• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

NNPC links drop in crude oil production to theft, vandalism

businessday-icon

 The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said that the drop in crude oil production for the first quarter of 2013 was due to incessant crude oil theft and vandalism along the major pipelines within the Niger Delta.

Daily crude oil production during the period fluctuated between 2.1 and 2.3 million barrels per day (mbpd) compared with the projected estimate of 2.48mbpd.

In a statement by the acting group general manager, public affairs division of the corporation, Tumini Green, NNPC said, “Expectedly, this fall between actual production and forecast in first quarter 2013 has resulted in a drop in crude oil revenue of about $1.23 billion (N191 billion) that should have accrued to the Federation Account”.

She further explained that the NNPC/SPDC JV recently declared a force majeure on Bonny Crude due to incessant crude oil theft. This resulted in the shutting in of 150,000bpd.

“Investigations showed that 53 break points were discovered along the 97km Nembe Creek Trunkline. Repair work is expected to last about six weeks. This will further reduce our April and May monthly average to about 2.2mbpd and further decrease crude oil revenue by about $554.0 million (equivalent to N83billion) that should have accrued to the Federation Account”.

Green, however, assured that the maintenance work will have minimal effect on gas supply to domestic market.

“We shall continue to work with relevant government agencies both at the federal and state levels to end this incessant crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism. We have the potential to meet the national target of 2.48mbpd if this menace is eliminated”, she said, adding that crude theft and pipeline vandalism continue to degrade the environment, increase operational costs, impact negatively on the image of the country and of course, reduces revenue accruable to the nation.

She appealed to all stakeholders to cooperate with the corporation as it strives to eliminate this menace.

Meanwhile, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) said it shut down the Nembe Creek Trunkline (NCTL) on Monday to remove crude oil theft connections and investigate suspected oil theft leaks.

Production of some 150,000 barrels of oil per day has been deferred due to the shutdown. As a result, SPDC has declared force majeure on Bonny Light export.

“We’re concerned that the NCTL has been targeted by crude oil thieves repeatedly since we installed the new line in 2010 at a cost of $1.1 billion,” said managing director of SPDC & country chair, Shell Nigeria, Mutiu Sunmonu.

 

OLUSOLA BELLO