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The high incidence of third party interference with pipelines in the Niger-Delta is a major threat to the oil and gas business in Nigeria. Billions of dollars are lost annually due to the activities of pipeline vandals and crude oil thieves – besides the attendant effects of accelerated loss of pipeline integrity and environmental degradation due to oil spills.
A wide range of technical and non-technical solutions have been considered or deployed at both national and corporate levels to address this trend. This paper highlights some of the innovative ideas and technical solutions conceived to protect Shell Nigeria’s pipelines from third party interference or to mitigate its impact. Solutions are sought for and target the full spectrum of pipeline asset development and management, from conceptual engineering through design, construction to operations.
The concepts aim to achieve pipeline protection against interference and/or security of supply (i.e. sustainability of production). Solutions and concepts range from fluid phase alteration for new field development to ballistic protection for line pipes, as well as access deterrent construction methodologies and surveillance technologies including aerial surveillance to intruder detection systems.