09 December 2014, Port Harcourt — Shell Petroleum Development Company, has expressed worries over the increasing rate of oil theft in the Niger Delta, saying that the company loses an average of 30,000 barrels of crude oil daily to oil thieves.
Pipeline Asset Manager of the company, Mr Jurgen Jansen, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, said that on November 22 this year, some oil thieves tampered with one of the company’s major oil export pipelines, a 24 inch TNP around Okolo lounge, adding that the development resulted in a major loss of barrels of crude oil.
According to Shell, a lot of illegal oil refining takes place in the Oloko lounge, a situation the company said had brought about severe pollution of the environment.
Jansen added that a total of 243 illegal connections were made on its major pipelines in the region between January and November this year, noting that the company had successfully removed 233 of the illegal connections with 32 still left.He said: “They have started tampering with our wellheads. They do all these at night. They don’t really care about our environment that is why you see spill everywhere. Oil theft is increasing. Thirty thousand barrels are stolen from our facilities daily.”
He spoke on the efforts of the company to fight the development through the engagement of locals as surveillance contractors, noting that the move had not really discouraged acts of oil theft in the region.