Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) lost over N20 billion due to 74 pipelines breaches by suspected crude oil thieves in January and February this year, the national oil company has said.
Information obtained from the corporation also indicated that from the illegal activities of the vandals, loss of refined products, especially petrol, amounted to about 56 million litres from January to April 2020, from its system 2B alone.
However, it said that the corporation was working closely with the Nigerian Navy to address the situation, stressing that the loss of refined product for the four months was about N7 billion.
The corporation disclosed that it’s collaboration with the navy to continue the demolition of illegal structures used by oil thrives had started bearing fruits, with at least 203 already destroyed in the first four months of the year.
Due to the close working relationship with the Nigerian navy, the NNPC said average monthly losses due to petrol theft had reduced from 31 million litres to about 14 million litres.
Furthermore, the corporation noted that from January to December 2019, criminal gangs operating along system 2B axis stole about 291 million litres valued at about N38 billion.
The NNPC added that the financial loss was in addition to damage to its pipelines infrastructure and the environment, due to crude oil spillages.
In the same vein, it noted that from January to September last year, about 11.5 million barrels worth $747.5 million, accounting for five per cent of Joint Venture (JV) production of crude oil, was lost due to the illegal activities of the oil thieves.
“Systems 2B and 2E are critical to effective distribution of petroleum products to the South West, South East and other parts of the country.
“From January to December, criminal gangs operating along system 2B axis have stolen about 291.2 million litres of PMS valued at N38.18 billion in addition to economic scale damage to pipeline infrastructure and the environment” the corporation said.
It added, however, that: “NNPC has scaled up efforts to secure pipeline network against vandalism and theft. System 2B and the destination depots in the South West distribution corridor are active.
“Persistent vandalism and product theft has forced the shutdown of the Aba/Enugu segment of system 2E.”
The NNPC said that the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) II and OB3 gas pipeline project were in top gear and nearing completion.
“Pre-commissioning activities are currently ongoing on Escravos-Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) II , Lot “B” is currently at 96.03 per cent completion, Lot “A” is currently at 91.80 per cent completion.
“Ongoing construction activities of a 130 km x 48” gas pipeline connecting natural gas from the East to the West: OB3 Gas Pipeline Project has progressed to over 90 per cent completion” the corporation disclosed.