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Nigeria records 226 crude oil theft in one week, says NNPC

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has recorded 226 crude oil theft incidents during a single week from November 18 to 24, highlighting the urgent need for stricter enforcement and protection of Nigeria’s energy resources.

The state-owned oil company made this known on its official Twitter (X) account on Tuesday, November 28.

According to the NNPC, this widespread illicit activity spanned various oil-producing states. Abia and Rivers states bore the brunt of illegal connections, accounting for 39 cases.

Oil theft and losses in Nigeria between 2009 and 2020 stand at 619.7 million barrels of crude which is valued at $46.16 billion or N16.25 trillion, according to the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

“In addition, Nigeria lost 4.2 billion litres of petroleum products from refineries, valued at $1.84 billion at the rate of 140,000 Barrels per day, from 2009 to 2018.”

However, NNPC said that in a concerted effort to curb unauthorised refining operations, security agents uncovered and destroyed 77 illegal refineries across Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa, and Imo states.

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“Pipeline vandalism remained a persistent challenge, with 21 incidents detected in Rivers and Delta states. Security forces also intercepted nine vessels engaged in AIS infractions and apprehended 55 wooden boats transporting stolen crude in Delta state.”

The extent of the theft is further underscored by the discovery of 13 vehicles used to transport stolen crude, including a truck disguised as animal feed along the Warri-Patani road in Ughelli North, Delta state.

Five oil spill sites and five illegal storage sites were also identified in Rivers, Delta, Abia, and Bayelsa states. Additionally, one community issue and one vandalism act were uncovered during this period.

Despite these daunting challenges, law enforcement efforts yielded some positive results. According to the NNPC, a total of 35 individuals involved in crude oil theft were apprehended during the period under review.

NNPC said it maintains a zero-tolerance policy towards crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism. “We are committed to working with industry partners and security agencies to combat these illicit activities and safeguard Nigeria’s energy security.”

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