The International Oil Companies in Nigeria has decried the increased rate of oil theft recorded in the country.
This is as the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, announced that Nigeria lost about $3.27 billion worth of crude to oil theft between January 2021 to February 2022.
The Commission disclosed this during a stakeholders’ engagement on crude oil theft in Abuja on Thursday.
According to the Commission, “Total value loss for the period January 2021 to February 2022 is about $3.27bn. Average monthly value loss for the period is about $233.99m. Average daily value loss for the period is about $7.72m.”
“Losses are mainly from Bonny Terminal Network, Forcados Terminal Network (and) Brass Terminal Network.”
It stated that factors including; economic challenges, insecurity, poor community engagement, among others, facilitated the huge loss.
The Chief Executive of the Commission, Gbenga Komolafe, noted that the activities of criminals upstream is a threat to the existence and wellbeing of the economy.
According to him, government revenue is being impacted negatively as there had been a loss of value arising from surging costs due to frequent repairs of damaged facilities.
He said, “when the upstream is sick, it affects the well-being and health of the country. The situation is happening upstream and is a threat to the existence and wellbeing of the economy.
“So we are very concerned about this and we’ve been doing a lot and will ensure that we do everything possible to increase oil production in a manner that will make the nation benefit from the upward movement in the international prices of crude.”
In his remark, the IOC representative and Managing Director, ExxonMobil Nigeria, Richard Laing said, “When I say it is an organised criminality, the sophistication of the engineering involved points towards a high degree of sophistication and technology, as well as the distribution.
“I think we’ve just got to be honest and accept that this is not theft but more than that.”
He stressed on the need for stakeholders, especially the Nigerian government to find a lasting solution to the menace as it is a threat to their continued existence in the country.