Oil thieves drill into Dubri’s pipeline in new dimension to crude theft
The management of Dubri Oil Company Limited, on Thursday, said about 60 barrels of its crude oil was lost daily from its production in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 96 after vandals drilled into the company’s evacuation network.
It is estimated that the company has been losing about N5 million daily since the pipeline was compromised.
A senior staff of the oil firm who preferred anonymity made the disclosure to journalists during an on-the-spot assessment of the illegal pipeline drawn from the oil company site at Gelegele in Ovia North East local government area of Edo State.
He said before the illegal line was discovered with the help of community individuals and security personnel, the company had recorded a decline in the daily production from over 200 barrels to about 117 barrels, with nearly a third of production being lost daily.
He said: “The first day we noticed it, we lost over 100 barrels. Subsequently, it went down to a loss of between 60-70 barrels. Our daily production is about 200 barrels. As at when we discovered it, it was 117 barrels. When they knew we discovered it, they stopped, and as at today, November 10, delivery via the pipeline has gone back up to 180 barrels.
““Roughly, our estimate of what we have been losing is about 60 barrels per day. However, we don’t know how long this has been going on. It could be a month, two months or more that we have been losing about 60 barrels to the illegal bunkering. With the price of crude, it is about N5 million daily and we don’t know how long they have been doing it.”
The official added: “About four days ago, we noticed a drastic decline in our production and we tried to troubleshoot from our flow station and our manifold to see whether there was any technical issue that could cause this decline.
“But all efforts to get what was going on was unsuccessful and we kept on searching until we got some informants in the community who are loyal to the company. The informants told us they have information that people came to tap from our crude oil through the flow lines.
“When we heard the information, we quickly swung into action to see the lines. We excavated it and saw it from one of our well, GGNorth 1, to the flow station and we discovered that nothing was wrong with the lines. We think they made an attempt earlier on the line and found out it was not a suitable place to tap.
“They covered it up and moved forward towards Gele gele community immediately after our manifold that collects all the oil that come from the well. So, from the manifold, we have two production headers, one is 8 inches while the other is 6 inches. So, the 8 inches is where the GG North one is flowing through. The GG North one is a less gas well and we believe it has the information and that is where they chose to tap from.
“We reported it to the management and they took a decision to divert the crude flowing through the line to the second line where we are now producing. As at today, the well has been diverted from where they tapped from to the other header.
“We cannot quantify how long this has been taking place. However, our production has been declining for the past three months but the drastic decline happened this week and that is what called for this investigation. We have information that there is a river, about 2 kilometers from here, and that is where we think the line was connected to.”
He said the management of the firm is liaising with the Garrison commander of Ekehuan Barracks in Benin and that soldiers have been sent to the location. Technical teams are also trying to locate the point where the illegal line runs into, he added.