14 July 2014, Abuja – The supply of crude oil through the regular means of pipeline transportation has become impossible due to incessant vandalism of the lines and theft of the product, a situation that has resulted in the Warri and Port Harcourt refineries having to now depend on marine transport for crude supply.
This deteriorated situation of pipeline vandalism was disclosed yesterday by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Engr. Andrew yakubu while speaking yesterday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, at a capacity building workshop for media practitioners with the theme “The Role of NNPC in the Nigerian Economy.”
This comes just as Nigeria has been ranked as the country most plagued by oil theft in the world with the theft of an estimated 400,000 barrels of oil per day, equating to a revenue loss of about $1.7 billion a month and $20.4 billion annually, according to a report by oilprice.com.
The amount represents 7.7 per cent of the nation’s GDP vanishing, or more than the country spends on education and healthcare combined, the report added.
Yakubu who stated that the capacity utilisation of the refineries is at 60 per cent name plate, however said, the refineries could do better were it not for the challenge of the vandalisation and theft.
He said: “Capacity utilisation of the refineries is 60 per cent of name plate, the 60 per cent of the name plate capacity is not because the plants cannot take more but because we have challenges of crude supply, so we have to go through marine.
“If you don’t have a pipeline that supplies your crude continuously you cannot maximise the volume put in. so if you have to go through marine and alternative sources, you are constrained based on the volume that those systems can deliver.
“To be frank, there is a major challenge, you cannot put a barrel in Excravos and get it at Warri end. So that pipeline is completely abandoned. Warri to Port Harcourt is the same thing, it is absolutely impossible.