‘Nigeria lost $48m to oil theft in six months’
Nigeria lost $48 million to pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft between January and June, this year, it was learnt on Wednesday.
It was further learnt that it is impossible for now to stop the smuggling of crude oil products across the country’s borders to neigbouring countries.
The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Melee Kyari, who spoke in Abuja, said the Federal Government requires $2billion to replace obsolete pipelines from Excravos to Kaduna.
Also on Wednesday, the Senate faulted direct deductions by the NNPC from the sale of crude oil.
Kyari spoke at an interactive session on “Exiting Petroleum Subsidy: Ensuring Self-Sufficiency in Domestic Refining of Petroleum Products” organised by the Senate Joint Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream and Downstream).
According to him, this year alone, the country has lost about $48 million worth of crude oil due to pipeline vandalism.
He, however, said the cash is lower when compared to similar losses in the past.
He said in 2018 and 2019 alone, the country lost $825 million and $725 million, adding that the reduction was because of the increased surveillance by the security agencies.
He said pipelines are being destroyed within townships, not in the bush, with the active connivance of security agents, security contractors and community leaders.
Meanwhile, NNPC has started the exploration of oil on the Bida Basin in Niger State.
The local government areas in Bida Basin include Mokwa, Lavun, Gbako, Bida, Katcha, Agaie, Edati and Lapai local government areas.
The NNPC Group Managing Director (GMD), Mallam Mele Kyari, who spoke in Minna when he paid a visit to the Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, to unveil the 2D seismic data acquisition in the Bida and Sokoto basins, said the ongoing exploration of oil in the inland basins by the corporation has the potential to increase the nation’s reserve to 40 billion barrels by 2023.
Represented by the Group General Manager, Frontier Exploration Services, Abdullahi Bomai, the GMD said indepth geological and geochemical studies have revealed that there are strong hydrocarbon-bearing indicators confirming oil and gas-bearing formations in the eight local government areas.