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Vandalism Makes Alternative Evacuation Indispensable

In the last 45 years, oil producing companies have used the 200km-long Trans Forcados Pipeline in transporting crude oil to the Forcados Oil Terminal. However, frequent shut downs due to vandalism and oil theft as well as technical challenges on the TFP have made a number of producers to be unable to meet export targets, as some of the crude are even stolen. Alternative Evacuation System is the latest proprietary way to address the huge challenge. Ifeanyi Ezuka, the Chief Technical Officer, Neconde Energy Limited, a subsidiary of Nestoil Group, in this interview with the Head, Energy & Solid Minerals Desk, STANLEY OPARA, says the innovation is a welcome development.

No doubt, you encountered some challenges developing this. What was you experience as the team lead?

Really, it is a combination of technology, logistics and then resilience. Science and engineering are very basic acrossboard. So, we were basically engineers firstof all (petroleum engineers) before we became marine engineers . We looked at the fundamentals ofwhat is required tobe able to carry this out rather than putting it on a pipe; then put it on a barge and send it out.

How does the technology work?
So, we have the Forcados terminal, the bonny terminal, you have brass, then you have Escravos. So, these have major trunk lines that go to those terminals that carry crude from the inland and then go to those terminals. The challenge is that the pipelines that carry all these crude sometimes 200,000 barrels, flow through that pipeline going to the terminal offshore. Those pipelines are target for social issues.
Are these facilities developed by Nestoil Group?
Yes. In the Nestoil Group

, we have companies that fabricate these vessels; we have companies that did engineering, and so through our subsisting company calledImpac engineering, we did engineering of the systems from scratch. We did the detailed engineering and then handed it over to our fabrication company, Energy Works Technology (EWT).

So, EWT  fabricated the systems and then we transported everything to the field based with national integration capability. We could install and integrate. We got one equipment – the crude oil dehydrators from the international markets that we bought from the United States andNestoil installed and integrated the dish. Our team again, the engineering team went through commissioning those facilities.

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