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Completion of OB3 Gas Pipeline Project Delayed to August, NNPC Announces

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) has announced a reviewed completion date for the $700 million Obiafu-Obrikom-Oben gas pipeline project, commonly known as OB3. Initially scheduled for completion in March 2024, the project is now expected to be finished by August 2024. This significant infrastructure project, which began in 2016, is set to become one of the largest gas transmission systems in Nigeria and Africa.

The delay follows an earlier declaration by the Federal Government, made through the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Gas, Ekperikpe Ekpo, at the 7th Nigeria International Energy Summit in Abuja. In February, Ekpo had expressed confidence that the OB3 pipeline would be completed by March 2024, citing contractor estimates. “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 had stated.

However, a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by NNPC spokesperson Olufemi Soneye indicated that the project would now be finalized in August. The announcement highlights the complexities and challenges associated with large-scale infrastructure projects in the energy sector.

Despite the delay, NNPC has reassured stakeholders of its readiness to complete the OB3 pipeline, emphasizing its importance in bolstering Nigeria’s gas infrastructure. The project is anticipated to significantly enhance gas supply for both domestic consumption and export, aligning with Nigeria’s broader energy strategy.

The OB3 pipeline is expected to transport up to two billion standard cubic feet (2BCF) of gas per day, facilitating increased power generation and industrial activity. It also aims to support the Federal Government’s initiatives to boost gas utilization and reduce flaring in the Niger Delta region.

Industry experts have noted that delays in such projects are not uncommon due to the technical, logistical, and regulatory hurdles involved. The extension to August allows NNPC and its contractors additional time to ensure the pipeline’s safety, reliability, and operational efficiency upon completion.

 

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