Robust Security Infrastructure Will Tackle Oil Theft, Says Expert

Emma Okonji

​In view of the massive vandalism and rising cases of oil theft in Nigeria’s oil producing region, the Director of Operations, PPC Limited, Dr. Patrick Ede, has advised the federal government on ways to reduce crude oil theft in the country.

Ede while speaking on the state of the Oil and Gas industry recently, said the regular destruction of pipelines and assets of oil companies by vandals in a bid to siphon crude oil would continue to discourage further investment in the nation’s oil industry, if not addressed.

He noted that many oil investors were shutting down operations in Nigeria as they no longer find oil production profitable within the current situation because of the activities of vandals, adding that some other investors are divesting their interests.

He said vandalisation of oil installations was causing loss of revenue to the government, and had led to massive destruction of pipelines and further making the oil-producing communities inhabitable.

While observing that the breach in oil infrastructure in the country was increasing, Ede proposed a robust virtual and remote monitoring of oil installations and deploying high-end technology, especially in areas where vandals are known to operate.

He said, “These super-intelligent tools will allow security agencies and operatives to monitor the activities of pipeline vandals and oil thieves, gather vital information that will be analysed, stored in the cloud and used to prevent attacks on oil installations before it happens. These tools will also minimise the environmental impact and considerably reduce revenue losses caused by the illegal operation of crude oil thieves. ​ These technologies that have proven to be efficient and useful in other oil producing countries must be adopted to help the government shore up its current Oil & Gas revenue position.

“We need to preserve the country’s natural resources, prevent it from getting into the wrong hands and shore up our revenue.  Some of the pipelines, which are old and vulnerable, need to be replaced to derive value from the operations of security agencies.”

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