Pipeline Professionals Association of Nigeria (PPAN) has concluded plans to hold maiden international conference that will bring stakeholders from around the world to discuss pipeline investment, security and other related issues.
Speaking to Energy Editors at the recently concluded Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) 2017 in Houston, the Executive Chairman of the association, Engr. Geoff Onuoha, stated that “We all know that pipeline has been in the news for the past few months. Our production has been dependent on how smoothly our pipeline runs. Pipeline has been a major factor in the production of crude oil, gas and production.
“Our association brings in people who run pipeline, construct pipeline and maintain pipeline. And people who have interest in pipeline. It is an association that brings together industry people. So we want to bring together a conference that focuses on pipeline. We want to draw attention to challenges, the good methods, and new ideas on how pipeline is run.”
Furthermore, he emphasized the fact that at other conferences, there are so many issues to discuss but pipeline issue is always put under the carpet and kind of sub-merged.
“Now we are going to bring it up. We are going to bring in issue of standardization and issue of new ways to address the challenges we have. We have technology like HDD (Horizontal Directional Drilling), who can afford it, how much does it cost, who are the companies that can mill pipelines in Nigeria, and who are those that can help maintain pipelines.
“Then, who are the people that are endanger to pipelines. How can we address issues of attacks on pipeline? We just want to focus on pipeline issues.
“If you address the issues of pipeline challenges, production goes up because pipelines are the easiest target when people wanted to do anything. So if you can address pipelines, you can address power in the process and address production.
“That’s why we are coming with our partners to Abuja to organize this conference. At the conference, you will see people who build pipes, pipe mills, those that construct pipelines, those who own pipelines and those that maintain pipelines. You will see people from different group exhibiting and addressing issues that will do with pipelines,” he said.
On how much Nigeria is losing to pipeline importation, he argued that 80 per cent of all the pipes used in Nigeria are imported and expensive. “Pipelines are very expensive. You will probably hear that 127km-48”-pipeline costs $1.2 billion. It is a lot of money and we are trying to put lots of attention on pipelines,” he said.
On stagnation of pipeline extension over the years in Nigeria, he explained that pipelines in Nigeria can be viewed from two ways.
“You can say product pipeline which is run by the PPMC; PPMC has the largest length of pipeline in Nigeria. I don’t know if there have been any new additions to that. Apart from that, you have the upstream pipeline network owned by various IOCs. They have been adding pipelines to theirs.
“You have companies like Pan Ocean for example is building new pipelines. Orient in the East is also building pipelines. The largest addition of pipeline taking place as we speak is for gas. Even around Lagos, Gaslink is adding pipelines and the Gas Master Plan is very much inched on pipelines and processing facilities. So the pipelines were being added but not in the way we added them in the past because the industry is changing,” he said.
On the issue of vandalism, he stated that it has been a big challenge. “Within our association, we have our own theory on this subject matter. We are looking at it as a fundamental issue and that is the reason the conference is necessary. We want to bring the best ideas.
The conference is going to be international and not just for Nigerians.
“We want people to come and show us what technology is available so we can learn. It is not just the pipeline issues but other issues that lead to pipeline vandalism like the social issues,” he said.