Pipeline Vandalism in Nigeria: Recommended Best Practice of Checking the Menace
- O.O. Udofia (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) | O.F. Joel (University of Port Harcourt)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition, 6-8 August, Lagos, Nigeria
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2012. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.6 Drilling Operations, 4.5.3 Floating Production Systems, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 4.4.2 SCADA, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 4.6 Natural Gas, 1.10.1 Drill string components and drilling tools (tubulars, jars, subs, stabilisers, reamers, etc), 4.6.2 Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), 6.1 HSSE & Social Responsibility Management, 6.5.3 Waste Management, 6.4.3 Data and Communication Security, 6.5.5 Oil and Chemical Spills
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Pipeline vandalism, in the context of this paper, refers to the willful or deliberate act of damaging petroleum pipelines with the sole aim of stealing crude oil and associated petroleum products. In the Nigerian oil & gas industry, the effects of pipeline vandalism among others include huge economic losses from pipeline & plant shutdown, environmental pollution, fire outbreaks usually resulting in loss of lives. Scarcity & shortage of petroleum products as well as decrease in electricity supply with the attendant socio-economic problems can also be attributed to pipeline vandalism. In Nigeria petroleum and associated products are transported through extensive network of pipelines that run across different locations throughout the country from remote to populated areas. These pipelines are however poorly secured thereby making them targets of repetitive attacks by vandals. Various steps have been taken by government for efficient service delivery but the problems appear to be on the increase. This paper presents an overview of the existing arrangement of pipeline monitoring protocols and recommended Best Practice for prudent pipeline management in Nigeria.
OIL SPILL POLLUTION IN THE NIGER DELTA
Nigeria's oil industry has increased activities in the last 40 years, during this period over 6,000 spills has been recorded averaging 1, 450 spills annually. It is on record that during the period of 1976 - 1996, 4,647 incidents resulted in spillage of 2, 339, 407.04 barrels of crude oil(DPR 1997). The environmental consequences of these include widespread ecosystem damage, socioeconomic and political problem in the region (Adejoh and Opaluwa 2005, Omuojine 2005, Isirimah 2006 and Sunday 2009). Records also show that between 1991 and 2000 there were a total spill of 5,781 with over 641, 000 barrels of spilled crude and more than 70% were not recovered (see table 2).
( Isirimah et al 2006, Egberongbe, et al 2006) emphasized that sabotage is the major cause of oil spillage in Nigeria, as citizens engage in oil bunkering destroying pipeline to siphon oil. A rundown of spills so far recorded shows that 50% is due to corrosion, 28% to sabotage, 21% to oil production operation while 1% of the spills is due to emergency drills, inability to effectively control oil wells, machine failures and inadequate care in loading and unloading oil vessels. Most pipelines from the flow station are obsolete. Oil pipes ought to be replaced every 15 to 20 years but most pipelines in use are more than 20 to 25 years old, making them subject to corrosion and leakage. Some of these pipes are laid above ground level without adequate surveillance,exposing them to wear and tear and other damages.
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