The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited revealed that between 19 to 25 August 2023, about 164 crude oil theft incidents were recorded amid declining oil output.
Of the total crude oil theft, 49 cases of unauthorised refineries were discovered, 41 illegal connections were recorded and 37 wooden boats were used to transport stolen crude according to NNPC.
This was disclosed during its weekly show, “Energy and You” series shown on NTA. NNPC further disclosed that 18 incidents of pipeline vandalism were recorded.
Also, 12 violations of vessels’ AIS protocols, four vehicle-related apprehensions and three oil spills were reported in Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Ondo.
Disclosing the locations where the oil theft occurred in Niger Delta, NNPC said the Central region reported 79 incidents, 51 in the Eastern region, 22 in the Western region and 12 in the Deep Blue Water region.
According to the NNPC, the oil thieves connected pipelines to their storage tanks to steal the crude and also controlled the oil supply or flow by manipulating valves.
The report by the petroleum company followed the revelation by Nigeria’s National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, who revealed that activities of local and international thieves result in the loss of 400,000 barrels of crude oil daily.
This represents a $4 million loss daily, according to him. He also affirmed that theft and vandalism have made it difficult for Nigeria to reach its capacity of two million barrels of crude daily, as the country records an output below 1.6 million barrels.
“It’s unfortunate that few individuals would steal our common resources, and in the process cause unbelievable loss to both the nation, communities and the people.
“Nigeria can produce 2 million barrels of crude daily, but we are currently making less than 1.6 million barrels due to theft and vandalism of pipelines.
“So, we are talking about 400,000 barrels of crude oil going to waste with few criminals and economic saboteurs not even getting much out of it,” Ribadu said.