NNPC uncovers 4km pipeline used to steal crude for 9yrs
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has uncovered an illegal four-kilometer pipeline from Forcados in Delta State to the sea and a loading port that was part of an elaborate crude theft operation for the last nine years.
Mele Kyari, group chief executive officer, NNPC made this known yesterday when he appeared before a joint senate committee on Upstream, Downstream and Gas, lamenting that though oil theft in Nigeria has been on for over 22 years, the rate it has assumed in recent time is unprecedented.
In addition, Kyari revealed that three operational facilities of Forcados, Bonny and Brass oil terminals have all been shut down as a result of the high rate of crude oil theft, leading to the loss of about 600, 000 barrels per day (bpd).
“In the last six weeks, there has been a spill site in Bodo community in River’s state, which may affect the operations of Trans Niger pipeline if not clamped,” Kyari said.
“Hundred of illegal refineries in the country has led to the oil spill that made the country lose 120,000 bpd.”
He further stated that, in the course of the clamp down, the company has destroyed 350 illegal refineries, 273 wooden and 374 reservoirs. In addition, 1, 561 metal tanks were destroyed while over 49 seized trucks were burnt among others.
NNPC’s boss said the implications of the destruction is worse than the Ogoni spillage devastation in the affected areas, which have decimated agriculture, and fishing in the communities.
He further explained that in addressing the menace, NNPC carried out aerial surveillance of the affected areas, and observed that the economic saboteurs carry out their activities unchallenged.
In addition, after over four hours of the interface, the lawmakers proposed that capital punishment be put in place for offenders, which will be presented at plenary for consideration.
However, the committee also resolved to embark on oversight of Port Harcourt and Warri Refineries to verify NNPC’s claims of Rehabilitation.
Recall that the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, in its oil production status report for August 2022, revealed that Nigeria’s production declined to 972,394 bpd, down 30.22 percent compared to January’s output.
Also, three months after losing its status as Africa’s biggest crude oil producer to Angola, Nigeria saw its oil output drop below that of Libya in August, according to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).