24 February 2015, Lagos – The Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has clarified that contrary to the 400,000 barrels of crude oil bandied as being stolen by oil thieves in Nigeria, the actual volume of crude stolen daily is 60,000 barrels.
Speaking to journalists in Ogun State at the weekend, Uduaghan noted that the 60,000 barrels per day stolen by thieves is still unacceptably high as some oil companies operating in the country do not produce up to such volume.
“When you hear 400,000 barrels per day, it does not mean that it is 400,000 barrels that is stolen. What it simply means is that in the process of stealing the crude, it affects some of the oil wells. So, the operators shut down the wells.
When they shut down like that, they are not producing like 300,000 barrels per day. There is no time the stealing has been more than 100,000 barrels per day. In fact, that was at its peak. In fact, right now, it is less than 60,000 barrels per day. But even at 60,000 barrels per day, it is still unacceptably high because not many companies produce up to 60, 000 barrels per day,” he said.
Uduaghan, who addressed journalists as Chairman of Presidential Committee on Anti-Pipeline Vandalism, said the Federal Government had mapped out various strategies to tackle crude oil theft and vandalism.
According to him, there are immediate and long term strategies that have been put in place by the security agencies, who are working directly with President Goodluck Jonathan.
“Now, the immediate security strategy is for the security agencies to be reinforced and that is what we are doing. They are being reinforced in their activities and they are patrolling more than ever before and are also dealing with crude oil theft more. On the bigger scale, there are international corroboration on the crude oil theft. I mean, some of the oil that is stolen, about 80 per cent is exported. It is only 20 per cent that is being used by the local refineries. What I mean by local refineries are those illegal refineries. Of course, those illegal refineries are being destroyed. So, for the 80 per cent that is being exported, the Federal Government is working with various countries; there is international collaboration because there is a destination, which is the big refineries outside this country; they use these refineries. So, the Federal Government is working with various countries to be able to identify these refineries that use stolen crude and of course, ensure that the crude don’t get there,” Uduaghan added.
He said the local strategies being adopted to check the activities of crude oil thieves include surveillance and use of better pipelines to convey crude.
“Of course, the oil companies have to change their pipelines in the long run. They have to change them to pipelines that are very sensitive such that when thieves try to break them, it can be detected in a control room,” he said.
The governor stated apart from the solutions being deployed by the federal government, the Delta State Government has also developed local solutions involving the engagement of host communities.
“For us in Delta State, for instance, we have been engaging the communities and educating them on the dangers of pipeline vandalism because vandalism, first of all, leads to spills and oil spills affect the environment,” he added.
– This Day