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Research Article

Application of Geographic Information System Technology in Controlling Pipeline Vandalism of Oil and Gas Industry

Dalhatu Aliyu Sani, Himan Shahabi, Bakhtyar Ali Ahmad, Shilan Mirmokrigharehveran and Baharin Bin Ahmad
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Nigeria is among the top ten nations of the world that is endowed and blessed with oil and gas. However, the oil and gas industry has contributed a lot in generating revenue to the country but unfortunately that has not impacted much to the social and structural developments of the people in Nigeria. Level of poverty increased which led to high rates of crime and criminal behaviors like petroleum pipeline vandalism that is common in the oil communities in delta state of Nigeria. This type of crime is mostly committed by the jobless youth who are looking for alternative means to success. The aim of this study is to investigate the potential use of Geographic Information System (GIS) as a strategic tool for oil and gas industry for controlling pipeline vandalization in the oil communities of Oviri in delta state of Nigeria. The analysis used includes hotspot analysis, kernel density analysis and proximity analysis. The results of this study proven that GIS can be used as a strategic tool for oil and gas industry as well as it can be a useful tool for decision makers to plan, control and monitor the pipeline vandalism in Nigeria.

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  How to cite this article:

Dalhatu Aliyu Sani, Himan Shahabi, Bakhtyar Ali Ahmad, Shilan Mirmokrigharehveran and Baharin Bin Ahmad, 2016. Application of Geographic Information System Technology in Controlling Pipeline Vandalism of Oil and Gas Industry. Research Journal of Information Technology, 8: 39-46.

DOI: 10.3923/rjit.2016.39.46



The oil and gas industry is an extremely important segment of the world economy. This industry is a major source of income for many countries of the world such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, Iraq Kuwait, Nigeria etc (Witter et al., 2014). However, the safety of oil and gas infrastructure from vandalization events is critical to quality, healthy and safe environment (Smallwood, 2012). The persistent growth in population and the associated urban explosion, most of the petroleum pipelines carrying products are presently passing through city centers (Onuoha, 2009).

In Nigeria, over the past decades, the pipelines with their associated rights of way have suffered sequences of acts of vandalism, to the level that the nigerian government have think of the possibility of burying the pipelines 12 m beneath the surface of the earth, where they will be no or less vulnerable (Chika-Amanze and Edomaruse, 2007). Vandalism is classically defined as when an individual knowingly causes critical physical damage to a construction or its contents (Vardi and Weitz, 2003). Vandalism is according or governed by state laws, which differs by state. Some states have distinct statutes that deal particularly with vandalism to certain possessions, which include autos, cemeteries, otherwise school property (Moser, 1992).

The technology probably GIS is the best solution as GIS is a computer system comprises of hardware and software, designed to permit users to obtain, process, analyze and retrieve large volume of referenced data and related attribute data collected from several sources (Shahabi et al., 2014). However, GIS can be used as a strategic tool for control and proper management of such problems (Shahabi et al., 2015). It is therefore necessary to develop a strategy for controlling the activities of vandals and vandalization, the complexity of this task requires mapping and analyses of the vandalism in the study area. The use of GIS as a strategic tool to tackle this problem is offered in this study. Based on the above problem, the main research question to be answered by this study is to how can GIS be used as a strategic tool for controlling pipeline vandalism in oil and gas industry. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate the potential use of GIS as a strategic tool for oil and gas industry for controlling pipeline vandalism. The scope of the study is limited to Oviri Court oil communities of delta state part of niger delta in South region of Nigeria, as a case study.


Study area: Nigerian is a West African and federated country, comprising of 30 states and plus Abuja as federal capital territory and round the country they are 774 local governments (Toulmin, 2009). Nigerian is the most populous black man nation in the world and has a population of over 140 million people 2006 census, figures records (Bamgbose, 2009). It landmass covers 932,769 km2 and the country is bounded to the west by Benin republic, to its North Niger and Chad republic, west via republic of Cameroon and to the South by Atlantic Ocean. It gained its independent from the Great Britain (United Kingdom) in 1st October, 1960. The study area is in Delta State of Nigeria as illustrated in Fig. 1.

Delta State is one of the states in Nigeria, derived its name from delta as a feature of the river Niger. The state was carved out from former Bendel State in the year 1991. The state has 25 numbers of local government areas. Its capital city is called Asaba, while, Warri is known as the biggest commercial nerves city in the state.

Date used: The primary data used in this research is derived from an existing data i.e., Google Earth and petroleum pipeline map and it components obtained from Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation. The method adopted in this study is qualitative study where literatures were reviewed through the archival records, newsletters, journals, books, official documents and maps that include topographic map, land use map and existing pipeline map. The maps were processed in a GIS environment using Arc GIS 10.2 software. Utilization of GIS tools for strategic applications in the downstream sector of oil and gas industry (especially in controlling vandalism) will be demonstrated. The evaluation will be based on descriptive statistics as well as spatial and attribute query. The design of the research process is guided by the choice of research strategy, which involves how data for the study is to be collected and analyzed as shown in Fig. 2.

The data used for the purpose of the study are mainly secondary sources obtained from existing sources as shown in Table 1. The petroleum pipeline map of Nigeria comprises of deports, refineries, pumping stations and pipeline was vectorised using AutoCAD software, Vandalism Locations coordinates were collected using GPS so as to the locations of the vandalisms in the study area, the image data was derived from the Google to show the study area.

Fig. 1: Geographical position of study area

Fig. 2: Flowchart methodology of study area

Fig. 3: Existing petroleum pipelines network in Nigeria (Sonibare and Akeredolu, 2006)

Table 1: Data used for the purpose of this study

The secondary data used involved the existing Petroleum Pipeline map of Nigeria sourced from Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC) which the pipeline crossing the study area was extracted (vector and raster data). Figure 3 shows the existing petroleum pipelines network in Nigeria.


The skills for processing and presentation of data for the motive of geospatial analysis need good knowledge of GIS tools, functionalities and their capabilities for data evaluation without error or error free and standardized in terms of quality. For this study, the analysis was carried out using GIS Analysis tool includes, hot spot analysis, kernel analysis, proximity analysis (buffer analysis, select by location and near analysis) in the study area was developed by the used of ArcGIS 10.2 and the discussion of the entire results of the study.

Evaluation of hot spot analysis in number of vandalism incidents: For the study area (Oviri) of vandalism, hot spot analysis has been done. However, numbers of incidents are used as input field and number of actors was use as self-potential field (weight).

Fig. 4: Hot spot map for vandalism in Oviri

However, the results on which point is hot spot and cold spot, is according to p-value (cold spot) and z-value (hot spot) when z-value is negative number is cold spot and positive is hot spot as shown in Fig. 4.

Evaluation of kernel density analysis in number of vandalism incidents: Kernel density mapping is among of the most common and known methods of describing hotspots for crime and as well as crash data, because it facts smooth and incessant risk targets in the study area. Kernel density has been used for vandalism incidents in the study area. In population field number of incidents was used according to maps point with high density have the high number of incidents. Figure 5 displayed four locations of vandalism, the points with high density have purple color in the middle of the point.

Evaluation of buffer analysis in vandalism and pipeline location: Buffer analysis and multiple ring buffer analysis its use to create area features at stated or specify distance or numerous specified distance around the chosen input features. In this study 50 m buffer was created for vandalism point layer and also pipeline polyline layer these was done to the study areas (Oviri) the 50 m buffer is backed by the Nigerian petroleum pipeline Right Of Way (ROW) is 50 m in terms of their width. Figure 6 shows the 50 m buffer zones of pipeline and vandalism locations in the study area.

Evaluation of distance analysis by spatial join in vandalism and pipeline location: Spatial join was used to show the nearest facilities according to distance like hospital, police station, fire station within the study area from vandalism or pipeline buffer. The analysis can be used for emergency cases like fire explosion caused by vandalism. Figure 7 shows the nearest fertilities include, (a) Fire station, (b) Hospital and (c) Police station in the Oviri area.

The results from this analysis shows how GIS technology was used to analyse crime incidents of vandalism by showing the hotspots of vandalism, pattern and trends of incidents of vandalism as well as density of the incidents and proximity of the settlements to the incidents points in order to control the petroleum pipeline vandalism in the study areas (Oviri) in delta state of Nigeria.

Fig. 5: Kernel analysis for vandalism in Oviri area

Fig. 6: Buffer analysis of 50 m for vandalism and pipeline in Oviri area

Fig. 7(a-c):
Distance analysis by spatial join in vandalism and pipeline location in Oviri Area (a) Nearest fire station, (b) Nearest hospital and (c) Nearest police station


Conclusively, the study investigated the uses of GIS as a strategic tool for controlling petroleum pipeline vandalism by answering the laid down objectives which included related literature were reviewed on the activities of oil and gas industry, vandalism and GIS application in controlling pipeline vandalism as well as GIS analysis conducted in the study area comprises of hotspot, kernel density analysis and buffer analysis. The GIS application in controlling petroleum pipeline vandalism in oil and gas industry of the study area (oil communities) of delta state has come up with lots of lessons which include, ability of GIS tool to develop database showing all the layers used for the study from logical to physical database design. Another advantage is handling bulky dataset in the form of in both spatial and attributes data. Furthermore, GIS tools demonstrated how crime like vandalism can be analyzed by the use of various of it tools like hotspots analysis, kernel density analysis and buffer analysis were also used to show the photographs of the hottest spot locations of vandalism incidents in the study area.


This study was conducted as a part of Research University Grant (Q.J130000.2527.12H65) by Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). The authors would like to acknowledge anonymous reviewer and editor for their helpful comments on the previous version of the manuscript.

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