The West African Gas Pipeline Project (WAGPP) has been deprived of gas supply since May this year due to militancy in the Niger Delta.
Addressing a stakeholders' forum yesterday in Lagos, the Managing Director, West African Pipelines Company (WAPCo) - owner and operator of the project, Mr. Jack Derickson, said that the firm had not been supplying gas to its clients following damage to the Escravos pipelines owned by the United States oil major, Chevron. He noted the development had affected the firm's operations resulting in it not being able to carry out its contractual agreement.
According to Derickson, the project needed about 60 million standard cubic feet of gas to remain afloat, adding that there is currently no gas supply.
He said that about 475 million standard cubic feet of gas would be needed by WAGPP on completion.
The managing director, however, hinted that since the company could not evacuate gas from the Escravos pipelines, it had directed gas supply source to Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) - operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/ SPDC Joint Venture.
"Since May 2009, WAPCo has not received gas due to vandalisation to gas supply pipelines in the Niger Delta region. So, right now, there is no gas coming from the Chevron/NNPC JV because the pipelines have been vandalised and not being able to get to the system. But to my understanding, I learnt that there is a repair on fabrication going on right now at Escravos," Derickson said.
On alternative gas supply by the company, Derickson said, "right now, there is gas coming into the system from the Shell/NNPC JV. And again, we are really ready for a high volume of gas pending the time the lines are repaired, but in the long run, we are carrying out revamping of gas development in Nigeria for future supply. On the other hand, the pipeline would still compliment supply from Nigeria."
Besides, he said that the multi-billion dollars project was to come on stream in the first quarter of next year, adding that the firm had completed construction work but was in the process of completing other work. "We should be able to finish all commissioning work in the first quarter of next year," he added.
The WAPCo boss explained that the company had equally completed the offshore pipeline from Nigeria to Ghana, stating that in April this year, the firm supplied gas to the Volta River Authority (VRA) station at Takoradi under an interim sales arrangement.
Shedding more light on the project, Derickson said that the firm's compressor station in Itoki near Lagos, which would boost transportation of higher volumes of gas from Nigeria to Ghana, Togo and Benin, was under construction. Same applied to facilities that would receive the gas offshore in Tema, Lome and Cotonou.
"Once this phase of the construction is completed and the facilities commissioned, WAPCo will have the compression capacity to deliver to the VRA enough gas to power four 110-megawatt turbines and supply our customers in Benin and Togo. Commissioning is due to be completed in the first quarter of 2010," Derickson stated.
On the new cost of the project, the managing director said that the initial cost of the project was $600 million, but has gulped to $1 billion, noting that this was caused by the delay in the implementation of the project, resulting in the increase of the original cost by 70 per cent.
"It has become worrisome to hear of deliberate attempts by some groups, who, for some inexplicable reasons, use all means to sabotage gas transportation. These acts of vandalism pose a serious threat to the WAGPCo pipeline which has not yet been gassed up," he added.
Source: The Guardian