The Senate has urged the Federal Government to set up a consortium of experts to evaluate possibilities of installing computerised oil facilities management gadgets in crude oil production business in Nigeria.
The Senate, in its resolution on Thursday, said the installation would help curb
excesses of the multifaceted problems associated with oil and gas production, transportation and sales business in the country.
The resolution of the senate is hinged on a motion on “the need to install computerised oil facilities management gadgets for Nigerian crude oil businesses.”
The motion was sponsored by Sen. George Sekibo (PDP Rivers) and 29 other senators.
Leading debate on the motion at the plenary, Sekibo said that for more than 60 years, “over 70 percent of Nigerian’s national income comes from petroleum-related businesses, while the remaining 20 percent comes from other sundry sources”.
He said about 90 percent of Nigeria’s export revenue comes from oil, gas and associated products.
He said it was worrisome that over 61 years, Nigeria could not give an account of the total amount of petroleum products produced, sold, wasted and amount lost through pilfering or pipeline vandalism.
He said that other major oil-producing countries, such as Kuwait, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates had computerised management systems that could record the quantity of oil produced, quantity sold and at what price.
According to him, the computerised oil management system assists in pipelines protection, trigger off alarms, when any section of the pipeline is disturbed for whatever reason.
“The system detects if there is a weak section along the stretch of the pipeline, indicates the position and point of such section as well advice on how to mend or go about it.
“The same system captures pictures of suspected intruders on the pipeline.
” The computerised management facilities are equipped with fire-fighting gadgets in the event of fire outbreak associated with oil and gas production and exportation”
“Nigeria as a nation is still doing its petroleum business with analogic technology, using human beings to monitor a kilometres of pipeline.
“This gives undue opportunities to oil pilferers, causes unnecessary pipeline explosion, deaths and quantifiable loss of products,” he said.
Following the supportive contributions from senators on the motion, the Senate in its resolution resolved to mandate its Committees on Petroleum Upstream, Downstream and Gas Resources to hold a public hearing with stakeholders in the sector.
It said the public hearing would help to ascertain the quantity of oil and gas produced daily and quantity control mechanism as currently engaged by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), if adequate.
It said the public hearing would also ascertain the amount of waste of petroleum products through pilfering, pipelines vandalism leakages.
It would also discuss the International best practice of computerised oil and gas business management, including pipeline protection, quantity and quality control and any other advice that could improve the oil and gas business in Nigeria.
Earlier at the plenary, the Senate also referred the 2019 and 2020 Budget Estimate of Niger Delta Development Commission to its committee for further legislative inputs and to report to the plenary in two weeks.