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Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has hinted that engineers may be competent enough to be involved in pipeline vandalism at sea and asked the Nigerian Academy of Engineering to talk to their members working with foreign oil majors or government to safeguard local oil pipelines, Nigerian media reported on Tuesday.
“Nigerian engineers are very quick in their performance on the field. If I will go in the negative side, how can an ordinary Nigerian go into the sea, 70Km or more, go down two meters and blow up oil installations?”, The Punch website quoted Buhari as saying.
The president went on to say at an event of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering on Tuesday, as quoted by The Punch:
“That cannot be an ordinary Nigerian. So, I hope you will appeal to your colleagues to make sure that what we have built, they should safeguard them whether they are working with multinationals or the government.”
The Nigerian media reports of the president’s words come just two days after a fresh explosion at a pipeline operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company had confused locals and security forces, with no one certainevent it was a militant attack. Security forces sources were not sure if this had been a deliberate attack, while a local community member told media that the security forces were pursuing the perpetrators of the deed.
Earlier this month, a wave of renewed attacks on the Forcados pipeline – which has the capacity to transport 150,000-200,000 bpd to an export terminal – shut the pipeline again, and dragged Nigeria’s oil output and exports down, just as they had started to increase.
OPEC’s secondary sources put Nigeria’s crude oil production in October at 1.628 million bpd, up by 170,200 bpd from September. However, the Forcados shut-in in November was expected to reduce the country’s output this month and next.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.