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NNPC collaborates with Army to destroy illegal structures along its pipeline corridor

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, on Monday announced it was set to collaborate with the Army Engineering Corps to put an end to the violation of its pipeline right-of-way by individuals and communities across the country.

Ndu Ughamadu, head of the NNPC Public Affairs Division, in Abuja called the violations on the right of way of its pipeline by as “dangerous” with serious implications.

He stated the system 2E oil pipelines which constitute a network of pipelines that stretch from Port Harcourt-Aba-Enugu and links to Makurdi.

“The infringement on the statutorily guaranteed 25-metre setback for the infrastructure has been detrimental to the free flow of petroleum products and harmful to dwellers of illegal structures and shanties because of the combustible nature of hydrocarbon,” he said.

Standard safety practices specify a permanent right-of-way for underground pipelines should range from 25 to 50 feet wide, but it may vary.

Noting the inseparable link between the cases of oil pipeline right-of-way-encroachment and incessant pipeline vandalism and oil theft with an attendant negative effect on the economy.

He affirmed that the creation of the minimum 25-metre buffer for the pipeline is designed to allow for maintenance, repairs and replacements of pipelines as the need may arise.

Explaining further, he stated that the buffer ensures that those living close to the lines were shielded in the cases of leakage, rupture or explosion, which is a first step towards the eventual removal of such structures by the team of Army Engineering Corps, its downstream subsidiary, Nigerian Pipeline and Storage Company, NPSC, embarked on extensive consultation and enlightenment exercise.

“The exercise would be targeted at violators in affected communities, because the safety and wellbeing of the people remains paramount,” he said.

Ughamadu said that based on penetrating reconnaissance executed by the Army engineers stretching from Ogale-Eleme community in Port Harcourt -Aba axis to Otade community in Enugu-Makurdi leg, structures in violation of the pipeline safety corridor have been identified.

And the affected areas had also been clearly marked and a notice of imminent removal served on affected occupants.

Ughamadu noted that the essence of the red flag was to bring urgency to the situation along the PH-Aba-Enugu-Markurdi line whose level of violation is about 75 per cent with clear cases of individuals channelling products into private homes.

“Such incidents are not only crystal clear cases of economic sabotage, but poses an unimaginable danger to the entire neighbourhood,’’ he said.

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