Believe it or not, pipeline vandalism does not just exist, but is increasingly becoming a challenge in today’s Oil and Gas sector. This was a trend that begun back in the 80’s that is now in full swing as we see pipe line vandalism increase instead of decreasing. Due to the money-spinning nature of the illegal business, nonstop damage of Oil and Gas facilities remain to negatively impact on the circulation of fuel products especially across Nigeria.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation are dead serious about this matter and the activities of such vandalism within the last 10 years has amounted to N174.57 billion in product losses and repairs of products pipelines.
Since 2003 there have been 16,083 pipeline breaks recorded – with 398 pipeline breaks signifying 2.5% due to ruptures, whereas the sabotage caused by vandals add up to 15,685 breaks signifying 97.5% of the total number of cases.
Highly common in Nigeria is oil bunkering and pipeline vandalism however it is rapidly spreading to various countries. The seriousness of this dilemma, as of last year, has become an urgent matter to overcome. Research shows that vandals in Arepo are using pipeline vandalism as a means of living by turning this into a family business where profits are made. In attempt to not getting caught, and because of the profits that are made, violence has often resulted involving shoot-outs towards the security on site. Further research indicates that vandals in Nigeria have formed somewhat gangs that often clash with one another in what is seen as a power battle, encouraging the spread of arms and ammunitions in the country.
Even with the security enforcement and protection tactics in place, there are still serious fears and stress that this trend of vandalism may continue due to the lucrative nature of the business.