Nigeria’s major oil and gas industry unions are organizing a major national action to protest the exponential theft of oil in the country.
LEADERSHIP can exclusively report that major mobilization towards this action is at an advanced stage following their resolve to expose those behind the crime.
Escalating oil theft by criminals has been described as a bleeding wound eating away at the country’s resources, with industry operators calling for a declaration of emergency in the oil and gas sector to end the threat.
Several figures are in the public area showing the level of theft which had taken place at different times.
Recently, security officers operating across the country reported the recovery of stolen crude oil worth N86.2 billion in August alone.
In addition, a total of 16,000 liters of diesel worth N800/litre (N12.8 million) was reportedly recovered by members of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) in Cross River .
Confirming the situation, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Timipre Sylva, said the country is losing 400,000 barrels of crude per day via oil theft.
He described the development as a “national emergency” and lamented that the country had fallen below OPEC’s daily quota of 1.8 million barrels to 1.4 million barrels due to crude theft .
He warned that such huge economic loss was capable of crippling the national economy if not given the seriousness it deserved.
He said he was concerned that the threat persisted, despite efforts by federal and state governments to stop it.
Sylva said the issue of crude theft could not be handled by the federal government alone as it was a national emergency as the theft had reached a very bad crescendo.
“That’s because the thefts take place in the communities that house the pipelines. As a result, it has become necessary to involve stakeholders, especially host communities,” he said.
LEADERSHIP’s investigation shows that the oil theft is orchestrated by an organized syndicate allegedly backed by security personnel specifically assigned to manage key export infrastructure and pipelines.
A leading industry operator who confided in our correspondent said that some soldiers stationed at a key export line in Port Harcourt had openly threatened to kill their new commander who had tried to make changes in people responsible for keeping the asset.
Workers’ unions have said that unless the government takes decisive action and invests in artificial intelligence to contain the threat, the best option is to shut down the industry until the system is sound. of mind.
National Chairman of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Festus Osifo, while responding to our correspondent’s inquiry into the plan, said the time had come for the government to declare an emergency in the area.
Regarding the planned action, Osifo said that PENGASSAN plans to engage other stakeholders and the media will be notified if mass action is taken.
“Well, I don’t want to talk about any plans because we’re going to have a press conference soon on this issue, but I don’t want to prejudge anything. All I can say is that there is an organized cartel involved in this theft and it takes an industry-wide commitment,” he said.
He said that because crime had become a well-coordinated robbery with some security officers compromising their responsibilities, a shift towards investing in artificial intelligence would be a major government consideration going forward.
The Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Mele Kyari, who shared similar data, revealed that the country loses an average of 200,000 barrels of crude per day to oil thieves, or 73 million barrels per year.
Using an average crude oil price of $100 per barrel, Nigeria loses over $7.3 billion in one year, or in five years (between 2016 and 2020) about $14.65 billion considering the cost of oil per barrel during the years under review.
The amount, when converted using the official exchange rate of 416.25 naira to dollars, translates to a loss of 3.038 billion naira in one year.
Additionally, data from the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) latest report on the oil and gas industry showed that 272.2 million barrels (mmbbls) of crude were lost due to oil and gas theft. Other Forms of Crime in Nigeria’s Middle Sector.
Kyari said in Lagos on Thursday that the exponential growth of theft in the oil and gas industry had reduced the country’s production.
Also speaking at an oil and gas event in Lagos on Thursday, the Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, NUPRC, Gbenga Komolafe said the agency had drawn up a roadmap to meet the challenges. security challenges in the industry.
Komolafe said the NUPRC has identified and is working to implement areas of collaboration between government and operators and is ensuring that operators achieve their full production potential.
As part of this plan, the Commission liaises with the senior echelon of the Nigerian security forces for a robust security framework that ensures the Government Security Forces (GSF) provide security for pipelines and assets.
The plan will promote the implementation of nodal monitoring technologies on each collector’s main trunk lines for real-time loss detection that will enable rapid and more proactive responses.
It will also apply the installation of sabotage detection technologies as part of the design of pipelines and related oil and gas production facilities for approval by the Commission, and ensure that operators implement protocols safety devices in areas under their control and quickly identify/remove illegal connections and perform repair work in record time.
As part of the strategy, there will be a massive public information campaign to educate citizens about the dangers associated with crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism, in conjunction with relevant agencies such as the National Agency for orientation.