By Michael Eboh, with agency report
Barring other arrangements, Nigeria has lost a minimum of $35.139 million (N7.029 billion) over the last three days, as Shell Nigeria, yesterday, said it had shut down the 180,000 barrels of crude oil per day Trans Niger Pipeline.
According to a statement by Shell, the company shut down the pipeline May 12, but failed to state the reasons for the action and when it would be reopened.
The Trans Niger Pipeline is critical to Nigeria’s crude export as it carries Nigeria’s crude oil, Bonny Light, to an export terminal.
Traders said Bonny Light loadings had been delayed by up to four days over the past week.
The Trans Niger Pipeline, according to Shell, transports around 180,000 barrels per day of crude oil to the Bonny Export Terminal and is part of the gas liquids evacuation infrastructure, critical for continued domestic power generation and liquefied gas exports.
The Central Bank of Nigeria puts the average price for Bonny Light at $65.07 per barrel.
This means that for every day that the pipeline is shut, Nigeria will be losing a minimum of $11.713 million, about N2.343 billion.
NNPC on vandalization, electricity
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, had a couple of weeks ago lamented the recent increase in the attack on crude oil and gas pipelines across the country, stating that the country was losing about 60,000 barrels of crude oil and condensates daily whenever there is a pipeline break.
NNPC had also stated that over 50 attacks were launched by vandals on the nation’s crude oil and gas pipelines in the last six months.
Group Executive Director, Gas and Power of NNPC, Mr. David Ige, had stated that apart from the loss of revenue from crude sales, the vandalization of the pipeline is expected to worsen the country’s power situation as a number of power plants relying on gas supply from the pipeline will be starved of gas to generate electricity.
Ige lamented that between January and February alone, the Trans-Forcados crude oil pipeline was attacked and vandalized four times, adding that none of the corporation’s gas pipelines had been able to run two straight days without being brought down.
Ige, however, stated that NNPC was exploring a number of options on how to tackle the pipeline vandalism menace, ranging from an aggressive community engagement to installation of technological gadgets to stave off the vandals.
He called for a holistic approach to resolving the pipeline vandalism scourge by tightening security and expeditious judicial enforcement to bring to an end the menace, which has deprived the country of several billions in revenue.
Also, Nigerian Gas Company, NGC, a subsidiary of NNPC, had few days ago, stated that Nigeria had lost a minimum of N8.04 billion since January, to the incessant vandalism of gas pipelines.
Managing Director, NGC, Mr. Dafe Sejebor, disclosed that since the beginning of the year, the country had witnessed an unprecedented increase in the spate of gas pipeline vandalism.
He said within the last two months, it had recorded three major attacks on its pipeline network, mainly in the Niger Delta region.
According to him, “whenever these pipelines are sabotaged, we are forced to shut down the pipeline, and we defer a minimum of 200 million Standard Cubic Feet, SCF, of gas per day.”