Aiteo Group, one of Nigeria’s biggest indigenous players in the upstream oil and gas industry, has lamented over the continued destruction of its infrastructure by vandals. Reuters reported that vandals had continued to sabotage the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) which the company operates.
A statement by the company acknowledged that the vandalism had wrought significant economic losses. And this is really not surprising because the Niger Delta area, where the facility is located, has always been prone to this kind of attacks.
“The disruptions that these attacks have brought about has led to direct, irretrievable and significant losses in production and consequently has created revenue deficits that directly impact all the stakeholders.
“By virtue of this level of sabotage, the NCTL has been shut down for 61 days this year alone, constituting 83% cause of downtime in this year only.”
The Nembe Creek Trunk Line is a 97 kilometres-long network of pipelines that was constructed with the capacity to transport as much as 150, 000 barrels of crude per day. Unfortunately, it has always faced various attacks over time and has had to be shut down for more than 200 days over the last four years.
Earlier in 2019, Aiteo had to suspend operations after fire gutted some parts of the pipelines. The company also had to declare a force majeure, as Nairametrics reported.
Pipeline vandalism in Nigeria is bad for the oil companies just as much as it is bad for the country at large. This is because every time a pipeline is damaged, crude oil is wasted which results in economic loses whilst causing environmental degradation.
In the meantime, however, it seems as though pipeline vandalism has come to stay in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. This is because for as long as the inhabitants of this region continue to feel marginalised as they do, they will continue to resort to vandalism regardless of how counter-productive it actually is.