• Thursday, May 30, 2024
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WAGPC seeks regional cooperation on gas pipeline utilisation, security

The West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAGPC) on Tuesday called for the collaboration of stakeholders in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for optimum utilisation and security of gas pipeline network.

Mrs Harriet Wereko-Brobby, the General Manager, Corporate Affairs of the company, who made the call in an interview, said the company was working on a project, “Open Access”, of 2012 to enable gas producers and shippers to access the pipelines.

Wereko-Brobby said potential users were also making moves to get gas producers that could supply gas through the ECOWAS pipelines.

“Once the users and producers sign their contracts, the users can come to us to say that they have a contract and that they need us to transport the gas.

“WAPC, operators of the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP), has highlighted pipeline safety and improvement in pipeline utilization as two priority areas it is focusing on,’’ she said.

According to Wereko-Brobby the declaration of “Open Access” for the pipeline in July 2012 has paved the way for the company to be available to other shippers apart from N-GAS.

She said WAPC had continued to transport gas based on agreements between a shipper, N-GAS and its customers — Communaute Electrique du Benin in Togo, Benin and the Volta River Authority in Ghana.

She noted that the regional pipeline currently carries an initial volume of 170 million standard cubic feet per day and has the potential to carry additional 474 million standard cubic feet per day (Mscfd).

She added: “WAGP’s present contractual volume is 132Mscfd and WAPCo is positioning itself to make available its sub-regional infrastructure to transport more gas.

“To this end, WAPCo has held a number of fora that brought together gas producers, transporters, marketers, regulators and power generation companies.

“All these serve as an avenue for increased interaction between current and potential buyers, sellers and shippers on the WAGP, which WAPC expects to ultimately lead to increased business.”

The general manager also said WAPC had identified new threats to the safety of its pipelines across the region.

“Another outcome of the 2012 incident is that WAPC is working together with its regulator ( the West African Gas Pipeline Authority), ECOWAS and the four WAGP state governments to coordinate, communicate and implement actions on issues that pertain to pipeline damage prevention.”

The only user of the regional gas pipeline is N-Gas which is jointly-owned by Shell, Chevron and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The one billion dollars (about N165 billion) West African Gas Pipeline Project transports Nigeria’s gas to Benin Republic, Togo and Ghana for power generation and other domestic uses.

N-gas buys gas from oil companies in Nigeria and transports it to its customers across the region through the pipeline network.

The International Project Agreement (IPA) signed in May 2003 by WAGPC and the Governments of Benin Republic, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo and witnessed by the ECOWAS, provides that N-Gas would be allocated space in the pipeline to transport up to 200 mscfp of gas.

The regional pipeline starts from Itoki, Ogun, and transverses 33 Nigerian communities before going offshore.

Shareholders in the multi-billion WAGPC include Chevron, Shell, NNPC, Volta River Authority, Ben Gaz and Soto Gaz.