Governor Theodore Orji
Reprieve has come the way of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) as the Abia State Government and the Nigerian Army have resolved to put a stop to the vandalism of the company’s facilities in Ukwa West Local Government Area of the state, where 25,000 barrels per day of crude oil was shut in for several months.
THISDAY gathered that Ukwa West LGA, the main oil-producing area of the Abia State, hosts Imo River, where Shell, the only oil company operating in the state, has its oil wells.
Shell’s crude oil pipeline from Owaza area links up with another line from Umuorie area of Imo State and joined together in a town called Imo River, where it crosses a river, also known as Imo River, through a railway line.
It was learnt that this pipeline that connects the line from Owaza and the second line from Umuorie transports crude oil from the facilities in the areas to Shell’s Bonny Export Terminal in Rivers State.
Abia State Commissioner for Petroleum and Solid Minerals Development, Chief Don Ubani, told THISDAY during the weekend that it was around that railway line in a place called Amanapia that economic saboteurs siphon crude oil into barges on Imo River and move the barges to the Atlantic Ocean for export.
He noted that the Governor Theodore Orji had visited the spot and had also solicited for the cooperation of the Nigerian Army to secure the area against vandals.
“So, we had a meeting during the week, where we resolved that we must put this economic menace of pipeline vandalism to a stop. I am using this opportunity to call on vandals not to go near the pipelines because if seven people go there, the number of people that will come back to tell the story will not be more than three,” he said.
Those present at the meeting, according to him, include the General Officer Commanding the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army based in Enugu, Major General Oluwaseun O. Oshinowo; Brigade Commander of the 14 Brigade based in Ohafia, Brig-Gen Jibril Tanko Abubakar; Commanding Officer of the 144 Battalion based at Asa High School, also in Abia State, Lt. Col. Tamuno Tonye Minimah.
Others include, representative of Brigade Commander, 2 Brigade based in Port Harcourt, Brig-General Tukur Buratai; and the representative of the Brigade Commander of 34 Artillery Brigade based in Obinze, near Owerri.
The Pipeline Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) were also present to make case for the continued protection of the 58 kilometre pipeline that conveys petroleum products from the Port Harcourt Refinery to the newly-reopened NNPC Depot in Aba.
Ubani stated that the economy should be protected, adding that famous empires collapsed in history because their economies were destroyed.
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Category: Other States News