OrderPaperToday – The Senate has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to set up a consortium of experts to appraise the possibilities of installing computerised oil facilities management gadgets to curb multifaceted problems associated with oil and gas production, transportation, and sales business in Nigeria.
The call followed the consideration of a motion titled “the need to install computerised oil facilities gadgets for Nigerian crude oil businesses” on Thursday.
Sponsor of the motion, Senator George Sekibo noted that petroleum products business, as the mainstay of the economy, should be given priority attention in terms of protection, expansion, quantity and total quality control.
He expressed worry that in over 61 years of oil exploration, Nigeria cannot give account of the total amount of petroleum products produced, sold, wasted, and the amount lost through pilfering or pipeline vandalisation.
According to Sekibo, “The International Energy Agency puts Nigeria production at about 2.53 million barrels per day, well below its oil production capacity of over 3 million barrels. Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil producer with a maximum production capacity of about 2.5 million barrels, but this meagre quantity is always under attack through oil theft and pipeline vandalism.
“A foreign based journal ‘the London Economist’ describes Nigeria Government having a wretched reputation in its crude oil governance as between 100,000 and 400,000 barrels of crude are estimated to be stolen translating to 36 million barrels to 146 million barrels per year.
“While these figures stand doubtful, on August 30th 2019, the Nigeria National Economic Council (NEC) through a submission by NNPC has put the amount of crude oil stolen in the first six months of 2019 at 22 million barrels.”
Speaking further, he revealed that other major oil producing countries, such as Kuwait, Russia Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) have computerised management systems that record the quantity of oil produced, quantity sold and at what price.
“The computerised oil management system assists in the pipelines protection, trigger off alarms when any section of the pipeline is disturbed for whatever reason. The system detects if there is a weak section along the stretch of the pipeline, indicates the position and point of such section as well as advises on how to mend or go about it. The same system captures pictures of suspected intruders on the pipeline. The computerized management facilities are equipped with fire-fighting gadgets in the event of fire outbreak associated with oil and gas production and exportation,” the Senator added.
Sekibo concluded his motion by stating that “Nigeria has the capacity in terms of funding to install both pipelines and products evaluation computerized system to save waste, have accurate knowledge of production as well as avoid pilfering through breakage of pipelines, causing loss of human lives and environmental degradation.
“One key area of fighting corruption is through effective management of the resource itself, that is the sources of revenue just as the present administration emphasizes on the fight against revenue pilfering at different levels of government by operators”.
The Red Chamber subsequently directed its Committees on Petroleum Upstream, Downstream and Gas Resources to hold a public hearing with stakeholders to ascertain “the quantity of oil and gas produced daily; the quantity control mechanism as currently engaged by NNPC, and if adequate; the amount of waste of petroleum products through pilfering, pipelines vandalisation, leakages, and from any other forms; international best practice of computerized oil and Gas business management, including pipeline protection and quantity and quality control; and any other advice that could improve the oil and gas business in the country.”