Nigeria’s state-owned oil company said it awarded a contract for the protection of the Trans Forcados pipeline, a key crude export line that is a frequent target of sabotage and oil theft.
Under the deal, Ocean Marine Solutions Ltd., based in the southern oil hub of Port Harcourt, will police the 87-kilometer (54-mile) pipeline and bear the cost of repairs if there’s a breach, Ndu Ughamadu, the spokesman of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., said Tuesday in an emailed statement. More than $32 million was spent this year on repairs to the pipeline, which experienced more than 60 days of outage due to sabotage, he said.
Oil facilities in Africa’s top producer frequently come under attack from militant groups campaigning for increased local control of oil wealth or thieves stealing crude from pipelines. The Trans Forcados pipeline pumps crude to the Forcados Export Terminal, operated by Royal Dutch Shell Plc, with an average oil flow of more than 250, 000 barrels per day, Ughamadu said.