Militants blow up gas pipeline in Nigeria

BY: Moses Dotsey Aklorbortu
Armah-Kofi Buah — Minister of Energy

A number of gas pipelines in the Niger Delta in Nigeria have been blown up by militants. The incident, which took place at the Escravos in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State last Friday, affected one of the lines that leads to the source of Ghana’s supply of gas from Nigeria. 

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The reports said the part that was hit was the line break valve riser at Omadino in Itsekiri area, which is a valve on the Escravos gas pipeline. It brings gas from Escravos into the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System.

Indications are that these attacks on the pipeline that supplies some of the gas to Ghana may pose challenges to power supply in the country. However, the Ghana Grid Company (Gridco) and the Volta River Authority (VRA) have given an assurance that they can contain the situation with gas supply from other sources.

The reduction in supply of gas from Nigeria, which is the sole source of fuel for the  Asogli Power Plant in Tema, has  dwindled from 140mmscf to about 10mmscf currently, resulting in the  generation of only 40megawatts.


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Vandalism

The THISDAY newspaper in Nigeria reported that the pipeline facility which belongs to the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), was attacked with explosives in the early hours of last Friday.

According to the paper, its security source confirmed that the gas trunk line was blown up at a portion near Warri metropolis in Ogbe-Ijoh, the administrative headquarters of Warri South-West Local Government Area.

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It is feared that the latest attack could worsen the very bad gas production and supply situation even in Nigeria with a heavy toll on the energy generation capacity and oil export.

A source from the transporters, West African Gas Pipleline Company, (WAGPCO) said its pipeline, which runs from offshore Nigeria through Benin and Togo to Ghana, was intact and available to transport gas volumes with a current capacity of 170mmscf/d to its customers.

VRA & GRIDCo

Speaking to the Daily Graphic, the Head of Corporate Communication of the company, Mrs Gertrude Koomson, said Asogli was the worse affected by the development in Nigeria.

She said the CENIT and Mine Reserve plant were not operating because they ran solely on gas and that with the drop in Gas from Nigeria, they could not operate.

The Chief Executive Officer of GRIDCo, Mr William Amuna, gave an assurance that the system was currently managing 160 megawatts of power as a result of the short supply of gas from Nigeria.

“For the past three months, Nigeria gas remains low at about 10mmscf daily which could only be used by some units to generate only 40megawatts,” he explained.

Mr Amuna also gave an assurance that the shortfall of 160 megawatts could be managed.

He said there were backup plans to keep the system running, and that work was ongoing to bring on board the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant to support operations both in Tema and Aboadze.

“There are plans to extend pipelines from Tema to Takoradi to support Atuabo supply under the LNG facility,” he further indicated.

Atuabo 

The gas processing plant at Atuabo, however, has since the resumption of the Jubilee oil fields been supplying the AMERI plant with about 52mmscf of gas.

A source at the plant indicated that currently it was receiving about 60mmscf from Jubilee and after processing, it transported about 52mmscf to the VRA for use by AMERI.

The VRA, however, explained that AMERI required a total volume of about 56mmscf daily, therefore the 52mmscf from Atuabo was a deficit of about 4mmscf.