Completion works on Nigeria’s most strategic gas pipeline pushed to Q4


Olusola  Bello
Completion works of Obiafu-Obrikom to Oben (OB3) gas pipeline project in Nigeria has again been pushed to the fourth quarter of this year, according to a document prepared by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporations (NNPC) and cited by Business Standards.
The completion date for the project has been shifted severally owing to the failure of one of the contractors handling project to complete its own segment of the project.
The contractor keep using the terrain which is prone to heavy flood, especially during raining season as an excuse for its slow pace of work in its   own portion of the project.
The 48-inch, 127-kilometer, Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben (OB3) Gas Pipeline is being built by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.  The project which started in 2013 was mentioned in December 2016 as being 80 percent completed, but in December 2017 NNPC said it would be finished by Q4 2018
But three years down the line the contractor, Nestoil Group. is still struggling to have it completed.
Because of Nestoil Group’s  inability to handle the remaining segment of the project, this crucial part of the construction has been taken from it and handed over to others, but unfortunately, the global pandemic , Corona virus now a threat to making the new date even realizable.
Nestoil’s inability to run a 48 inch pipeline in a 60 inch hole under a riverbed spanning 2.8 kilometres, compelled the Nigerian Gas Transmission Company NGTC, the state firm sponsoring the project to hand over that aspect of the operations to China Petroleum Pipeline Construction Company (CPPCC) and Brentex Petroleum Services, which is primarily a manufacturer of pipes.
The CPP has since imported equipment for the job, but the material were held up in the Lagos Port for over three weeks last year, with Port officials unwilling to allow evacuation of the material, citing Coronavirus concerns.
The pipeline system is a critical component of the Nigeria Gas Master Plan meant to deliver gas from the rich reservoirs in the eastern Niger Delta to the established markets in the west of Nigeria.
It also aims to meet the Nigeria gas demand for power generation and industrial concerns (methanol, cement, manufacturing etc.) with emphasis on operational safety, efficiency and flexibility with a view to providing industry standard, remote supervision and control.
The facility, under construction since 2013 starts from the Intermediate Pigging station at Umukwata (around KP 63.45) in Delta State and terminates at Oben Node in Edo State. The project involves construction of  48” x 127km, Class 600 trunk gas supply pipeline from and Gas Processing and Pressure Reduction Facilities with capacity of 2Bscf/d. On completion, it will enable the first major outline of a national gas grid.
Oilserv Group that handles the LOT B of the project has completed its own portion of the project more than two years ago.
The OB3 Gas Treatment Plant (GTP) is the largest in Nigeria and by extension Africa with a capacity of two billion standard cubic feet of gas per day (2bscf/d).

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