By OBAFEMI OREDEIN
IBADAN -- The Nigerian National Petroleum Co. (NNPC) said
that it has no plan to set up an agency to protect pipelines in
Tumini Green, NNPC's spokeswoman, said in a statement that
the corporation and its subsidiary Pipelines and Produce
Marketing Co. aren't privy to any plan by the federal
government to up the agency or a commission to protect the
pipelines, as some media has reported.
Oil thieves frequently attack and damage pipelines in the
country's Niger Delta oil region. Shell Petroleum Development
Co. (SPDC) Managing Director Mutiu Sunmonu said more than
60,000 bpd is stolen from the company alone. SPDC is a Nigerian
subsidiary of Shell.
Security forces operating in the Niger Delta to stem oil
thefts have largely been unsuccessful and the government is
reported to have awarded lucrative contracts to former militant
leaders in the Niger Delta to protect pipelines.
Ms. Green said the NNPC has been exploring the options of
collaborating with the security agencies and communities to
curtail pipeline sabotage. She added that the Joint Task Force,
the military unit set up by the government to fight militancy
and stop the sabotage of pipelines and oil thefts, has "been of
great help in tackling the menace in the Niger Delta.
"We sincerely believe that these efforts and the engagement
we are having with the communities will help check and
eventually end pipeline vandalism. We neither believe in nor
support the establishment of any agency for the specific
purpose of protecting pipelines," Ms. Green said.
Dow Jones Newswires