Several days after the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) claimed to have restored its System 2B pipeline network, which pumps petroleum products from Atlas Cove Depot in Lagos to other depots in the south west part of the country, investigation has revealed that there are no products in three out of the five depots in the system.
Under System 2B, which is the most active pipeline network in the country, petroleum products are pumped through pipelines from Atlas Cove to the NNPC depots in Ejigbo in Lagos; Mosimi in Ogun State; Ore in Ondo State; Ibadan in Oyo State and Ilorin in Kwara State.
It was however gathered that no products have been pumped from Atlas Cove to Ibadan, Ore and Ilorin Depots, contrary to claims by the NNPC at the weekend that it had restored normal distribution of petrol in system 2B network, after it repaired the vandalised Ije-Ododo pipeline in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State.
The NNPC, it was learnt, could only pump from Atlas Cove to Ejigbo satellite Depot and Mosimi.
When contacted, Western Zonal Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mr. Olumide Ogunmade told THISDAY yesterday that he was outside the country and would not comment on the situation.
A spokesman of the NNPC, Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim could also not comment on the situation because he said he was outside the country.
Both the acting group spokesman of the NNPC, Mr. Fidel Pepple and the spokesman of the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), NNPC’s subsidiary that operates the pipelines, Mr. Nasir Imodagbe did not respond to calls and text messages sent to their mobile phones on the matter.
It was learnt that marketers who were programmed to load NNPC products in tankers from Ibadan, Ore and Ilorin depots were referred to NIPCO Plc and other private depots in Apapa, which have throughput agreement with the corporation.
Some of the marketers were however stranded in some of the private depots because the NNPC did not have enough products in those private facilities.
A source in one of the oil marketing companies told THISDAY that most of the private depots in Apapa did not have enough NNPC products.
“The problem is compounded by the fact that when a vessel carrying our own products comes in, the NNPC will not allow it to discharge at Apapa because its vessel is on the way. When NNPC vessel finally comes in, it will take a whole week to discharge because they want to ration the products to as many companies as possible and this wastes time,” said the source.
About 60 per cent of petroleum products imported by the NNPC is discharged through the System 2B and pumped to the five depots to ease pressure of tankers on the private depots at Apapa.
Data made available by the NNPC showed that the pipeline between Atlas Cove and Ilorin Depot was vandalised on over 774 points.
Between Atlas Cove and Mosimi depot, the NNPC recorded 181 break points caused by vandals.
About 421 vandalised points were recorded from Mosimi to Ibadan, while 50 points were recorded from Mosimi to Ore.
Also between Ibadan and Ilorin, there were a total of 122 break points
A pipeline fire caused by vandals at Arepo in Ogun State in September had disrupted the distribution of products in System 2B, which distributes about 12million litres of petrol daily in the south west.
The situation was worsened when the NNPC engineers sent to repair the facility were killed by vandals.
Few weeks after the Arepo pipeline was repaired, vandals struck again, setting the NNPC pipeline in Ije-ododo community in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State on fire and disrupting products distribution on the system 2B network.
However, the NNPC at the weekend said it had restored the Ije-ododo pipeline to normalcy and that pumping or petrol had also resumed in earnest to the depots in the system 2B, spanning from Atlas-Cove to Ilorin.