NNPC records 400 incidents of oil theft in one week

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd has recorded a total of 400 incidents of crude oil theft in the past week.

This is according to the company’s weekly program tagged “Energy and You” which states that these incidents include; illegal refineries, illegal connections, vandalism, oil spills, illegal storage locations and others.

According to the company, there were 165 cases of illegal refineries in the week between the 15th and 21st of June 2024. Also, cases of illegal connection amounted to 69, there were 15 cases of vandalism, 8 incidences of oil spill, 19 cases of illegal storage location, 74 cases of vessel AIS infraction etc.

The NNPC noted that these incidents were reported by different companies and security agencies across the Niger Delta including Tantitta Security Ltd, Pipeline Infrastructure Nigeria Limited (PINL), SPDC, NNPC Command and Control Centre, Maton Engineering, government security agencies and others.

Furthermore, the NNPC reported that the bulk of the 400 incidences recorded during the week occurred in the Western region of Rivers and Bayelsa states with 265 incidences.

This was followed by the deep blue waters off the coast of the Niger Delta which recorded 74 incidences while the Eastern region saw around 65 incidences and the Western Niger Delta saw around 26 cases which mainly occurred in Delta state.

During the period under review, around 8 suspects were arrested by security agencies and stakeholders in the oil and gas industry.

Declining oil production in Nigeria

The near record number of crude oil thefts recorded in one week reflects the state of the Nigerian oil industry where production levels have consistently been below expectation and seen declining levels of investment.

Crude oil theft in the Niger Delta has resulted in the destruction of the region’s natural ecosystem, low revenues to the federal government and divestment from onshore fields by international oil companies.

According to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) monthly oil market report, Nigeria has consistently failed to meet its OPEC+ oil production quota of 1.5 million barrels daily. In May, crude oil production fell to 1.25 million bpd according to OPEC.

Divestments in Nigeria’s oil industry

Beyond the decline in oil production, theft and insecurity in the Niger Delta has resulted in a significant decline in investment in the country’s oil and gas sector and divestment by oil majors like Exxon, Shell and TotalEnergies.

Earlier this year, Shell announced the sale of its onshore business in Nigeria for about $1.3 billion to the Rennaissance consortium– a group of local players in the oil industry.

Last year, Equinor announced plans to leave the Nigerian oil business after about three decades of operation in Nigeria and ExxonMobil’s sale of its assets to Seplat is still in regulatory limbo for about two years now.



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