The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Wednesday said it had fixed the pipelines that were vandalised at Arepo in Ogun and commenced pumping of fuel.
Mr. Ohi Alegbe, the NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, told the on Wednesday in Abuja that the police arrested 14 suspects in connection with the incident.
Alegbe said the corporation had on May 27 shut down its System 2B Pipeline due to a fire sparked off during a gun battle between suspected oil thieves and policemen.
He said the development, however, did not affect products supply because all the inland depots, being serviced by the System 2B pipeline had enough stock of products to meet demand.
He stated: “We have fixed the line. We are currently pumping fuel at the maximum capacity of the line. With the development things have now returned to normalcy.
“The System 2B pipeline pumps products from Atlas Cove to NNPC depots in Ejigbo, Lagos State; Mosimi, Ogun State; Ilorin, Kwara State and Ore, Ondo State.
“The Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) mobilised its men to site and effected repairs on the ruptured point of the pipeline after putting out the fire.
“When we received security clearance from the police, we moved in to effect repairs and we have started pumping through the line immediately,” the NNPC official said.
Alegbe decried the incessant attacks on the pipelines in recent times and noted that the development had led to the death of thousands of Nigerians.
He appealed to Nigerians, particularly the communities where the pipelines pass through, to assist the government in securing the pipeline.
“We wish to implore community leaders in the areas and their environs to appeal to their wards to refrain from products theft and hacking of pipelines,” he said.
In a related development, the PPMC said it had repaired the vandalised pipelines in Okrika, Rivers State.
Mr. Nasir Imodagbe, spokesperson for PPMC, also said on Wednesday in Abuja, that the repair was carried out immediately after the attack.
Imodagbe recalled that oil thieves hacked into a pipeline somewhere in the creek in the area on May 19 and siphoned petroleum products.
He said this led to an explosion but that the fire did not in any way affect the refinery or the PPMC Jetty in Okrika.
“PPMC has since moved engineers to the site and effected repairs on the affected pipeline.
“Normally, we don’t allow vandalised pipelines to stay beyond 24 hours before being repaired,” he said