Pipeline vandalism: FG may transport crude oil via trucks

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The Federal Government has introduced an innovative method for evacuating crude oil, leveraging barges and trucks for transportation from production sites to injection/storage points, and eventually to export terminals. This initiative, known as the Alternative Crude Oil Evacuation Systems (ACOES), aims to mitigate losses and disruptions caused by pipeline vandalism and theft.

Nigeria suffers significant financial losses annually due to crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism, prompting the government to explore alternative transportation methods. In response to mounting concerns, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission has spearheaded efforts to implement the ACOES, facilitating the movement of crude oil via trucks and barges.

Collaborating with industry stakeholders, the Commission has intensified surveillance and deployed security forces to safeguard oil and gas infrastructure against criminal activities. By promoting the ACOES, the government seeks to minimize production disruptions, revenue losses, and environmental damage associated with pipeline vandalism.

The ACOES offers a flexible and cost-effective solution for transporting crude oil, particularly benefiting new entrants into the industry during extended well test and early production phases. Through stringent regulatory measures and close coordination with security agencies, the Commission ensures the safety and security of barging and trucking operations in the upstream oil and gas sector.

Notably, the implementation of the ACOES has yielded positive results, as evidenced by significant improvements in crude oil evacuation and export volumes. For instance, the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) experienced a drastic reduction in production losses due to crude theft, with over three million barrels of crude evacuated and exported through the NCTL in the first quarter of 2024 alone.

Responding to these developments, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, the National Public Relations Officer of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, commended the government’s efforts to combat oil theft. He emphasized the importance of safeguarding Nigeria’s crude oil earnings and encouraged further measures to address this ongoing challenge.

As Nigeria continues to grapple with the impact of oil theft and pipeline vandalism on its economy, the adoption of alternative evacuation systems represents a proactive step towards safeguarding the nation’s vital oil resources and bolstering its revenue generation capabilities.

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