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INVESTIGATION INTO PIPELINE VANDALISM

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CHAPTER ONE

1.0           INTRODUCTION

The Nigerian petroleum industry which has majority of its establishment within the Niger Delta Region has been confronted by two sapping challenges over the years. The challenges relates to the prevalence of militancy and oil pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta. While the former has significantly attenuated in the aftermath of the Amnesty deal in 2009 (Okoli, 2013), the latter appears to have escalated both in incidence and impact. Vandalisation of oil and gas pipeline facilities remains the single most critical challenge facing our industry. (Dr. M.S. Barkindo (2010), NNPC General Managing Director).

According to Ogbeni: A total of 16,083 pipeline breaks were recorded within the last 10 years adding that while 398 pipeline breaks representing 2.4 percent were due to ruptures, the activities of unpatriotic vandals accounted for 15, 685 breaks which translated to about 97.5 percent of the total number of cases (Ogbeni, 2012, para 8). Indeed, the incidence of oil pipeline vandalism has been on the rise in Nigeria. This is particularly so because oil is the live wire of the Nigerian state and economy. Indeed, oil is the mainstay of the Nigerian economy and the country relies heavily on revenue from crude. For example, oil provides 20% of the country’s GDP and 65% of its budgetary revenue (CIA, 2007).

According to the 2013 annual report of the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Nigeria lost a total of 10.9billion US Dollars to oil theft between 2009 and 2011 (NEITI, 2013; Onoja, 2013). This loss adumbrates the significance of vandalism as a veritable problem in the Nigerian oil industry.

Pipeline which still remains as one of the most reliable and best means of transporting petroleum products are occasionally subjected to third party damage. This damage is the single largest cause of pipeline failure from history. In most developing countries of the world like Nigeria, this damage is mainly due to the act of vandalism and terrorist attacks. In Nigeria, a combined team of Petroleum Pipeline Marketing Company an arm of the government, Community leaders, Police and indigenes provide surveillance to guard the pipelines. Regular aerial surveillance of critical sections of the pipelines is also carried out. Despite all these security measures, vandalisation of petroleum pipelines is increasing and a single incident can be devastating, causing death and millions of dollars in property loss.

According to Pipelines Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of NNPC, Nigeria has a total network of 5,001 kilometres of oil pipelines, consisting of 4,315 km of multiproduct pipelines and 666 km of crude-oil pipelines. These pipelines criss-cross the country and inter-link the twenty-two petroleum storage depots strategically dispersed across the country, the refineries at Port Harcourt, Kaduna and Warri, the off-shore terminals at Escravos and Bonny, and the four jetties at Okrika, Atlas Cove, Warri and Calabar (Sule, 2004).

Pipeline vandalisation, as it is used in this context, refers to illegal or unauthorised activities that involve the destruction of oil pipelines to disrupt supply or the puncturing of oil pipelines to siphon crude oil or its refi ned products in order to appropriate it for personal use or for sale in the black market or any other outlet. It includes such acts as oil bunkering, breaking oil pipelines to siphon fuel, scooping fuel from burst oil pipes and the deliberate act of oil terrorism. In Nigeria, pipeline vandalisation is usually regarded as an act of sabotage. It is a capital offence under the Petroleum Act and is covered by the Criminal Justice Decree of 1975 (miscellaneous provisions) (Phil-Eze 2004:278). In recent times, the incidence of pipeline vandalisation and the associated fire disaster has caused serious destruction of the ecosystem of host communities, oil spillage and environmental pollution, destruction of farmlands and properties, and the loss of lives.

This project work seeks to put poverty in its proper context vis-à-vis pipeline vandalisation explosion and human security. It explores this by identifying the causes, trends and dimensions of pipeline vandalisation as well as its impact on human security.

1.1    AIM AND OBJECTIVES

This project is aimed at:

Investigating the pipeline vandalism at Abiteye, Warri South West, Delta  State. – its problem and prospect.

The objective is to proffer solution to this inhuman degradation of the environment, health and air.

1.2    SCOPE AND LIMITATION

This project work will cover the comprehensive analysis of pipeline vandalism at Abiteye in Warri  South West  LGA of Delta  State, its problem and prospect and also seek to proffer some possible solution to this menace.

This project work will basically be limited to the pipeline vandalism at Warri South West LGA of  Delta State.

1.3    LOCATION AND ACCESSIBILITY

Abiteye is located at Warri South West local Government Area in Delta State. Warri South West is a Local Government Area in Delta State, Nigeria, it was created in 1997 and has its headquarters are in the town of Ogbe-Ijo. It has an estimated land area of 1,722 km² and a population of 116,681 from the census of 2006. The study area Warri South West has it's geographical coordinates as 5°31′N 5°45′E / 5.517°N 5.750°E / 5.517; 5.750. It is an oil hub in South-South Nigeria which  is one of the major hubs of petroleum activities and businesses in the southern Nigeria. The Study Area is one of cosmopolitan Local Government Area in southern Nigeria comprising originally of Urhobo, Itsekiri and Ijaw people.

1.4    CLIMATE AND VEGETATION

The climate of the Abiteye in Warri South West LGA is characterized by a long rainy season from March-April through October. Precipitation increases from the north of the delta (with an average of 2,500 mm) to the coastal area where mean annual rainfall averages around 4,000 mm, making it one of the wettest areas in Africa. The wet season peaks in July, and the only dry months are January and February. However, even during this dry period an average monthly mean of 150 mm rainfall is recorded in the delta. Relative humidity rarely dips below 60% and fluctuates between 90% and 100% for most of the year. During most of the rainy season cloud cover is nearly continuous resulting in 1,500 mean annual sunshine hours and an average annual temperature of approximately 28° C. The area is characterized by tropical equatorial climate with mean annual temperature of 32.8 °C and annual rainfall amount of 2673.8 mm. There are high temperatures of 36 °C and 37 °C. The natural vegetation is of rainforest with swamp forest in some areas. The forest is rich in timber trees, palm trees, as well as fruit trees.(Barbour et al. 1982).

1.5    RELIEF AND DRAINAGE

 The Warri South West is a region built up by the sedimentation of the Niger Delta and consists of the delta in various stages of development. Four major physiographic units are identifiable with in it. First, the freshwater swamp which is the most active area. It is located close to the River Niger, where annual flooding and deposition occurs up to 45 km from the river's course.

Second, the man grove swamp area described as an intermediate delta stage. It is much lower and a great proportion of it is brackish, having been invaded by the sea since large amounts of freshwater have ceased flowing into it. Third, the upland and swamp, which is also called the coastal plain. It lies between the flood plain and Benin lowlands. The swamps are more restricted to broad drainage channels created when this area was an active delta. Fourth and finally, the upland Niger valley, which is a narrow strip above the delta and relatively floodfree. Over time, the decreasing slope gradient of the Niger River bed and associated lower stream velocities has resulted in an increase of tidal activity in the exits of the numerous Niger distributaries, resulting in the formation of the Coastal Barrier Islands (NEDECO 1961).

1.6  METHODOLOGY

The methods to be adopted in the cause of this project include:

  1. Site visit to the study area.
  2. Questionnaires.
  3. Consultation of journals and past projects.

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