A statement by Ms Tumini Green, the acting Group General Manager, Public Affairs, NNPC, in Abuja, said the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, expressed the concern at the OffShore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas, U.S.
It said that the minister, who was represented by the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr Andrew Yakubu, stressed the need for foreign collaboration to stop the menace.
She said: “The president is taking this matter seriously and the minister is working at it aggressively.
“It takes two to tango, if those stealing our crude do not find a market for it, there will be no incentive to steal and that is why we are appealing to the international community to take action.
“The tracing of our crude by DNA to the destination is being looked into to ensure that the finger prints of our crude are traceable to the various destinations.
“I can tell you that as an industry, we are happy to work with governments in this regard.”
The statement said that the minister’s address, which dwelt on the theme “Development efforts in the West African exploration zone”, described the sub-region as the most important petroleum province in the world.
It quoted her as saying that “the natural advantages of the region’s open and unrestricted sea lanes and light sweet crude makes it one of the most important petroleum provinces in the world”.
On the Petroleum Industry Bill, the statement said the minister explained that the proposed law was designed to increase exploration and development activities in the region by creating a more competitive environment for both independent and major oil and gas companies.
“This, in addition, will attract investment into the sector. Therefore, West Africa will continue to play a significant role in the global oil and gas energy supply and gas discoveries in the world,” she said.
The statement said there was high participation of indigenous Nigerian oil and gas companies at the global conference and exhibition.