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Crude oil theft: NNPCL deactivates 395 illegal refineries

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2 suspected serial oil thieves remanded for pipeline

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL)on Tuesday said it has deactivated 395 illegal refineries in its efforts to curb oil theft in Nigeria.

Mr Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director, NNPCL, said this at a meeting with Senate ad hoc committee on oil theft in Nigeria.

Kyari, who raised an alarm over the scale of oil theft, vandalism of assets in recent times described the crime as calamitous.

“We have deactivated 395 illegal refineries, we have taken down 273 wooden boats, we have destroyed 374 illegal reservoirs, we destroyed 1,561 metal tanks.

“We have sized over 49 trucks and burnt them down, we have discovered illegal oil pits of 898 so far, and I,219 cooking sites have been taken down,” he said.

He said NNPCL, via the help of its private security partners, discovered an illegal connection of four kilometers route into the sea running from its major forcados line into the sea which has probably operated for the last nine years.

According to him, the illegal four kilometers route do not get to its terminal.

He said crude theft by vandals have brought down Nigeria’s oil production to around 1.2 million barrels per day from 1.8 million.

He said that it was not true that the difference between 1.2 million barrels and its potential budget level of 1.8 million barrels has been stolen.

“To be very precise, we have never seen this level of escalations in our operations.

“The scale of oil theft, vandals that we are seeing today is unprecedented, prices of crude oil is so high in the market today, for oil thieves to operate.

“But we have put a structure of security hovering around our partners, all the government security agencies, we have set up security private contractors.

“Because the Brass, Forcados and the Bonny terminals, all of them are practically doing zero production today, the combine effect is that you have lost 600,000 barrels per day, when you do reality test.

“But we hope to restore production to the forcados terminal, this is as a result of the security intervention that is ongoing,” he said.

The Chairman of the joint committee, Sen. Mohammed Nakudu (APC -Jigawa) urged the NNPCL group general manager to install trackers on trucks lifting crude from terminals, saying that there was technology to monitor ships laden with crude as done in other countries.

He also urged him to be prepared for an oversight in Port Harcourt and Warri Refineries, given the submission of NNPCL that the refineries have been rehabilitated.

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Kingsley Okoye

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