Nigerian loses 150,000 bpd, $5bn to oil thieves

14 May 2012, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – For the umpteenth time, Shell Nigeria has expressed concern over the activities of oil thieves in Nigeria’s Niger Delta, saying the country was losing about 150,000 barrels of oil per day and $5 billion yearly to the thieves.

Mutiu Sunmonu, Managing Director of Shell Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), made the disclosure at the weekend in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

He said SPDC joint venture suffers a daily loss of 43,000 barrels to crude theft and illegal bunkering.

According to him, the trend negatively impacts the environment and robs the country of revenue.

Blaming sabotage and crude oil theft for about 11,806 barrels of oil spilled from SPDC facilities in 118 incidents last year, he stated that, that translated to an average of one spill every three days.

He said of oil theft: “This is a serious attack on the state, the people, the economy, and the environment.

“We calculate crude theft quantities based on volumes produced from flow stations and what is received at terminals, it is true that additional oil is stolen between wellheads and flow stations.”

According to him, most of the crude theft activities were targeted at SPDC JV’s two major pipelines in the Eastern Niger Delta – Nembe Creek Trunkline (NCTL) and Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP).

The NCTL, he said, was replaced in 2010 at a cost of $1.1 billion, but he regretted that the new line is still a target of crude thieves.

“It was shut down for one month in December last year, following a spill caused by two failed bunkering connections. The thieves used the one-month pipeline depressurisation as a window to install even more bunkering points.

“Since restart of production in January 2012, there have been multiple trips, caused by pressure drops, resulting from illegal off-take. Eventually, the NCTL was shut down on 2nd May 2012, to allow for the removal of more than 50 illegal bunkering points.”

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