10 April 2013, Lagos – NIGERIA Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has said that the incessant force majeure being declared by major oil companies in the Niger Delta region was dangerous for Nigeria’s economic stability.
NUPENG, in a statement by its President, Mr. Igwe Achese, said: “We are worried about the incessant force majeure being declared by oil majors, especially Shell Petroleum Development Company and, recently, by Agip Oil Company in their oil fields in the Niger Delta, due to illegal oil bunkering.”
The union said it read with consternation, the shutting down of the Italian oil firm, Agip’s swamp area oil fields in Bayelsa State, which produce about 40,000 barrels of crude oil daily, due to incessant illegal bunkering and pipelines vandalism.
It said: “It is sad that Agip was losing about 7,000 barrels of its crude production daily to oil thieves in Bayelsa State. We condemn the act of illegal bunkering and theft of crude oil as it is robbing the nation of the needed foreign exchange that should be used for developmental purposes.
“The theft of the nation’s resources, such as crude oil, is unpatriotic, criminal and further degrades the environment, as they often leave the crude to spill into farmlands and waters. It has been discovered that the destruction of the ecosystem in the Niger Delta is as a result of wanton theft through bursting of oil pipelines.”
*Victor Ahiuma-Young, Vanguard