The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said that the volume of gas available to thermal power plants in the country has nosedived by 50per cent, from 1,400million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mmscf/d) to barely 700mmscf/d due to renewed vandalism of gas pipelines.
The corporation said this has impacted hugely on the volume of power generated in the country, resulting in frequent power outages.
The Group Managing Director of the (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru disclosed this when he recently paid a courtesy call on the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Gabriel Olonishakin at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja.
Baru said from January to May this year, about 1,447 cases of pipeline breaks were recorded, resulting to a loss of 109 million litres of petrol and 560,000 barrels of crude oil to refineries. He added that these posed a great threat to the nation’s economy and the 2016 federal budget.
According to reports from the Nigerian System Operator, the country averagely generates about 3,016.8 megawatts (MW) of electricity from her power plants. The gas power plants contribute about 80 per cent of the country’s generation mix.
Baru however appealed to the Nigerian military to help the corporation secure its key oil and gas infrastructure and curb the losses incurred by it from such acts of vandalism.
He said over 3000 incidents of vandalism were recorded every year from 2010 to 2015, adding that in 2015 alone, pipeline losses of petrol volume of over 643 million litres valued at over N51.28 billion was incurred.
He said: “The 2016 national budget plan was based on 2.2 million barrels per day of crude oil production. However, the budget plan is now grossly impacted due to renewed militancy: with about 700, 000bpd of oil production curtailed due to pipeline vandalism.”
Baru added: “Domestic natural gas supply to power was impacted with estimated drop of about 50 per cent from 1400mmscf/d to barely 700mmscf/d resulting to significant power outage exposure of between 2500MW to 3000MW as a result of direct and indirect impact.
“Along with this menace is the incessant case of kidnapping of personnel and piracy in areas of operations. Other impacts of these despicable acts include loss of lives; high cost of operations; refinery shut down; fuel crisis and large scale environmental degradation and attendant cost of oil spill clean-ups.”
Olonishakin in his response to Baru’s request, said that the military was duty bound to support and provide the corporation with all necessary security support because of its strategic role in ensuring the economic survival of the nation.