Shell Resumes Oil Exports From Forcados Terminal

ShellRoyal Dutch Shell has resumed crude oil exports from the forcados terminal. This follows the restoration of the damaged facilities by Niger-Delta militants in the south-south region of the country.

The development was communicated to the presidency by the Director of Global Upstream of Shell, Andrew Brown.

Forcados crude has been under force majeure from operator, Shell, since a militant attack on the sub-sea pipeline in February.

Exports from the terminal was between 250,000 and 300, 000 barrels per day before the strike claimed by militant group, Niger Delta Avengers.

Meanwhile, the militant group at about 4am on Wednesday reportedly blew up a Chevron offshore export pipeline at Escravos in Delta State.

NNPC Gas Pipeline In Niger Delta Attacked

Pipeline-vandalismA gas pipeline in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has been attacked.

The attack occurred late on Thursday, according to a spokesman for a local community group and a witness.

The pipeline, which connects the Escravos oil terminal to Warri, supplies gas to different parts of the country.

There have been a resurgence in militant attacks in the oil-rich southern region in the last few weeks, with strikes on pipelines and oil facilities.

A group that calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers has claimed responsibility for most of them.

Reuters quoted a spokesman for the Ijaw Youth Council, as saying the attack occurred around the village of Ogbe Ijoh, near Warri.

Local resident, James Dadiowei, said a “loud bang” at the NNPC pipeline had thrown the community into panic on Thursday night.

“The explosion occurred last night on the pipeline belonging to the NNPC,” said Omare.

A spokesman for the NNPC was unable to confirm the attack.

Sabotage Of Oil Installations

It is not clear if the gas pipelines provides gas to any electricity company.

But recent attacks on gas pipelines have been blamed for the nation’s current poor power situation, as the nation of over 160 million people share a capacity that is below 4,000 megawatts.

President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier on Friday in Abuja assured oil companies operating in the Niger Delta that the Federal Government was taking all necessary actions to protect strategic assets in the region from vandals and criminals.

He spoke at a meeting with the Global Director (Upstream) of the Royal Dutch Shell Group, Mr Andrew Brown.

The President told the oil giant that he had directed the Chief of Naval Staff to reorganise and strengthen the military Joint Task Force  in the Niger Delta to deal effectively with the  resurgence of militancy and the sabotage of oil installations.

Lawmakers Investigate Fresh Hostilities In Niger Delta

gas pipeline vandalism in Niger DeltaThe House of Representatives Committee on Defence is to investigate the immediate causes of fresh hostilities in the Niger delta region of Nigeria.

The decision was taken on Thursday after lawmakers deliberated on a motion moved by Honourable Julius Pondi, regarding the recent destruction of petroleum facilities in the Niger delta.

Nigeria Gas Company’s pipeline connected to Chevron Nigeria Limited’s facility at Escravos in Delta State was attacked last week and its impact is beginning to reflect on other sectors of the Nigerian economy.

The House of Representatives is also urging the military high command to search for the perpetrators and also protect the innocent citizens in the area.

After the attack, the Ministry Power, Works and Housing said it would impact negatively on the Olorunsogo NIPP plant, with 600 megawatts capacity and other Power Plants.

Counting Losses

In a statement by the spokesman for the Minister, Hakeem Bello, the Ministry said that “the sabotaged gas pipeline, which contributes to the Escravos Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) has led to a loss of 160 million standard cubic feet per day of gas”.

Pipeline-vandalism
Military personnel at the site of one of the attacks in Delta State

Giving a breakdown of the effect of the attack, the Ministry said: “At a cost of $2.50 per thousand scf, this loss means about $400,000 loss to the country on a daily basis (N78,800,000 daily) in gas volume.

“This is in addition to losses to be incurred daily from affected Power generation ($1,988,223 or N391,680,000 daily). The total daily loss to the country is therefore estimated at N470,479,931.

“Repairs of the damaged pipeline is estimated as costing ($609,137 or N120,000.000)”.

The Ministry further stated that the real sector of the economy had also been counting its losses, as some cement companies around Olorunsogo like Ewekoro and Ibese were also affected.

In comments related to the attack, the Chief of Naval Staff said that the recent vandalism in Warri, Delta State was sabotage and terrorism and would not be tolerated by the Navy.

Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas made the statement on Wednesday at a lecture with participants of Course 24 of the National Defence College in Abuja, who came from various security agencies in Nigeria.

He said that a close inspection of the explosion revealed that the intention of the saboteurs was not to steal crude oil but to damage the oil facilities which infringes on a primary mandate of the Navy and would be taken seriously.

The attack had also affected petroleum product supplies, as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Wednesday announced the operational shutdown of the Port Harcourt and Kaduna Refineries owing to crude supply challenges arising from recent attacks on vital crude oil pipelines.

A statement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Ohi Alegbe, said that the plants were shut simultaneously on Sunday after the Bonny – Okrika crude supply line to the Port Harcourt Refinery and the Escravos-Warri crude supply line to the Kaduna Refinery suffered breaches.

The NNPC stated that before the closure, the Port Harcourt Refinery was recording a daily PMS yield of over 4.1 million litres while Kaduna Refinery was posting a daily petrol production of about 1.3 million litres.

The investigation into the attack would possibly reveal the individuals or group behind the attack that has affected the nation’s already insufficient power supply, reduced the daily supply of petroleum product, with fears that the nation will go back to a period of petrol scarcity.

Power Ministry Lists Electricity Shortage, Others After Niger Delta Pipeline Attack

Babatunde-FasholaThe attack on the Nigeria Gas Company’s pipeline connected to Chevron Nigeria Limited’s facility at Escravos in Delta State will impact negatively on the Olorunsogo NIPP plant, with 600MW capacity and other Power Plants, the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has said.

In a statement by the spokesman for the Minister, Hakeem Bello, the Ministry said that “the sabotaged gas pipeline, which contributes to the Escravos Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) has led to a loss of 160 million standard cubic feet per day of gas”.

Breakdown Of Effect

Giving a breakdown of the effect of the attack, the Ministry said: “At a cost of $2.50 per thousand scf, this loss means about $400,000 loss to the country on a daily basis (N78,800,000 daily) in gas volume.

“This is in addition to losses to be incurred daily from affected Power generation ($1,988,223 or N391,680,000 daily). The total daily loss to the country is therefore estimated at N470,479,931.

“Repairs of the damaged pipeline is estimated as costing ($609,137 or N120,000.000)”.

The Ministry further stated that the real sector of the economy had also been counting its losses, as some cement companies around Olorunsogo like Ewekoro and Ibese were also affected.

“The latest incident has occurred just as the Federal Government through the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources along with allied agencies has been making concerted efforts to improve gas supplies to the Power Plants.

“Such efforts led to previously offline plants like Ihovbor and Sapele coming back online and the subsequent output making up for the loss in power. The pipelines are being actively monitored for further attacks or other unforeseen impacts,” the statement further read.

According to the Ministry, available records show that six incidences of vandalism from December 2014 to February 2015, which affected the Trans Forcados Pipeline at Oben, Sapele, Oredo and Escravos Lagos Pipeline System (CNL), led to a loss of 1,100 Million standard cubic feet per day of gas.

According to industry experts, a loss of 200 Million standard cubic feet per day of gas is equivalent to a Power reduction of 700MW.

The industry is currently generating about 4120Mwh/h on average, as at January 17, a performance the Ministry claimed would have been better without the additional setback caused by weekend’s incident.

At a meeting last week between the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola and the operators in the Power Sector – the Nigeria Gas Company , the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the GACN – led by the Minister of State of Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu shared information on significant gas projects that would improve gas supply.

Dr Kachukwu had pointed out that the projects were scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2016 and also highlighted some of the challenges especially related to security affecting delivery of gas to the power sector.

In response to this, the NNPC is forming a committee NNPC, Police, JTF – Army, Air Force and Navy – and also community vigilante groups, who have been tasked with the responsibility of securing these pipelines.

Kaduna Refinery Resumes Production

Kaduna-Refinery-plantThe Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company has resumed production of petrol four months after it was closed for repairs.

The Managing Director of the company, Saidu Mohammed, who disclosed this to Channels Television in Kaduna, said that the plant, which was closed in September, came back on stream last Saturday ahead of the December deadline for Nigeria’s four refineries to return to full production.

The restart of production at the Kaduna refinery should be a cheering news for Nigerians, who have endured months of scarcity of petrol.

Mohammed explained that the plant, which is getting supply of crude oil from Escravos in Warri, is currently producing at an average 1.5 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit per day.

The MD said that with the resumption of production, the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) is expected to commence trucking of refined products within the week. He added that at least 50 trucks are expected to be loading the substance for supply to the northern part of the nation and beyond on daily basis.

Mr Mohammed further explained that the Kaduna refinery is working in collaboration with the PPMC and Department of Petroluem Resources (DPR) to ensure that products are properly supplied across the region, to cushion the effect of the scarcity of petrol.

While appealing to the public to exercise patience, he gave the assurance that the long queues across the country would soon disappear as soon as the PPMC commences trucking.

Prior to its closure in September, Kaduna refinery had stopped working for most part of the year, except briefly in July and August, when its utilisation capacity dropped to about 2.6 per cent and 10.5 per cent respectively, according the NNPC monthly operational report for October.

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, had issued a 90-day ultimatum to the managements of the four refineries shortly after his appointment in August.

Gunmen Free Abducted Channels Crew, Other Journalists

Olu Philips
Olu Philips after he was freed by the abductors.

Gunmen have freed the Channels Television crew and about 13 other journalists kidnapped in the Niger Delta creeks over the weekend.

Channels Television’s energy correspondent, Olu Philips and cameraman, Polynus Odedeyi said they were returning from an official assignment when they were abducted. They had gone to cover an event at the Ogidigben Gas Plant in Warri, Delta State.

President Goodluck Jonathan was earlier expected to commission the $16 billion export processing zone project, but the event was called-off.

In a telephone interview, Philips spoke from the Naval base in Warri, Delta State, recounting their experience in the hands of the kidnappers.

Channels Camera man and other journalists freed by abductors.
Channels Cameraman, Polynus Odedeyi (in Black) and other journalists freed by abductors

He said that the crew had boarded a boat on their way back to town after covering an event when they were accosted by the kidnappers off the creeks of Gbaramatu in an area called Escravos, in Delta State’s riverine area.

“Around 11:00am, we saw another speed boat coming behind us. They were about six boats. They caught up with us, asked us to stop and surrounded us.

“They had guns with them and they asked us where we were coming from and we told them we went there to cover an event. They said we were spies and they collected our camera and put it in another boat, after hitting the camera man.

“They made some calls and decided to take us to Gbaramatu. They took us to a High Chief popularly known as Tompolo.

“They beat up some other persons that were not journalists. After beating them, they handed them a rifle with three magazine and asked us to stand behind them that we were criminals and that they saw the rifle and pistols with us. They took photographs of us and were posting it on the internet that we were all criminals, Philips said.

According to him, the abductors made several threats that they will kill and throw them into the river.

He further said that they were held hostage till about 6-7pm before some Naval officials arrived and they were handed over to them.

Poor Power Supply Is Due To Vandalised Gas Pipeline – Power Minister

minister of powerNigeria’s Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo says the poor power supply experienced across the country is as a result of  vandalised gas pipeline, a development that cuts off gas supplies.

The minister said it took more than 7 months to fix the Escravos-Lagos pipeline that was destroyed. “It took such a long time because as you begin to fix, pressurize and test, you find out there are more leakages

“The leakages continue, so it took many cycles of fixing and testing and while that was going on there was no gas coming from those lines, but now we are back on.

“For the past weeks we have been averaging 4,1000 megawatts and that has not happened in a long time, so things are really looking up,” he noted.

On Channels Television’s Saturday breakfast programme, Sunrise, The Minister said that for the first time in a long time, there had been so much synergy between the Ministry of Power and Ministry of Petroleum Resources to address the issue of gas supply.

He explained that when the NIPP projects were conceived, it was to help increase power supply but it was later discovered that there was no gas supplies to these projects. “The NIPP project is being addressed right now and efforts are being made to ensure that by the end of the year there will be gas to all the plants”.

The Minister further stated that there is gas in the east and that the government was making efforts to connect the east and west. According to him the challenge is that there is no connecting axis, a situation that the Ministry of Petroleum Resources is working hard to provide a tie in.

The Minister, however, assured Nigerians that there would be improved power supply, stating that by the end of the year, expected gas supply will come on board.

“We have an assurance from the Petroleum Resources that gas will be available to get us vastly improved power supply,” he added.

Contrary to complaints by Nigerians of poor power supply that the entire country is still experiencing six months after the privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, Professor Nebo said that there had been an improvement in power supply, explaining that previously, the nation was barely doing 3,5000 megawatts but the past couple of weeks has seen an increase to above 4000 megawatts.

Navy arrests vessel with over 8million barrels of oil in Escravos

In what can be described as a landmark arrest, the Nigerian Navy has arrested a vessel, Lady Jay, allegedly carrying 8,450,000 barrels of crude oil and now at the Naval Base in Warri, Delta state.

The vessel which is owned by a Lagos based business woman is said to have taken off from Apapa Port before it was intercepted at the coastline in Escravos near Warri.

Nine people including the Captain of the vessel were arrested, but the 10th person, an iron bender escaped through the waters.

FG moves to boost gas supply to power plants

The Minister of Petroleum Diezani Alison-Madueke has announced some emergency plans to address the problem of gas supply to power plants across the nation which has being responsible for the fall in power supply.

Speaking to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, the Minister said the short-term interventions would result in almost 90 per cent of the outstanding shortfall to power being addressed over the next 12 months.

According to the Minister, “since 2005, when the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP), were kicked off, there had been no alignment between the planned NIPP and the necessary gas supply to power them.”

These projects, she noted are all in very advanced stages and should be completed within the timeframe of 12 months, as she claimed that appropriate steps are being taken by authorities in power sector to address all outstanding debts and commit to payment for future gas supply as well as other terms stipulated in the Gas Supply Agreements (GSA).

She explained that the problem with the gas supply is accentuated in the western part of the country when compared to the east, where she claimed there is an excess of gas.She blamed this on the non-alignment of the NIPP projects and the gas supply to power them.

“Today, the challenge of gas supply is essentially localised around the western axis, as we currently have a situation of excess gas availability in the Eastern axis. As we speak, there is over 300mmcf/d (equivalent of about 1000 megawatts) worth of gas available in the Eastern axis but currently not utilised.”

“This is due mainly to the aforementioned misalignment and also the underperformance of existing PHCN power plants.”

“As we develop the East-West pipeline, we will be able to leverage this gas in the West” she stated.

The minister said in total, 800mmcf/d of gas was being produced in the western axis of which 520mmcf/ is deployed to the power sector (an equivalent of about 1800MW on average). The balance is supplied to domestic manufacturing industries such as the cement plants, etc, and the West African Gas Pipeline project.

“In total, over the next 12 months, we will be adding 500mmcf/d (equivalent to 2000MW) to the grid. This will have a direct major impact on the overall power situation in the country” she said.

She further explained that about 700MW of power will be added to the nation’s power crid by June.

“Specifically, about 180mmcf/d (about 700MW) of this additional 500mmcf/d is due within a few weeks, by June 2012. This will come from Escravos, Utorogu, Ughelli and Oredo. Ongoing activities such as laying of the Olorunsogo pipeline, the completion of the ELPS A pipeline and the completion of the NIPP pipeline around Oredo are key elements of this addition.”

According to her, these projects are all in very advanced stages and should be completed within the timeframe, adding that with the addition, the identified shortfall in supply to Sapele, Geregu and Olorunsogo power plants will be addressed.

She also noted that, “beyond the immediate timeframe, the balance of about 320mmcf/d (about 1300MW) will be delivered through the next 12 months” adding that “new power plants are continually coming on stream, therefore, in addition to the 180mmcf/d, a further 320mmcf/d will be delivered and deployed to these plants over the next 12 months.”

Mrs Alison-Madueke stated that to achieve the 320mmcf/d, a few critical projects will be deployed by the intervention team, including leveraging the excess processing capacity in PanOcean to process gas that will be re-routed from Oredo by NPDC, as well as accessing additional gas at Escravos and major expansion of the Utorogu hub.

“These are the projects that will collectively add 320mmcf/d (1300MW) over the 12-month period.” “I am confident that the steps we are taking will have a visible impact on gas sustainability and supply, and therefore will positively impact on the power aspiration of the nation,” she noted.

The Minister further stressed that the government had directed the deployment of a pragmatic contracting strategy to enable expedited procurement of critical items such as the line pipes and related accessories.

“These interventions will require additional funding which is being sourced through government’s public-private funding initiative, she added.