16 April 2014, Warri – Governor of Delta State and Chairman, National Economic
Council on Oil Theft, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has said he had received countless threats to his life from oil thieves, but vowed that the intimidation will not deter him from going after the economic saboteurs.
The governor, spoke at the 2nd edition of the Delta State Oil and Gas Industry Stakeholders’ conference, in Warri, where the Flag Officer Commanding, FOC, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral S. Alade, accused International Oil Companies, IOCs, of crude oil theft.
Alade said “Most of the crude oil theft is perpetuated from the loading point and so, oil companies cannot claim ignorance of oil theft.”
Responding, Manager, Ogoni Restoration Project, Mr. Augustine Igbuku, who represented the Managing Director, Shell Petroleum Nigeria, Mr. Mutiu Sumonu, Shell Petroleum Development Company, said that the IOC recently discovered that a line was welded to its Forcados Terminal export line, where export quality crude oil was being stolen.
He said “Such an underwater operation does not come easy to us in the industry, but some criminals were able to install a theft point without detection. Investigations are on-going to understand how this was done.”
Igbuku denied that IOCs were involved in oil theft, noting that contractors and their workers should not be misconstrued for staffers of oil companies.
On his part, Chairman, Delta Wateways Security Committee, DWSC, Chief Ayiri Emami, said oil companies, security agencies and host communities were involved in crude oil theft in the state.
The conference, organised by the Ministry of Oil and Gas, Delta State, according to the Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Mr. Omamofe Pirah, was on how to collectively curb crude oil theft in the state and prepare the minds of host communities on environmental impact of oil pollution.
Governor Uduaghan, said: “We have made a lot of moves to reduce the level of oil theft. Last year, there was an alarm in which it was estimated that about 400,000 barrels of crude was lost in one day. What that meant was that there was a shut in of two main Shell pipelines in the East and it was in those shut in, revenue wise, that we were losing about 300,000 to 320,000 barrels per day.
“It was not as if the oil was being stolen, but because of the challenges we had with the main pipelines, that quantify of crude was not being exported, but what was being stolen at that time was about 80,000 to 100,000 barrels per day.”
– Emma Amaize, Vanguard