Nigerian pipeline fire threatens gas supply to Ghana

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The supply of gas from Nigeria to Ghana may have suffered another setback following the damage caused by a fire incident on the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System, which supplies gas from Escravos in the Niger Delta area to Lagos.

The pipeline, which supplies gas to power plants in the South-West, also feeds the West Africa Gas Pipeline System.

The $1bn WAGPS, operated by the West Africa Pipeline Company Limited, was built to supply natural gas from Nigeria to customers in Benin, Togo and Ghana.

Ghana gets about 25 per cent of its power supply through gas from Nigeria, which flows through the pipeline via Benin and Togo. The country has a deal with Nigeria to receive 120 million standard cubic feet of gas daily.

But gas supply from Nigeria to Ghana has often been curtailed in recent years by several challenges.

In 2016, the resurgence of militant attacks in the Niger Delta, which caused Nigeria’s oil production to plummet to a near 30-year low, significantly reduced gas supply to the West Africa gas pipeline.

On Tuesday, the fire incident on the ELPS led to a total collapse of Nigeria’s power grid, worsening the nation’s electricity woes.

The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, on Wednesday ordered an immediate assessment of the damage caused by the fire to the pipeline, owned by the Nigerian Gas Processing and Transportation Company Limited, a subsidiary of the national oil firm.

The NNPC said to put off the fire, the line would require being isolated and depressurised, which might lead to a complete shutdown of the pipeline segment for repair works to be carried out.

Last year, the WAPCo said it was looking to capture new gas supply from Nigeria, with a focus on the Aje field offshore Lagos, as part of its key interventions to reposition the company for the dynamic market landscape.

The Managing Director, WAPCo, Mr. Walter Perez, who spoke in Lagos at a business forum organised by the Nigerian Gas Association, said the company was also seeking increased supply from the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System.

Efforts to reach the General Manager, Corporate Affairs, WAPCo, Mrs. Harriet Wereko-Brobby, on the telephone on Thursday, were not successful as she had yet to answer calls or responded to a text message from our correspondent as of the time of filing this report.

 

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