In ongoing efforts to stem oil theft and restore Nigeria’s production to optimum levels, Private Security Contractor, in collaboration with government security agencies and NNPC Limited, yesterday destroyed a barge loaded with stolen crude.
The Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), in a statement said the barge was arrested on 22nd December 2022 along with the suspects.
The barge, named MT Brighton 1, which was loaded with stolen crude, was apprehended in one of the creeks running into the Ramos River in Agge Community, a border village between Delta and Bayelsa states.
The national oil firm said the security intervention team, also yesterday demolished a filling station named Blessed Corporate Oil & Gas Services Ltd in Opete, Warri, Delta state, for being in custody of truck laden with stolen crude and discharging the illegal contents into its underground storage tanks.
An average of 437,000 barrels of oil is stolen on daily basis by oil thieves in Nigeria.
Data shared by the NNPCL, disclosed that between January and July, the country lost an average of 437,000 barrels of oil a day to criminal entities and individuals who illicitly tap pipelines onshore and offshore in the Niger Delta region.
Group chief executive of NNPCL, Mele Kyari, had blamed a section of Nigerian society for complicity that has led to the loss of thousands of dollars in the oil theft, undermining the country’s oil production.
Nigeria recorded lower production in the first seven months of the year. In January the production stood at 1.4 million barrels per day but as of July, the production went lower to 1.1 million barrels per day.
Pipeline fires are commonplace in Nigeria, in part because of poor maintenance but also because of third party infractions who vandalise pipelines to siphon off petrol and sell it on the black market.
Crude oil is tapped from a web of pipelines owned by major oil companies and refined into products in makeshift tanks.
According to industry sources, Nigeria loses around 200,000 barrels of crude to oil thieves, vandals and illegal refining operators daily.
Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo, after winning oil Infrastructure protection contract also discovered an illegal crude oil pipeline with the capacity to deliver 400,000 barrels per day.
The discovery was made via Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited, a company owned by the Niger Delta ex-militant which was contracted for oil pipeline surveillance.
The company reportedly discovered more massive illegal crude oil pipelines attached to Trans Forcados Export Trunkline.