Expert Proffers Solutions to Contain Crude Oil Theft

…As Umugini Pipeline Infrastructure unveils new brand logo, identity

Chiemelie Ezeobi

To curb the burgeoning menace of crude oil theft bedeviling the nation, the Chief Executive Officer, Umugini Pipeline Infrastructure Limited (UPIL), Blessing Ayemhere has proffered workable solutions across board.

Ayemhere advised the government to create alternative operation routes, secure the evacuation routes and expand export activities to the eastern side of the Niger Delta in order to contain the menace of crude oil theft.

Speaking at the unveiling of UPIL’s new logo and brand identity in Lagos, Ayemhere also advised the government to conclude the crude tracking process so that it can be fully operational and complement the current strategy being used by the company.

He noted that the menace was a huge challenge for operators in the sector which they were using multiple strategies to stop it.

He said, “Vandalism in the oil and gas sector has become a big deal. Aside from the well heads, we also have vandalism of the pipelines along the right of ways.

“So, we are combating such occurrences from time to time. It is something that is operating in the system and what we are doing is to put multiple strategies in place to safeguard the security of the pipelines and the products in them.

“The crude tracking technology has not fully come to effect but every crude has its specific identity. What we do right now is to ensure that the pipelines that we use are tracked and we are alerted if there is an intrusion or any issue on our pipelines.

“Once we are able to mature as a country to track our crude specifically, then, that would be the next phase.

“The solution is to create alternative operation routes, secure the evacuation routes and also expand beyond the western side to the eastern side of the Niger Delta.”

The midstream firm which transports crude oil to downstream terminal facilities for exploration and production companies was formerly Umugini Asset Company Limited (UACL).

A combination of a red horizontal strip and the wordmarks that represents it name, Ayemhere said the new logo projects the company’s seamless expertise in the pipeline and storage sector in oil and gas industry.

“It also strives to reinforce our safe, efficient and environmentally friendly service-proposition.

“We have looked forward to the unveiling of our new brand identity, UPIL. It is a pipeline infrastructure company that operates in the midstream oil and gas sector of Nigeria.

“Before now, we have not really had a dedicated pipeline company. We are actually one of the first pipeline companies operating in the exploration and production space. Our focus is to take the responsibility and the burden of evacuating crude from producers to the point of offtake in the terminal at various locations.

“That is what we do and that is why we are rebranding to actually give effect to what we do and to make the market know the problem we are here to solve. The producers of crude oil have their production facilities their responsibility is to extract crude oil, exploit it and so, the crude needs to be taken to the terminals for sale because that is where the buyers come to carry the product with their barges.

“So, our responsibility is to connect producers to the buyers through the evacuation route. What we do actually is to take the crude through pipelines underground to the terminals.

“We do not get involved in barging or shipping at the terminal. The buyers who are the offtakers bring their barges, ships, offtake tanks and they move from the terminal. So, we are not responsible for the security of the barges in the waterways.

“Our pipeline length is 51.4km and we have what we call the install and the technical capacities. Install capacity is 45,000 barrels/day while the technical capacity is 82,500 barrels/day.

“Currently, we are still operating below that and what we are trying to do is to help producers along that route know that we have already built an infrastructure that they can key into.”

At the unveiling were the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Midwestern Oil and Gas, Mr. Charles Odita;

Managing Director, Mart Umusadege Resources Nigeria Limited, Mr. Chris Omon; President, SunTrust Oil Company Nigeria Limited, Mr. Ugo Okafor represented by Mrs. Rachael Akhul; Managing Director, Enyo Retail and Supply Limited, Mr. Abayomi Awoboku; Managing Director, DEL Waste Management Limited, Mr. Brume Okolobi; Executive Director, Technical, Mr. Victor Okolo; Head, Services, Dr. Nonye Barrow and

Oando’s representative, Mrs. Nwandoo Ihyemibe-Hassan.

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