Nigeria’s navy has foiled an attempt by vandals to break a pipeline operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that carries petroleum products from Atlas Cove, Lagos, to Mosimi depot in southwest Ogun state, local media report.
According to Vanguard news outlet, the vandals were spotted on boats on Monday. The Navy deployed patrol boats to the scene but the vandals escaped after seeing the patrol, abandoning four boats and leaving behind 972 empty drums and 595 jerricans. The Navy has recovered the abandoned boats and found three pumping machines, three coils of rubber hoses and 14 outboard engines that would have been used for theft if the attempt had not been foiled.
Earlier this month, NNPC said that loading at the Mosimi resumed after a halt that had lasted almost a year due to vandalism along the Atlas Cove-Mosimi Pipeline Right of Way (PROW).
Despite the Nigerian government’s continuous efforts to prevent oil infrastructure vandalism, the number of downstream pipeline sabotages in the country jumped by 233 percent between December 2016 and January 2017, NNPC said in its Financial and Operations report earlier this month.
Last December, there were 18 downstream pipeline vandalized points, while the points of vandalism numbered 60 in January this year – a 233-percent surge, “despite the Federal Government and NNPC’s continuous engagements with the stakeholders,” NNPC said.
Most recently, however, Nigeria plans to continue ramping up its crude oil output. The country, which is exempt from the OPEC production cut deal because its market share was severely affected by militant activity in the Niger Delta, is planning to complete repair work on the Forcados pipeline and maintenance at the Bonga field by July.
Following these, crude oil production should rise to 2.2 million barrels daily, from 1.27 million bpd in March. Last month’s figure was affected by maintenance at Bonga, which produces 225,000 bpd.