Why we can’t deploy drones to monitor vessels, pipelines yet – NNPC

The deployment of drones to monitor petroleum products pipelines across the country is not going to take effect anytime soon, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said.

About two months ago, the NNPC promised Nigerians that it would end oil theft and pipeline vandalism within eight months through the deployment of drones to monitor pipelines and movement of oil vessels in the nation’s territorial waters.

It was, however, learnt that based on the assurance from the office of the Chief of Defence Staff, men of the Nigerian Army Engineering Corps (NAEC) had been deployed to secure the country’s pipelines.

The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Ohi Alegbe said the deployment of drones would, however, not commence immediately, explaining that the process was highly technical.

Although Alegbe did not confirm if officers from the NAEC had started taking position in securing the facilities, he made it clear that the NNPC had received assurances from the country’s defence chief that the Army would secure the pipelines.

When asked if drones had been deployed to monitor the oil installations, he said, “No, nothing like that. Working out the whole thing is not one you can say will happen over the weekend or during the week. It is a lot more technical than that.

“You have to involve the Air Force. You have to involve some other partners who are outside of the country. It is a high security issue and is not something that can just take effect quickly like that. We are doing this thing in collaboration with the office of the CDS. Further updates shall be communicated to you on this matter.” 

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