The Nigerian Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has provided some recommendations on how the Federal Government can tackle crude oil theft decisively.
These suggestions were stated in its 2021 Oil and Gas Report published earlier this month.
According to NEITI, persistent losses of crude oil within the industry due to theft, sabotage, and metering errors persist as a significant contributor to revenue decline for the Federation.
NEITI advised the Federal Government to prioritize enhanced pipeline security surveillance through the utilization of advanced technologies such as satellite imagery and sophisticated ICT tools.
According to the report, this approach will enable real-time monitoring and prompt intervention in cases of pipeline vandalism.
Additionally, collaboration between companies and the Federal Government is crucial for implementing the fiscal provisions outlined in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) that cater to the welfare of Host Communities.
This step will bolster communal responsibility and ownership of crude oil pipelines.
Good reasons to implement the suggestions
A compelling rationale for implementing NEITI’s recommendations lies in the stark realities presented by recent data and reports.
According to the NEITI report for the year 2021, crude oil losses attributable to measurement errors and theft/sabotage were alarmingly high, accounting for 31.04 million barrels and 37.57 million barrels, respectively.
These collective losses represented a staggering 11% of the verified metered production volume at the flow station.
Zooming in on specific terminals, the losses at the Bonny terminal alone were a significant 31% of the production flow coursing through that terminal.
Further losses were identified at the Forcados and Brass terminals, amounting to 9% and 7% of the production volume respectively, being pumped through these terminals.
Fast forward to the present, the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, has shed light on the grim reality of Nigeria’s ongoing struggle against crude oil theft.
In August 2023, Ribadu highlighted that the nation grapples with a daily loss of approximately 400,000 barrels of crude oil to local and international thieves.
This daily loss translates to a staggering monetary loss of about 4 million dollars per day for the country.
Supporting insights on crude oil theft incidents
Corroborating these assertions, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) recently disclosed crucial data on crude oil theft in the country through its weekly series titled “Energy and You,” aired via the NTA News Network.
The data presented between August 26 and September 15, 2023, underscored the extent of the problem, showcasing a startling 532 crude oil theft operations intercepted by the NNPCL in collaboration with various security entities across strategic regions including Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers, Imo, and Akwa Ibom.
It is vital to note the multifaceted nature of crude oil theft incidents during the highlighted weeks, encompassing illegal refineries,
AIS infractions involving vessels, illegal connections, wooden boat arrests, vehicle-related arrests, oil spills, vessel arrests, and acts of pipeline vandalism.
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