20 October 2012

Nigeria: Sapele Gas Plant Shut Over Vandalised Pipeline

Indications are that the power sector may be taking a dip as the Sapele Gas Plant, an NNPC joint venture (JV) operated for Nigeria Gas Company by SEPLAT Petroleum Development Company has shut down production activities due to vandalisation of its pipelines.

This is as the Senate Committee on Oil and Gas led by its Chairperson, Senator Nkechi Nwogu has said it has seen bright prospects for improved transparency in the production and sale of oil and gas in Nigeria through proper metering and significant reduction in gas flaring.

The shutdown was announced when the Senate Committee visited the facility where they expressed elation at the improvement in facilities which would enable transparency in the sector mired with controversies to be attainable.

The management of SEPLAT told the members of the Senate committee that the plant was forced to suspend operations following the detection of a serious leak as a result of vandalism on its pipeline.

Fielding questions from newsmen after the tour of the facility, Nwogu expressed satisfaction with the level of compliance shown by the gas companies - made up of subsidiaries of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its joint venture operators - regarding the installation of computerized, real-time metering apparatuses into their receiving and outgoing pipelines.

She particularly commended one of the companies on efforts to achieve zero gas-flare by next year.

"I am also happy to announce to you that the management of Pan Ocean has assured us that by the end of the first quarter of next year, the gas flare that you notice presently will no longer be there", the Senate Committee chairman said.

However, Nwogu described as unacceptable the fact that Nigeria remains second in the world (after Russia ) in the daily flare of gas, saying it amounted to a huge loss Nigeria both economically and in terms of pollution of the environment.

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