Niger Delta Avengers Threaten To Bomb Tompolo’s Hometown Over Comments

The newest militant group in the Niger Delta region, Niger Delta Avengers, has issued a 72-hour ultimatum to Chief Government Ekpemupolo aka “Tompolo” to withdraw his comments on the bombed 48-inch pipeline in Forcados or face severe punitive actions. Tompolo,  the former General Officer Commanding (GOC), Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger-Delta (MEND), had said in a statement signed by his media adviser and consultant, Paul Bebenimibo, that he has no link with the Niger Delta Avengers, which has claimed responsibility for the bombing of the pipeline.

Tompolo, who is currently in hiding after being declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) also endorsed the continuation of repair works on the damaged pipeline, an action the Niger Delta Avengers consider as undermining the Niger Delta struggle.

The ultimatum by the militant group was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday. Curiously, it not signed by Mudoch Agbinibo, who normally speaks for the group.

The statement lauded Tompolo for his activities but frowned at his rejection of being linked to the Niger Delta Avengers. “We, the Niger Delta Avengers, respect and admire your love for the region and all you have done.

“We have only decided to pick the struggle up from where you and the former Niger Delta agitators left off; it is only the actors that are new.

” You are not one of us, and you need not bother yourself to try to convince anyone,” the statement said.

Should Tompolo fail to apologise for his comments within 72 hours, the statement warned, the Niger Delta Avengers will blow up all oil installations in Tompolo’s hometown of Gbaramatu, Delta State.

“Since you have taken sides with the federal government to fight the Niger Delta people, we shall bring the war to your doorstep by blowing up all oil installations within your backyard (Gbaramatu Kingdom).

“It’s a slap on our face for you (Tompolo) to give a nod for repair works to continue on the 48-inch pipeline at Forcados despite a stern warning from us that no one goes near the blast site,” the group said.

 

Source: SaharaReporters (http://saharareporters.com/2016/05/05/niger-delta-avengers-threaten-bomb-tompolos-hometown-over-comments)

Militants blow up Chevron oil facility, vow more attacks

Chevron

• Group threatens to take fight to Lagos, Abuja
• Fear grips local oil firms over falling crude prices
• Operators list ways to cushion economic downturn
• Nigeria’s growth to decline to 2.2 per cent

Militants in the Niger Delta yesterday blew up the Chevron Valve Platform located on the high sea near Escravos in Warri, Delta State in a renewed attack on oil installations in the country.

The attack is another setback to the nation’s oil and gas production sector, even as the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) is still working to restore the Forcados export terminals after a similar attack two months ago.

Nigerian Navy spokesperson, Chris Ezekobe, who confirmed the incident yesterday, said the attack occurred about 40 nautical miles from the Escravos terminal, around the city of Warri.

Ezekobe said he was yet to know which militant group was responsible and there were no immediate details of any casualties.

The development may further reduce the nation’s oil and gas output. But Chevron is yet to confirm if production has been halted at Escravos and how much of the process is affected.

A source at Chevron who confirmed the attack said that the company is working on a public statement, which was not ready as at press time.

It was learnt that the facility was completely destroyed with the use of a dynamite.

The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), a new militant group, has claimed responsibility for the attack, warning that the deployment of soldiers in the region would not deter them from carrying out further attacks.

NDA threatened not to relent until it cripples the nation’s economy.

A statement by the group’s spokesman, Madoch Agbinibo, noted: “The high command of the Niger Delta Avengers wants to use this medium to thank Strike Team 6 for successfully blowing up the Chevron Valve Platform. And we are ready to protect the Niger Delta people.

“This is what we promised the Nigerian government. Since they refused to listen to us we are going to zero the economy of the country.

“As for zeroing the Nigerian economy, the Niger Delta Avengers is done with the Niger Delta major oil installations. Now, we are taking the fight out of the creeks of the Niger Delta. We are taking it to Abuja and Lagos now,” he said.

Agbinibo continued: “We want to pass this message to the all international oil companies operating in the Niger Delta that the Nigeria military cannot protect their facilities. They should talk to the Federal Government to meet our demands else more mishap will befall their installations.”

The group had earlier claimed responsibility for the attack on the Forcados 48-inch Export Pipeline two months ago.

An attack was launched early this year on Escravos Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) connected to Chevron Nigeria Limited’s gas network at Escravos. This negatively impacted gas supply to some critical power projects.

The Federal Ministry of Power said the attack cut off the supply of 160 million metres standard cubic feet per day (MMSCD) of gas to operators of electricity generation facilities and a cut in power supply from the affected power plants.

Meanwhile, indigenous companies operating within the Nigerian petroleum economy yesterday raised the alarm over the uncertainty surrounding the international crude oil prices which has led to the deferment of investment plans or outright cancellation of capital projects.

Their fear was based on the fact that the local content capabilities that have been built in the industry over the years may be in danger of being eroded if the companies do not survive the downturn.

This is further compounded by the expectations of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which has projected that growth in Nigeria and other oil-exporting countries would decline to 2.2 per cent this year.

Operators stressed the need to reduce cost of operations and projects through local capacity development, indigenous working assets acquisitions, developing local expertise, low maintenance and reduction of operational costs of existing assets.

According to the operators at the content workshop with the theme “Local Content Implementation in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry: A Cost Reduction Strategy,” organised by the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), there should be cost-effective implementation of projects and utilisation of local resources to reduce overall cost.

They said there should be a policy direction to focus on sustainability of Nigerian local capacity to survive the declining crude oil prices.

At the event, Chairman of PETAN, Mazi Bank-Anthony Okoroafor, stressed the need for the industry to be placed on existing in-country capacity instead of patronage, adding that Nigeria should actively pursue reserves and production growth, which he said, has been on the decline.

Okoroafor stressed leveraging proven Nigerian companies and in-country capacity building, adding that proper implementation of the Nigerian oil and gas industry content development would significantly drive down the cost of doing business in the industry and cushion the effects of the low prices.

He stated: “The industry has operated under the Local Content Act regime for six years now and there is the need to take a closer look at the implementation strategy to ensure it is delivering the desired value to various industry stakeholders in particular and the Nigerian populace in general. Proper implementation of local content will lead to massive economic transformation of our great nation.”

Chairman, PETAN Conference Committee, Ranti Omole, stated that based on the belief of indigenous companies, the association is partnering to reduce cost of operations and projects in Nigeria through increased local patronage.

He said: “The industry has been undergoing challenges and facing turbulent period for the past two years due to low prices of crude oil and low demand. This has resulted in severe adverse consequences in the industry as well as on the economy of many oil-producing nations including our country.

“This has led major players in the industry to rationalise their operations, seek efficiencies and cost-saving measures to ensure profitability and survival of their businesses.”

Acting Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Daziba Obah, said with the right support and environment, indigenous companies were best positioned to provide services at lower cost without compromising standards.

Obah added that there was an opportunity to leverage the low value of the naira to source services, technology and solutions locally at much cheaper cost.

He noted that there would be much more cost-savings if operators develop increased project management capabilities, stressing: “Operators will save costs by optimising existing facilities and improving maintenance efficiencies.”

Dwelling on the role of the Federal Government to help save indigenous companies from the pangs of crude oil prices, former Chairman of PETAN, Emeka Ene, said that there was the need to develop the steel sector for local production of steel billets, coils and plate.

Ene added that government should accelerate gas infrastructure along gas corridors to ease the availability of gas in oil and gas parks, oil and gas free zones and other manufacturing locations supporting oil and gas activities.

“There is the need to engage relevant agencies in foster cordial and seamless working relationship with respect to expatriate quota and issuance of work permit.

“There should also be a periodic industry-wide capacity audit of local companies to establish current capacities and embark on gap closure interventions. Research and development clusters should be encouraged to promote the development of home-grown technology,” he said.

According to the IMF’s April 2016 regional outlook report, economic activities in sub-Saharan Africa have weakened markedly, with growth for the region as a whole, falling 3.5 percent in 2015, the lowest in 15 years.

Specifically, the IMF expects the economy to slow further in Angola, given, among other factors, limited foreign exchange supply and lower levels of public spending, and in Nigeria as the adverse impact of lower oil prices is compounded by disruptions to private sector activities through exchange rate restrictions.

The report stated: “In view of these trends, governments should consider a set of policy options tailoring the urgency of adjustment to the extent of domestic vulnerabilities.

“Commodity prices have fallen sharply and, for energy prices, at an unprecedented pace. Oil and other commodity exporters are adjusting, but given the extent of the shock they are facing, policies are currently ‘behind the curve.’ ’’

 

Source: http://guardian.ng/news/militants-blow-up-chevron-oil-facility-vow-more-attacks/

How Nigeria Can Stop Oil, Gas Pipelines From Bleeding

pipeline

 

The expenditure of about N103.4 billion for pipeline repairs and management between January and December 2015 has been described by experts as resource waste. CHIKA IZUORA gets their view on how to manage such assets.

Stakeholders in the oil and gas sector have considered as a monumental waste the huge funds appropriated for pipeline repairs following the unabated collateral damage inflicted on them by vandals as  it is becoming a tough task for security agencies to deal with the problem.

Oil production data reported by Platts showed that oil output from Nigeria fell by 20,000 barrels per day in February to 1.75 million barrels as exports and production of popular crude grade Forcados continued to be shut in due to sabotage-related spill on the subsea Forcados pipeline.

Also, in late March, the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) confirmed a blast at an oil field operated by Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) in Bayelsa State, killing three maintenance workers repairing crude oil pipelines at Olugboro in the Southern Ijaw local government area of the state.

All of these points to increasing act of sabotage perpetrated by persons suspected to be Niger Delta militants. Experts see it as a near impossible task for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to operate its refineries, crude oil and products pipelines profitably except steps are taken to eliminate all acts of pipeline vandalism.

The chairman and chief executive of Collintox Nigeria, Hammed Kadiri, told LEADERSHIP that a proactive measure is required at this time to deal with the situation. Kadiri, an energy asset security expert, who is also into due diligence and business intelligence, said that a holistic approach is needed given that the act has various dimensions to it.

According to him, “When we talk of pipeline vandalisation, there are various angles to look at it. First of all, let’s look at the commitment of government in securing the facilities. What is the standard of living of people who live in these environs. When I talk about the commitment of government, have we been able to put enough security apparatus in place to ensure that these pipelines are safe? If there is that political will on the part of the government to ensure that pipelines are safe I do not think that we will have so much challenges in terms of securing them. Again when I speak on the standard of living what I am trying to highlight is that most of the time when you go to the villages where these pipes run through you will find that the people live below the poverty line.

“What do you expect from a man who has a wife and children to take care of but cannot, and he sees these pipelines running through his neighbourhood and knows that if he is able to break or flout the law he can get products which when sold he can feed his family from the proceeds? I’m not saying that it is good to break the law, there is no reason for anybody to break the law but we should not give people excuse to do that,” Kadiri said, insisting that an enabling environment for people who lives in this environ is key so that they do not see the destruction of pipelines as a means of living.

He also deplored the use of soldiers as solution to the problem.

“In todays world, security doesn’t have to be a show of force, technology has made it such that with apparent minimum supervision, we will be able to safeguard these pipelines. Now, given the sort of environment we live in it is acceptable use physical security, which is what the soldiers represent. Aside from the physical security, what technical support have we put in place to run side by side the soldiers we have put in place? When we talk of technology, we are talking about cameras, high tech security cameras along the corridors of which the pipelines run through,” he said.

However, all these are coming in the light of a report titled “Report on Improving Local Refining Capacity in Nigeria,” prepared by the managing director, Matwims Consult Limited, Mark Tubotein, which revealled that the repeated repairs by the Petroleum Pipelines and Marketing Company (PPMC) after each act of vandalism for several years calls to question the integrity of existing pipelines that are over 35 years in operation without adequate maintenance.

This is because despite spending N103.4 billion for pipeline repairs and management between January and December 2015, data from the NNPC shows that the federal government actually recorded crude oil and product losses to the tune of N57.71 billion to pipeline vandalism. He noted that reports from the NNPC reveal that as from January to August 2015 alone, there have been over 1,824 cases of line breaks on the PPMC pipelines.

“The corporation, at least, spends billions of naira each year to maintain and secure pipelines with the assistance of security personnel and community personnel in the Niger Delta,” Tubotein said.

Due to the series of pipeline vandalism, Nigeria has suffered setbacks in meeting its gas obligation to Ghana and other West African countries through the West Africa Gas Pipeline Company.  To avert throwing the country into darkness, the government of Ghana has already started making alternative arrangements to get gas in order to provide regular electricity which has been epileptic for several months due to the deficit in Nigeria’s supply.

 

Source:  http://www.nigeriatoday.ng/2016/04/how-nigeria-can-stop-oil-gas-pipelines-from-bleeding/