A new 67-kilometer-long pipeline with a capacity to convey 160,000 barrels of crude per day has commenced commercial operation at the new Amukpe-Escravos. The mostly underground new crude oil transportation option was developed using horizontal directional drilling technology, making it tamper-proof, durable, and safer for operations while minimizing environmental impact and discouraging bunkering activities.
Bunkering has drastically affected the revenues of many oil companies pumping crude through the conduit linking the two points in Delta State, in Nigeria’s South-South region. The infrastructure also obviates the need to depend on the Trans Forcados System, operated by Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited and plagued by intermittent shutdowns from vandal attacks in recent years.
According to Roger Brown, the Chief Executive Officer of Seplat Energy, the development would help the company to guarantee a better bottom line for stakeholders going forward.
“The commercial launch of the Amukpe-Escravos Pipeline is a significant event for Seplat Energy and for Nigeria, offering a more secure and reliable export route that will assure higher revenues and profitability for Seplat Energy, enabling us to make a larger contribution to Nigeria’s economy. We commend the work that has made this possible and appreciate the efforts of our partners and all contractors involved in creating this more reliable and secure export route for Nigeria’s oil”.
Prior to this time, Seplat and other oil companies in Nigeria relied on the Trans-Niger Pipeline to transport their crude extracts. Unfortunately, the pipeline has suffered major attacks recently, causing stakeholders to avoid it.
Oil theft is the main reason Nigeria has been struggling to meet its production output quota, as set by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Osagie Okunbor, described oil theft as an existential threat to oil companies in Nigeria. Several stakeholders in the Nigerian oil and gas sector have also voiced their frustrations over the issue.
Efforts by the Nigerian Government have yielded little or no result in solving what is arguably the most chronic problem affecting oil companies in Africa’s largest oil-producing nation.
The launch new Amukpe-Escravos Pipeline “is a significant event for Seplat Energy and for Nigeria, offering a more secure and reliable export route that will assure higher revenues and profitability for Seplat Energy, enabling us to make a larger contribution to Nigeria’s economy,” said Roger Brown.
“We commend the work that has made this possible and appreciates the efforts of our partners and all contractors involved,” Brown added.
The pipeline links OML 38, 41, and 4 – all Seplat Energy’s major oil assets – from Amukpe Liquids Storage Terminal, operated by the oil driller, to Escravos Terminal, managed by Chevron.
It is able to transport 160,000 barrels of crude (bbl) per day, 35,000 bbl of that belonging to Seplat Energy and state-owned Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Limited by way of the joint venture.