By Henry Umoru
ABUJA- THE Senate, on Thursday asked the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency, set up consortium of experts to evaluate possibilities of installing computerised oil facilities management gadgets in crude oil production business in Nigeria.
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According to the Senate, the installation would help curb excesses of the multifaceted problems associated with oil and gas production, transportation and sales business in the country.
The Senate also mandated its Committees on Petroleum Upstream, Downstream and Gas Resources to hold a public hearing with stakeholders in the sector.
The Upper Chamber said that the public hearing would help ascertain the quantity of oil and gas produced daily and quantity control mechanism as currently engaged by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), if adequate.
The Senate said that the public hearing would also ascertain the amount of waste of petroleum products through pilfering, pipelines vandalism leakages.
It would also discuss International best practice of computerised oil and gas business management, including pipeline protection, quantity and quality control and any other advice that could improve the oil and gas business in Nigeria.
Resolutions of the Senate was sequel to a motion titled, “the need to install computerised oil facilities management gadgets for Nigerian crude oil businesses.”
It was sponsored by Senator George Sekibo, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Rivers East and 29 other senators.
Presenting the motion, Sekibo said that for more than 60 years, “over 70 per cent of Nigerian’s national income comes from petroleum related businesses, while the remaining 20 per cent comes from other sundry sources”.
Sekibo who noted that about 90 per cent of Nigeria’s export revenue come from oil, gas and associated products, said that it was worrisome that over 61 years, Nigeria could not give account of total amount of petroleum products produced, sold, wasted and amount lost through pilfering or pipeline vandalism.
According to him, other major oil producing countries, such as Kuwait, Russia, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates had computerised management systems that could record the quantity of oil produced, quantity sold and at what price.
Sekibo who noted that the computerised oil management system assist in pipelines protection, trigger off alarms, when any section of the pipeline is disturbed for whatever reason, said, “The system detects if there is a weak section along the stretch of the pipeline, indicates the position and point of such section as well advice on how to mend or go about it.
“The same system captures pictures of suspected intruders on the pipeline. The computerised management facilities are equipped with fire-fighting gadgets in the event of fire outbreak associated with oil and gas production and exportation.
“Nigeria as a nation, is still doing its petroleum business with analogic technology, using human beings to monitor a kilometres of pipeline.
“This gives undue opportunities to oil pilferers, causes unnecessary pipeline explosion, deaths and quantifiable loss of products.”