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NNPC shifts OB3 gas pipeline project completion date



OB3 gas pipeline project completion delayed to August 2024

Completion of the $700 million Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben (OB3) gas pipeline project has been rescheduled from March to August 2024, as announced by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC).

This development follows an inspection tour by NNPC’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, at the River Niger Crossing operation site in Aboh, Delta State.

Initially, in February 2024, the Federal Government had assured that the project, which started in 2016, would be completed by March. Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, made this declaration at the 7th Nigeria International Energy Summit, describing the OB3 pipeline as one of Africa’s largest gas transmission systems.

“I am highly elated to announce that going by the contractor estimates, the OB3 pipeline will be completed by March 2024 and the 42” 127km pipeline will supply 2BCF (two billion standard cubic feet) per day,” Ekpo stated then.

However, in a recent statement by NNPC spokesperson Olufemi Soneye, the oil company confirmed the new August completion date. Kyari, during his inspection, emphasized the critical nature of the River Niger Crossing, which has delayed the project for over three years due to technological challenges in constructing the 48-inch pipe under the riverbed between Ndoni in Rivers State and Aboh in Delta State.

The new contractors, HDD Thailand/Enikkom and Tunnelling Services Group (TSG), have made significant progress with the Micro-Tunnelling/Direct Pipe Installation technology, achieving about 860 meters out of the required 1,800 meters.

“This is a major project of monumental value to our country. What this means is that this is the only way we can deliver the gas revolution,” Kyari said. “I am very happy and convinced that, latest by the middle of August, we will complete this project. I have been assured of that by the project team.”

Once completed, the OB3 pipeline is expected to transport 2.2 billion standard cubic feet of gas daily, significantly boosting Nigeria’s gas supply network and supporting the nation’s energy needs.

Minister Ekpo, during the tour, expressed confidence in the progress, stating, “I am confident that by July or August, it will be completed and it will be commissioned by the President.”

Special Adviser to the President on Energy, Olu Verheijen, and other officials also voiced optimism about the project’s completion, underscoring its importance for national prosperity in terms of electricity and other benefits.

The OB3 pipeline, also known as the East-West Pipeline, connects the Obiafu-Obrikom gas plant in Rivers State to Oben in Edo State. The project aims to enhance gas transportation across Nigeria, linking the Eastern gas pipeline network to the Western Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System and the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano pipeline in the North.

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