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Oil production may drop over pipeline explosions

According to our correspondent’s observations, Nigeria’s oil production output may dip this month due to a new pipeline explosion.

A new explosion was reported on Thursday at Rumuekpe town in Rivers State’s Emuoha Local Government Area, rocking a major export pipeline in the Niger Delta, killing roughly 12 people.

The explosion happened at a major export pipeline, the 180,000 barrels per day Trans Niger Pipeline, which runs through Rumuekpe.

The TNP pipeline, Nigeria’s main liquid hydrocarbon supply channel, was closed for the most of last year due to force majeure. The TNP, in addition to carrying crude to the Bonny Export Terminal, is part of the gas liquids evacuation infrastructure, which is vital for sustained domestic power generation and liquefied gas exports.

According to statistics gathered from Reuters’ secondary sources survey, Nigeria’s crude oil production has begun to revive, increasing by 100,000 barrels per day last month.

A daily increase of 100,000 barrels resulted in a monthly increase of 2.8 million barrels. According to the study, Nigeria’s oil output for last month was 1.3 million barrels per day, for a total output of around 36,400 million for the month.

In February, Nigeria’s crude grade, Bonny Light, sold for $84 a barrel, resulting in total earnings of about N1.408 trillion.

But, with the new development, Nigeria fears losing 180,000 barrels per day of export this month, which may amount to more than four million barrels of export if the pipeline is not repaired fast.

On Friday, Brent International finished around $86 per barrel, and Nigeria’s oil grade, Bonny Light, is typically sold at a premium of $1 per barrel over Brent. Oil prices are expected to rise in 2023, according to experts and researchers.

The Rivers State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, Grace Iringe-Koko confirmed the explosion occurred at about 2a.m. when a bus loaded with illegal crude oil exploded just on its way from the site.

“Preliminary investigation by the police command indicates that the victims were scooping crude oil when the site caught fire. So far, about 12 persons are believed to have been burnt to death. The identities of the victims are still unknown.

“Five vehicles, four Keke NAPEP (commercial tricycles), and one motorcycle were all burned to ashes,” Iringe-Koko disclosed.

Also speaking, the Executive Director of Youth and Environment Advocacy Centre, Fyneface Dumnamene, said the investigation by the organisation revealed that all those who were at the exact tapping point in the “pit” got killed.

He added that some of those who had loaded the crude or were waiting to load, including women, were also killed by the explosion.

A statement signed by Chief Executive, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Gbenga Komolafe, also confirmed the incident on the shell-operated line, noting that the matter had been reported to the regulatory agency.

“The NUPRC wishes to announce that an explosion leading to a major fire incident near a pipeline in Rumuekpe Community in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State on Thursday night has been reported.

“The commission in line with its statutory regulatory oversight of upstream petroleum operations in the Nigerian oil and gas industry has commenced investigations into the incident in conjunction with relevant stakeholders and will provide updates appropriately,” he said.

Crude oil theft and explosion resulting from pipeline vandalism have continued to deny the Federal Government huge sums of revenue.

The Group Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari had recently said the country could be losing as much as 900, 000 barrels per day to the menace.

The country has also not been able to meet its Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries quota for over a year due to crude oil theft.

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