Nigeria lost N51.28bn to oil theft in 2015 – NNPC

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY M. J. SMITH A photo taken on April 11, 2013 shows crude oil waste from an illegal oil refinery operated by oil thieves in Bayelsa State in the Niger Delta. A group of men with AK-47s lay in wait for an ex-kingpin in the Nigerian swamps before instead opening fire on police -- the latest sign of trouble in a vitally important oil region. The April 5 assault in the Niger Delta killed 12 policemen, with attackers firing from a jetty before two speedboats carrying other assailants arrived and also shot at the officers, some of whom jumped in the water. The attack was yet another sign of the troubles underlying a 2009 amnesty deal in the impoverished Niger Delta aimed at ending years of unrest there. Prior to the amnesty, militants claiming to be fighting for a fairer distribution of oil revenue as well as criminal gangs had attacked oil facilities and carried out widespread kidnappings in the delta.   AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

*Crude oil waste from an illegal oil refinery operated by oil thieves in Bayelsa State in the Niger Delta. AFP Photo/Pius Utomi Ekpei.

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

23 July 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru, has disclosed that the country lost about N51.3 billion to oil crude theft in 2015.

Baru made the disclosure when he led a delegation of NNPC top management on a courtesy call to the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonishakin, at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja, to appeal to the Nigerian military to help secure critical oil and gas infrastructure and curb losses incurred by the Corporation due to the nefarious activities of pipeline vandals and oil thieves.

The revenue loss, according to Baru, was due to the activities of pipeline vandals, adding that over 3000 vandalism incidents were recorded every year from 2010-2015, while in 2015 alone, pipeline losses of petrol volume of over 643 million litres were incurred.

He noted that “From January to May this year, almost 1,447 cases of pipeline hacking were recorded, resulting in a loss of 109 million litres of petrol and 560,000 barrels of crude oil to refineries, posing a great threat to the nation’s economy and the 2016 federal budget.

“The 2016 budget plan was based on 2.2 million barrels per day (b/d) of crude oil production. However, the budget plan is now grossly impacted due to renewed militancy with about 700,000 b/d of oil production curtailed due to pipeline vandalism.”

The newly appointed NNPC boss further noted that domestic natural gas supply to power is equally impacted with an estimated drop of about 50 percent from 1400 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mmscfd) to barely 700mmscfd resulting to significant power outage exposure of between 2500MW to 3000 MW as a result of direct and indirect impact.

He added that “Along with this menace is the incessant cases of kidnapping of personnel and piracy in areas of operations. Other impacts of these despicable acts include loss of lives, the high cost of operations, refinery shut down, fuel crisis and large-scale environmental degradation and attendant cost of oil spill clean-ups.”

While thanking the Chief of Defence Staff for the laudable and timely creation of Operation Delta Safe and the subsequent appointment of Rear Admiral Okojie as the Commander, Baru called on the CDS to provide support for the NNPC for re-entry into the Chad basin and Benue for the resumption of exploration and drilling activities.

He pledged that under his watch as GMD, the Corporation is committed to collaborating with CDS and other Government security agencies to emplace lasting solution to eliminate the haemorrhage of losses, revenue deferments, energy and security threats.

Olonishakin in his response said that the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) and the armed forces were duty bound to support and provide the NNPC with all necessary security support because of its strategic role in ensuring the economic survival of the nation.

The CDS promised to accede to the request by the GMD for the DHQ to facilitate and sustain the deployment of relevant military personnel to critical oil and gas locations as the need arises.

On the request for military support to enable the resumption of exploration activities in the Chad Basin, Olonishakin explained that exploration activities will remain on hold until the military concludes ongoing campaign by the multinational Joint Task Force designed to cleanse the environment of the activities of insurgents.

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