The company’s General Manager, GM, Nigeria Content Development, Mr Igo Weli, said that the company lost over $2.6 billion annually to oil thieves.
Weli, who said this in Yenagoa at a seminar organised by SPDC for journalists in the state, noted that the activities of oil thieves lead to avoidable oil spills.
The GM expressed concern over the damage caused by oil spill on the environment and called on stakeholders in Nigeria’s economy to close ranks to curtail the menace.
Commenting on the relationship between oil companies and their host communities, Weli said “the company sends 10 persons from the Niger Delta annually to the United Kingdom for training.”
He said that although the company could only employ very few Nigerians, some beneficiaries of its training were employed by other operators.
Mr Pat Agbo, Head, Oil Spill at SPDC, said that pipeline sabotage was a major cause of the oil spills in the Niger Delta which also slowed down operations.
“The activities of oil thieves slowed down our operation because any time there is a cut on our pipeline, we have to shut down to enable us to locate the affected area.
“In any oil spill, the environment suffers the heat,” he said.
Agbo said that oil theft which compelled the firm to shut down operations would affect the derivation funds accruable to Bayelsa.