Power Supply Drops By 900MW After Militant Attacks
The twin attacks, last week, on Chevron’s oil and gas facilities in the Escravos area of Delta State has resulted in a drop in power generation from about 3,600 megawatts (MW) to 2,500MW, translating to a loss of 900MW.
The attacks, which also led to a slump in the country’s crude oil production to a 20-year low, disrupted Chevron’s gas supply to the domestic market, having stopped the delivery of natural gas to the Escravos Gas Plant (EGP), which processes gas for power generation and other end users.
It was gathered that this has wiped off a substantial part of an estimated two billion cubic feet of gas supplied daily to the domestic market for power generation and industrial uses.
Chevron confirmed that the first attack of last Wednesday night on its valve platform, affected the Okan offshore production platform, thus leading to the shutdown of the facility.
On Thursday night, a pipeline transporting crude oil to Warri and Kaduna refineries and a 16-inch gas line, owned by the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), the gas transporting arm of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), were blown up.
A Chevron source said yesterday that the attacks had hampered the company’s ability to evacuate gas from oil fields into the Escravos Gas Plant for processing.
“Gas from all the oil fields in the entire Escravos area is sent to the gas plant for processing. The plant currently process between 420 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscf/d) of gas and 590mmscf/d. The attacks have disrupted the evacuation of gas into the facility.
“As it is now, domestic gas from Delta State can only come from Utorogu, Ughelli, and Sapele plants for power generation. The ones at Utorogu and Ughelli belong to Shell,” he explained.
Chevron’s Escravos Gas Plant provides gas feedstock to power plants across the country through the Escravos-Lagos pipeline.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, also said yesterday that power generation had dropped to 2,500MW due to the attacks on the Chevron facilities.
According to him, power generation had averaged 3,600MW before the Wednesday and Thursday attacks.
The drop to 3,600MW from about 5,000MW was blamed on the attack on the Forcados terminal pipeline last February. Repairs to that pipeline will be concluded next month, Fashola said.
He decried the spate of attacks on oil installations and their impact on the domestic economy.
“Which country has instances of vandalism on its oil installations like Nigeria? This is economic sabotage, but we will have to evolve a new strategy to deal with this problem. We shall attack it head on,” he said.
However, daily operational reports obtained from the Nigerian electricity system operator showed that generation as at 6 am yesterday was 2,474.10MW, down from the peak generation of 2,968.9MW recorded on Saturday.
The lowest generation on Saturday, according to the operational report, was 2,160.3MW.
The attacks have also pushed Nigeria’s crude oil production to the lowest in 20 years, as Chevron also shut down about 90,000 barrels a day of output following the impact on a joint-venture offshore platform that serves as a gathering point for production from several fields.
Even before that strike on Wednesday night, Nigerian oil production had fallen below 1.7 million barrels a day for the first time since 1994, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, had confirmed that Nigeria would be producing 2.3 million barrels per day, up from 2.18 million bpd, but for the February attack on the Forcados pipeline.
Nigeria’s crude oil production had peaked at 2.6 million bpd in January 2013 before it was plagued by renewed militancy, oil theft and vandalism.