The Amukpe Escravos Pipeline Project (AEPP) belonging to Pan Ocean Oil Corporation, an indigenous exploration and production company in Nigeria’s upstream oil sector, is expected to come on stream before the end of 2017.
The 67 kilometre pipeline is expected to serve as a major alternative to the Trans-Forcados Pipeline (TFP), which is constantly under attack from pipeline vandals.The company said that 160,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) export pipeline has the backing of the Federal Government, and when completed, will boost the evacuation of crude export as well as empower other oil and gas operators in the Niger Delta region to increase their crude evacuation capabilities.
Speaking during a visit by the Senate Committee on Gas to the project site in Delta State recently, Project Lead, AEPP and Senior Pipeline Engineer, Pan Ocean, John Okusolubo, `noted that many companies had a tough time last year, because they could not export their products due to the militancy induced closure of the Trans Forcados Pipeline.
He said: “The primary objective of this project is to make sure we do not have another year long stoppage of export activities. It is very obvious that we just have to think out of the box. Because we think ahead of our operations and our business, we have to be dynamic in the way we reason.
“A school of thought has it that you do not put your eggs in one basket. Another school of thought says that you can put your eggs in one basket and watch over it. Our own experience has shown that it does not work putting all of them in one basket and watching over them.
“We have got to have an alternative. We have to think of a better way of doing things. That is why we have alternative to the Trans Forcados Pipeline, which has been our main means of exporting our crude as a joint venture, JV, but that has not really helped us for a long time.
“We felt it is time for us to have an alternative to that line, such that if that line has some difficulties, we have other options of exporting our crude and not just shutting down as it used to be.”
Okusolubo explained that with the completion of the project, Pan Ocean will be empowering other operators in the industry to increase their crude evacuation capabilities.According to him, “With its partnership with an indigenous company, Fenog, on the pipeline project, Pan Ocean further highlights its commitment and contributions towards developing indigenous capacity and increased participation for Nigerian companies in the oil and gas sector.”
Speaking at the event, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Gas,Bassey Akpan, assured that the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) would be passed without delay.Akpan stated: “Time has come now that we are processing the PIGB, for us as a people to collectively sit down and right the infractions and wrongs of the past.
“We are surmounting most of the insurmountable. Nobody believed that in the history of Nigeria, a section of the PIGB will be passed. It has sent signal that Nigeria is ready for business. It is no longer business as usual. In the next two or three weeks, we should be doing the second reading of the fiscal and the host communities.
“If your area of operation is safe, we can derive maximum benefits from your operations. This is to reassure our people in the Niger Delta, as well as every other oil producing communities that the host community bill will actually take into consideration, all the expected interests. We allay their fears. By the grace of God, they have their representatives working with the Senate, looking at the PIGB. They will definitely agree on the fiscal framework and the host community. Collectively, we will then seat down as a team and look at the issues involved. We can assure Nigerians that whenever we are done, we will have only one version of the bill,” he said.