN should explore more collaborative approaches to involve more strategic & non-strategic pipeline stakeholders including communities, politicians, engineers, non-engineers, the academia etc., and those whose activities directly or indirectly impact on the pipeline asset life cycle”, it added.
Executive Chairman of the group, Dr Dorgu in his welcome address earlier, had charged participants to come up with solutions that would make the conference with the theme ”Creative and Innovative Approaches to Pipeline Protection & Lifecycle Management: Imperatives to National Development”, a success. Stressing also that participants should “think of technical and non-technical solutions towards tactically mitigating the issues of crude oil theft and bunkering.”
SPDC GM, Mr. Olagunju, in his key note addresses stated that the conference “should address technical and non-technical solutions so as to rejuvenate the desired national development. “.
Papers were delivered on ”Evolving strategies for pipeline protection in Nigeria: NEMA perspectives,”” Protecting pipelines from third party interference through deep burial ” Un-manned Air Vehicle (UAV) deployment for wide area pipeline monitoring”” “ Pipeline protection and lifecycle management in National Development: technology or Policy “, Pipeline protection: media’s role, Creative and innovative solutions to pipeline inspection, Design of an autonomous pipeline surface inspection robot for offshore pipeline monitoring Pipelines infrastructure and the rest of us and Continuous Horizontal Directional Drilling.