Uche Cecil Izuora
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd has announced adequate recompense for anyone who reports any incidence of crude oil theft.
The NNPC Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari said this on Friday in Abuja during the launch of an App to check crude oil theft in the country and enable prompt reporting by community members.
He assured Nigerians that all the report made through the platform about crude oil theft would be treated with utmost confidentiality.
The theft of crude oil has been frustrating the efforts of the government in attracting fresh investments into the oil and gas industry through the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act.
Nigeria is losing 400,000 barrels per day to crude theft, the Minister of State Petroleum, Timipre Sylva said on Tuesday.
Within a three months period covering January 1 and March 31 this year, Nigeria lost a whopping amount of $1bn revenue to crude oil theft.
Four months ago, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva the Chief of Defence Staff Lucky Irabo and the NNPC LTD Group Chief Executive Officer Mele Kyari, visited the Niger Delta for an on-the-spot assessment of the damage done by vandals.
Just last month, Kyari, the European Union Delegation, top officials of the NNPC Ltd as well as representatives of security agencies again visited the Niger Delta Creeks to assess the ongoing fight against crude oil theft, illegal bunkering and vandalism of oil and gas installations.
Three days ago, Sylva, Irabor; Kyari and other top officials of government visited the Governors of Imo, Bayelsa and Delta States to get their support in tackling crude oil theft.
These visits underscore the efforts of the government in finding a lasting solution to the issue of crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism.
Speaking at the launch of the App, Kyari said it will enable overseas buyers to validate the originality of all crude oil received from Nigeria.
He also said through the App, investors and traders can validate the cruise they are handling from Nigeria, noting that with this, it will be difficult to take the product out without being tracked.
Kyari said, “First, we have created a platform where members of the community and other Nigerians can report whenever incidences of theft occur and also reward them, and keep it confidential and private.
“We at the NNPC will guarantee absolute privacy on any such report that comes and I’m directly managing this myself as no one will be exposed.
“Secondly in the international scale, companies must report suspicious sale of crude. Every oil that leaves this country has a unique registration number that is issued by the NNPC and also validated by OPEC commission. And I know that the destination reporting framework is been put up by the Commission.
“Ahead of this, we are also creating a platform where end-users particularly investors and traders can validate the cruise they are handling from Nigeria as their only sources. And whenever they have a no validation report, then they have an obligation to report the necessary authorities anywhere in the world.
“If they don’t do these, as I always say that our companies are international which means they are part of the riggers and whenever we discover this, we will take necessary actions against them.
“And I’m sure that our partners will cooperate with us, to make sure that this is done. That way we know that we are looking at the market and also curtailing our local issues.”
Kyari said while the issues around vandalism of oil and gas infrastructure particularly pipelines have become very difficult to deal with, the government is not helpless.
The NNPC Boss said, “To ensure that we respond to this situation and this also, we can’t do without government engagement and involvement particularly government security agencies and also members of the community.
“We have put up a very robust framework for ensuring that we curtail this menace and we are already seeing results. Needless to say, that there’s still ongoing activities of vandals in our pipelines or oil thieves on our assets.
“This is very visible in the form of illegal refineries, that are continuously put up in some locations and also insertions into our pipelines network we are reacting to it, we are doing many things surrounding it. There’s massive actions by our government agencies just to make it clear to us.”
Recalling some of the actions taken so far to check crude oil theft, he said many vandals have been arrested by the Nigerian Navy, adding that in the last three month, there are substantive works that have been done including the shutdown of illegal refineries.
He added, “We have destroyed the illegal refineries all over, we have arrested where we have to and this only is our solution that we have on such situations and ultimately activities will resume.
“And this will be tested by the number of assets that we are going to put in the space lately. We will push back the JV on operations and many other assets because we have absolute confidence that substantive solution has been reached in the manner of curtailing the acts of these vandals.”