It would be recalled that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had earlier in the week claimed that the TNP had been vandalised by militants in the area.
The President of MOSOP, Legborsi Pyagbara, in a swift reaction to the NNPC’s claim, which was published in some national dailies, dismissed the claim as a figment of the imagination of the corporation, saying that there has not been any militants’ attack on the TNP for some time now.
In the statement signed by the Media/Public Affairs Advisor, Bari-ara Kpalap, MOSOP described the NNPC’s allegation as an attempt to blackmail Ogonis and back its ploy to resume oil production in Ogoniland.
“What we believe is that the whole claim or allegation is a complete attempt to blackmail Ogoni people. If not, NNPC wouldn’t have taken that line because if you look at what has happened, NNPC has not said that this is where the vandalisation of the TNP took place in Ogoni.
“They did not say it happened in Khana, or Eleme or Tai or Gokana. So, which part of Ogoni did the vandalisation take place? This is why we say it is a mere blackmail and an attempt to justify their secret entry into Ogoni to commence oil production and its related activities,” Kpalap added.
The Tide investigation revealed that MOSOP’s reaction is sequel to NNPC report that Nigeria’s crude oil output dropped by 150,000 barrel per day following alleged attack on the Trans Niger Pipeline by suspected militants.
In the report, the corporation had said that suspected militants, had last Monday, vandalised the Trans-Niger Pipeline in Ogoniland in the Niger Delta region, thereby reducing the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s crude oil production by 150,000 barrels per day.
According to the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, the country has not been able to sustain the recent gains recorded in crude oil production as a result of the rupturing of pipelines in the region.
When asked if the corporation had been able to sustain the 2.2 million bpd crude production that it announced last week, Baru told journalists in Abuja, “unfortunately, we have not been able to sustain it because we have challenges.
“As I am talking to you, this morning (Monday), the Trans-Niger Pipeline has been breached in Ogoniland, and that is 150,000 barrels of oil that have been knocked off. That has been fairly an issue with that area. We hope we can continue our dialogue and this will return to what it should be.”
The NNPC boss had told stakeholders in Abuja, last week, that the country’s crude production was 2.2 million barrels per day.
Baru, who spoke through the corporation’s Chief Operating Officer, Gas and Power, Saidu Mohammed, had announced that the country’s crude production was building up.
“We are doing about 2.2 million bpd today, but of course, the intention is to build on that, sustain production and grow it up to three million barrels per day in the next few years,” the GMD had said.
Commenting on the ongoing African Petroleum Producers Organisation extraordinary session in Abuja, Baru stated that Nigeria gave birth to the body.
He said, “In the first instance, Nigeria is the one that gave birth to the African Petroleum Producers Association, which as part of reorganisation, is changing its name to African Petroleum Producers Organisation, and that is giving some form of permanency in the organisation.