West African Gas Pipeline Company Shuts Down Operation
By Ejiofor Alike
CAPTION: WAPCo’s General Manager in charge of Corporate Affairs, Mrs. Harriet Wereko-Brobby (photo file)
The West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo), operator of the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) system, Tuesday shut down the pipeline system after it experienced a loss of pressure around Lome in Togo.
WAPCo has also stopped all gas deliveries to its onshore stations as a result of the incident.
Confirming this development in a statement Tuesday, WAPCo’s General Manager in charge of Corporate Affairs, Mrs. Harriet Wereko-Brobby, said the company was “working closely with the government agencies and other relevant organisations to investigate the cause of loss of pressure and to ensure safety while rectifying the situation.”
The $1billion West African Gas Pipeline transports gas from the country to the Republic of Benin, Togo and Ghana for power generation and other domestic uses.
The pipeline started from Itoki area of Ogun State and goes through Agido near Badagry in Lagos, passing through 33 Nigerian communities and thereafter goes offshore.
N-Gas, which is jointly-owned by Shell, Chevron and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), buys gas from oil companies in Nigeria and transport the gas to its customers in Benin, Togo and Ghana, through the pipeline.
The International Project Agreement (IPA) signed in May 2003 by WAGPCo and the Government of Benin, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo, with the Secretariat of the ECOWAS as witness, provides that N-Gas be allocated a space in the pipeline that could transport up to 200million standard cubic per day of gas (200mmscf).
Before Tuesday’s incident, N-Gas was being allocated 134mmscf space in the 475mmscf capacity pipeline but could only deliver about 60mmscf of gas to the pipeline, leaving the $1billion facility to be sub-optimally utilised.
Due to the non-utilisation of the pipeline by N-Gas, sub-regional ministers, otherwise referred to as the Committee of Ministers of the West African Countries involved in the pipeline project plan to amend the IPA to enable other entities to use the pipeline.
Shareholders in the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAGPCo), include Chevron, Shell, NNPC, Volta River Authority, BenGaz and Soto Gaz.