The Trans Forcados oil pipeline has again been vandalized by yet-to-be identified persons.

The vandalism incident recorded over the weekend is the third this year (2015), occurring within a space of 17 days.

This damage on the Trans Forcados pipeline, at Oteghele axis in Bayelsa State caused a crude oil spill.

Consequent to this incident, all oil and gas production into this pipeline has been shut down to allow for damage assessment and repairs.

The duration of the disruption has not been estimated yet by Sector technical experts, but it is expected to reduce the volume of gas available for power generation whilst the situation lasts.

It will be recalled that the 24’’ TFP section of the Trans Forcados pipeline at Okuokoko/Ugbomro was vandalised on the 2nd of January 2015.

Two days later, on the 4th of January, the vandals destroyed the 24″ TFP section at Egbokodo and the 28″ TFP section at Yeye /Chanomi axis of the same pipeline.

Sector experts went to work immediately, and after about one week on each section, repairs were effected and the pipeline was put back to use.

The Honourable Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo has appealed for the understanding of electricity consumers, for the reduction in power supply which this development may cause in some parts of the country.

The Minister described as ‘painful’, the possible motive of sabotage, in view of the established cycle of vandalism incidents always coming on the heels of achieved high generation levels.

 He has, however, assured Nigerians, that the Ministry’s collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser and the nation’s security forces has resulted in the arrest of some pipeline vandals in the recent past.

Prof. Nebo also disclosed Government’s plans to put a final stop to the unpatriotic and destructive acts of wilfully damaging public infrastructure.

Part of the plan to prosecute the anti-vandalism war more proactively would include the procurement and deployment of a new technology for digital censoring and surveillance, to overcome the enormous difficulty associated with physically safeguarding pipelines that are hundreds of kilometres in length.

According to the Minister, Government is also proposing a law that would stipulate adequate sanctions for vandals, to deter them from the practice.

Prof. Nebo appealed to the mass media to continue to help in disseminating information on the need for all Nigerians to join in the war against pipeline vandalism.

Kande Daniel

S.A Media to the Hon. Minister of Power