The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has confirmed that between October 7 and 13, there were 205 crude oil theft incidents recorded across the Niger Delta’s oil-producing regions.
The company disclosed this information during its weekly ‘Energy and You’ series on the NTA News Network.
According to the report, there were various illegal activities reported, including 62 illegal connections, 51 illegal refineries, 18 vessels with AIS infractions, 8 wooden boat arrests, 6 pipeline vandalism acts, 55 vehicle arrests, 2 illegal storage sites, 1 oil spill, and 1 vessel arrest.
These incidents of crude oil theft took place across multiple locations, including Ohaji/Egbema in Imo state, Ughelli, Bomadi, Sapele, Ajatito, Obodo Omadino in Delta state, Omoku in Rivers state, various locations in Bayelsa state, and Ubauhu in Abia state. Specifically, 8 incidents occurred in the Deep Blue Water, 48 in the Western region, 95 in the Central region, and 53 in the Eastern region.
A bad situation growing worse
Crude oil theft is significantly affecting Nigeria’s crude oil and gas production, leading to an inability to meet the OPEC quota of 1.7 million barrels per day. Additionally, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited is struggling to fulfill feedgas supply requirements for its production and expansion plans.
These challenges are causing a notable dent in the country’s revenues. In response to this crisis, the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) initiated a strategy in 2022 to combat crude oil theft.
This strategy involves collaboration with security agencies, operators, and oil-producing communities. Despite these efforts, the situation continues to worsen, evident in the rising number of crude oil theft incidents.
For instance, in the week between September 30 and October 6, there were 128 reported incidents, and this number has now surged to 240 incidents.
This ongoing issue demands urgent and effective measures to safeguard the country’s valuable resources and restore its production capabilities and revenue generation.
Meanwhile, it is important to note that earlier this week, ex-militants met in Rivers state over strategies for implementing pipeline surveillance contracts with the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) in the region.
Although many conversations took place in private, it is widely believed that combating crude oil theft was a significant topic. Special attention was given to decentralizing the contracts to prevent conflicts among the parties involved.
It is important to note however, that the Nigerian Senate is currently investigating crude oil theft activities in the Niger Delta region after it was announced that the country has lost over N2 trillion to the menace in 2023 alone.