Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke
Commissions refurbished Benin supply depot
Chineme Okafor in Abuja and Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke thursday disclosed that the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), an Exploration and Production (E&P) subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has become the country’s major supplier of domestic gas.
Alison-Madueke, who stated that the NPDC now supplies Nigeria’s domestic market with about 400 million standard cubic feet of gas per day, also noted that the company has attained the position of the fifth largest oil producer in Nigeria.
She made this disclosure at the commissioning of the NNPC/NPDC Oredo Integrated Gas Handling Facility (IGHF) which is sited on Oil Mining Lease (OML) 111 approximately 35 kilometres south of Benin City in Edo State and consists of three fields with an average production capacity of 6,000 barrels of crude oil per day (bpd).
Notwithstanding NPDC’s current gas production and supply to the domestic market, the minister equally explained that the company has got the capacity to grow to 600mscuf/per day by the end of 2013.
She said: “I think it is of interest to note that NPDC is now the major gas supplier to the nation’s gas domestic market with a current supply of approximately 400mmscf/d and expected growth to 600mmscf/d by the end of this year.
“The commissioning of the Oredo field which is already delivering 65mmscuf/d of gas per day to the domestic market clearly demonstrates this growing capability of NPDC to take a leading role in the Federal Government’s quest to rapidly increase gas supply and it is my hope that by the end of this year, the complete integrated gas handling facility which will deliver 100mmscf/d of lean gas and about 330 tonnes of LPG per annum to domestic consumers will actually have been completed.”
Accordingly, the Oredo gas project which is a 100mmscf/d capacity gas plant with fractionation and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) dispensing units, has an obligation to supply 45mmscfd of gas to the 450 megawatts (MW) National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) Ihovbor Power Plant also in Edo State and additional 55mmscfd to the domestic market through the Escravos Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) by March 2013.
Also in his remarks, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu stated that the corporation was pursuing the development of more resources in order to provide another 100mmscfd of raw gas to Pan Ocean Oil Corporation to utilise its spare capacity available in the Ovade Ogharefe gas plant.
He noted that the Oredo IGHF was a quick response to the Federal Government’s gas-to-power programme.
Meanwhile, the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) Benin supply depot which was out of operation for close to seven years owing to vandalism of PPMC’s system 2A pipeline network from Warri to Benin was yesterday re-commissioned by Alison-Madueke after undergoing refurbishment.
The minister who called for stakeholders’ support on pipeline protection, explained in her remarks in Benin City that pipeline vandalism has become a threat to the country’s national security in view of its numerous costs to the country.
She said the loss of lives and burden of environmental remediation which the country ordinarily should not have to bear was becoming enormous, adding that proactive and collective measures must be sustained to stem the alarming rate of pipeline vandalism.
Earlier, the Managing Director of PPMC), Prince Haruna Momoh, said the Benin depot which was constructed in 1978 has 17 storage tanks with a combined capacity of 121,720,000 litres of petroleum products which serves Edo, Kogi and parts of Ondo.
Momoh said: “This depot has since been a shadow of itself due to non activities since 2005 caused by incessant pipeline vandalism and products theft. Trucks that otherwise should have loaded in Benin have to go all the way to Warri and sometimes to Lagos and Port Harcourt depots to load products.”
On his part, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State commended President Jonathan for reactivating the depot, saying without the president’s intervention, it would not have been possible.
“We commend the leadership of the president for giving the support and providing the resources and political leadership without which today would not have been a reality,” he noted.
The president, according to him, “has demonstrated with the way this facility has been restored that we don’t need to wallow in lamentation and that we can find courage to provide leadership to drive changes that are necessary for us to invent those things that we had before that have disappeared.”