By Akpelu Paul Kelechi, in Lagos
The Umugini pipeline, a crude oil evacuation route for four Nigerian marginal field producers in the western Niger Delta, has been completed. It has taken close to two years and over $70Million to complete the 12” wide, 51-kilometre long pipeline, which runs from the Umusadege field in Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) 283/C, south to the Ogini flow station in the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 26 and then east to Shell’s Eriemu flow station.
The line will connect Midwestern Oil and Gas’ Umusadege and Energia operated Ebendo fields to the Trans Forcados export pipeline. These two companies will switch from the Kwale hub to this route, whereas Platform Petroleum and Pillar Oil consider the new route as an alternative for their Egbeoma and Umuseti fields.
Mart Resources, a partner in the Umugini Asset Company Limited(UACL), the project’s operating firm, reports that “tie-in at the Eriemu flow station and other start-up activities including the pumping of line fill and the inspection of the Umugini pipeline facilities has been completed”. The line fill process required to commence shipment of oil to the Trans Forcados crude oil export pipeline and onward to the Forcados oil export terminal and the inspection of the Umugini pipeline facilities by the UACL was also successfully completed by the end of September 2014. Accordingly, the Umugini pipeline is ready for injection of crude into the Trans Forcados crude pipeline and Shell Petroleum Development Co. of Nigeria’s (“SPDC”) pipeline system connected to the Forcados oil export terminal. The commencement of oil flow will occur following the receipt of the formal authorization of oil injection by the operator of the Trans Forcados export pipeline, which authorization is expected shortly”.
Completion of the line, with capacity to pump 45,000BOPD, had been postponed several times since early 2013. Project cost has shot up by over 33%, to $70Million. The key challenge has been community demands along the pipeline right of way.
The pipeline was constructed as an alternate route to a 48km line to Agip’s export hub in Kwale where the Italian major applies strict restraints to intake. The four operating companies (Midwestern, Energia, Pillar and Platform) evacuating crude through Kwale claim they have capacity to collectively deliver over 32,000BOPD through the facility but Agip would only allow 22,000BOPD. “We have over 6,000BOPD locked behind pipe”, Midwestern has consistently lamented. The Trans Forcados export pipeline will deliver crude oil from Umusadege and Ebendo fields to the Forcados export terminal operated by Shell. The challenge with this route is that the Trans Forcados export line is itself consistently under attack by vandals.
Is it not a tad embarrassing that Nigeria’s supposedly No 1 oil and gas publication is still referring to the Trans Forcados Pipeline as been owned by SPDC? As a soft reminder, that pipeline is now owned by NPDC & Shoreline for about 2 years now. Please update your records.
And so what? It’s even more embarrassing that it’s now owned by NPDC. Just like other aspects of Nigerian oil and gas ventures tainted by blasphemous corruption, this exported pipeline will soon rot and corrode under their watch.
Thanking the Federal Government for the Trans-Nigeria Gas Pipeline Project,proposed,stretching through ABIA,AKWA IBOM and RIVERS STATES.Has this project has commenced?.Its interesting,creates employment,lofty and could boast industrialization.Can local content work here?We are chartered surveyors and valuers where it has to do with acquisition of land for compensation payments.