Henry Obih

The chief operating officer, Downstream, Nigerian National Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Henry Obih, yesterday lamented that there was a mafia living and feeding on a critical segment of the country’s pipeline network.

He stated this while speaking as a panelist at the ongoing Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition in Abuja.

He however emphasised that the NNPC was investing in the repair of major pipeline across the country.

“We have challenges in the pipelines that run through land, specifically, the System 2B for instance; the one that runs around Lagos. It remains a big challenge, because there is a mafia that lives and feeds on those pipelines,” he stated.

Speaking further he said, “In the last two years, we have done a lot of work on our pipelines. Some of the pipeline that had hardly worked for as much as 15 years, we have managed to put them back in operation.

“So as we speak, we have fixed the one from Port Harcourt to Aba; we are just about to commission from Aba to Enugu. We are already doing preliminary work from Enugu to Makurdi; we are pumping all the way from Atlas Cove to Mosimi, to Ibadan. We are clearing our right of way, all the way to Ilorin. When the refinery was up in Kaduna, we were pumping to Kano and Jos. We are restoring our pipeline at the moment.

“In terms of what NNPC is doing, the amount of capital we are investing to restore this pipeline, it is a lot of work. We work every day. Yesterday, we spent two and half hours with the Navy in terms of how we progress and improve security operations on those pipeline.”

Expatiating on the refineries’ situation, the chief executive officer, Downstream, NNPC, Mr. Anibor Kragha, who was also a panelist, said the country’s refineries were currently producing, though in little quantity, noting that the ex-depot price for products from the refineries stood at N103 per litre.

According to him, the NNPC had held discussions with global energy information company, Platts, with the later hinting that when Nigeria’s refineries, as well as the private refineries come on stream, it would develop a West African refining pricing for products coming from the region.

On his part, country chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria and the managing director, Shell Petroleum Development Company, Mr. Osagie Okunbor, applauded NNPC’s disposition towards the Joint Venture Cash Call arrangement, stating that it has helped restore investors’ confidence in the Nigerian petroleum industry.

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