Mele Kyari, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited’s group managing director, says the country lost $1.5 billion (N623.7 billion at the official rate of about N415 to $1) worth of crude oil, which represents about 250,000 barrels of crude per day, to oil theft between January and March 2022.
Kyari, who was briefing members of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), on Thursday in Abuja also called for the establishment of special courts to handle cases of crude oil thefts, vandalism and operation of illegal refineries in the country.
Kyari, stated this on Thursday in Abuja, at an interactive session with the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Upstream, News Agency of Nigeria reports.
Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari is also the country’s Minister of Petroleum Resources.
Kyari, who took lawmakers through video and pictorial evidence and the scale of damages done to pipeline installations, also lamented the negative economic impacts of the ugly trend which, he said, was being handled by the joint efforts of security agencies as well as the NNPC and other industry players and regulators.
He said, “From January till date, we lost an average of 250,000 barrels per day and at the current price of about 100 dollars to the barrel, even within this short period, we have lost close to 1.5 billion dollars. This led to a decline in production from the Bonny terminal.
“In January 2021, we were producing 239,000 barrels from the line linking Bonny terminal and we only received 190,000 barrels meaning that we lost about 19,000 barrels to thieves then per day.
“This situation deteriorated to the extent that by March 7, 2022, it came to zero and so, we shut down the line and declared ‘force Majeure’. Even on our most reliable pipeline which is the Forcados pipeline, we still lost about 7000 barrels per day. Needless to say that this is all coming as a result of act of vandals and oil thieves.
“So many interventions have taken place and we have continued to remove the insertions. To put it in context, within a distance of less than 20 kilometres, we removed 85 insertions. So, you can imagine when you are running a pipeline of about 300 to 400 kilometres.
“Some of these activities are done in a very professional manner. If you look at slide two, you see the connections. You will see that you need a lot of time, capacity to make these insertions. In one location, we have seen an insertion that is exactly the size of the servicing pipeline.”