The Corporate Media Relations Manager, SPDC, Mr. Precious Okolobo, said in a statement on Monday that company had deferred about 150,000 barrels of oil and 500 million standard cubic feet of gas per day as a result of oil theft.
He also said SPDC had declared force majeure on Bonny Light exports and gas supply to the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas company effective September 23, 2013.
This development, according to the statement, is linked to oil theft, which is denying the Federal Government of about $7bn annually.
The statement read in part, “The SPDC declared force majeure on Bonny Light exports and gas supply to the NLNG effective September 23 after it shut down the Trans Niger Pipeline for repair of new crude oil theft leaks at Bodo West and Oloma. Some 150,000 barrels of oil and 500 million standard cubic feet of gas per day are deferred.
“SPDC is working to repair and reopen the line as soon as possible.”
The company had on September 8 reopened the TNP after it was shut for two months due to incessant theft and vandalism.
The TNP has been repeatedly targeted and closed down five times since early July due to multiple leaks from crude theft connections.
The recent opening of the crucial pipeline was said to have lifted crude oil production, which has been fluctuating between 2.1 million barrels per day and 2.3 million bpd since the beginning of the year.
A statement by the Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Ms. Tumini Green, had on Monday declared that crude oil production had risen to 2.4 million barrels per day due to what she claimed were the results of the reforms introduced in the industry.
Industrial scale oil theft, sabotage and technical problems have caused crude output to drop to less than 1.9 million barrels a day, the lowest since mid-2009, when production briefly dipped to a 20-year low of 1.5 million bpd.
Any further fall, according to a recent report by Financial Times, will allow Angola to assume Nigeria’s position as the continent’s largest crude producer.
– The Punch