…it is hurting Nigerian economy
The increase in crude oil theft in the first quarter of 2022 has caused the nation $1 billion in revenue loss, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has said.
According to the oil giant which has expressed concern over the matter, it stated that crude oil theft increased to108,000 barrels per day (bpd) in Q1 2022, from 103,000 bpd in 2021.
“Crude oil theft remains a major challenge affecting the Nigerian economy,” stated.
Igo Weli, Head, Corporate Relations, Nigeria and Director SPDC of Nigeria Limited, on Tuesday in Port Harcourt, expressed the frustration of the company during an engagement with journalists on ‘Crude Theft, Pipeline Vandalism and Illegal Refineries.’
The Shell boss who noted how Nigeria had deteriorated to the level it was, described crude oil theft as an organised crime fully funded by prominent and experienced individuals in the society.
He stated that Shell operates in over 70 countries, but the multinational has never experienced the level of sabotage it has seen on its facilities in Nigeria.
According to Weli, SPDC is not leaving Nigeria, as it still has future with the country. He regretted that if all the international oil companies (IOCs) leave Nigeria, it would affect the economy worse than it is experiencing.
Weli said, “You hear a lot of people clamouring for clean-up of Niger Delta, the point I am making is simple, that people should make the end-to-end link between their actions and the impact.
“If over 90 percent spills are caused by people with axe, saws and even explosive weapons, then you are creating a problem that will eat up the budget you would have used for education, health, etc.
“If you break pipes and the pipes leads to spills and it is very expensive to clean up and the government had to clean up for the environment to be safe for us, then you channel resources needed for other things to that. But it is avoidable.
“There is a mess in the environment which is robbing everybody. And as Nigerians, people who are interested in the future of this country, that should be the focus. How do we stop that mess? That mess has caused to our currency losing value.”
Speaking further, he said, “what we (Shell) do in Nigeria to protect our resources, we don’t do anywhere else in the world. The company is in over 70 countries and we are suffering such level of attack from only one country, sometimes lined up litigations”.
Speaking on SPDC going onshore, Weli stressed that the company was pushing hard onshore to get all the community committed.
While commending effort of the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike in tackling the issues of illegal refining activities and soot pollution in the state, Weli urged, “governments at all levels to help stop crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism.”
In his presentation, John Okojie, Lead, Right of Way and Encroachment, SPDC, noted that the biggest problem in oil industry was crude theft.
He said to ensure the control of the sabotage and ensure safe environment, Shell has continued to collaborate with communities effectively through direct surveillance and GMoU surveillance.
He added that the company also proactively engages Government Security Agencies (GSAs) to prevent crude oil theft, illegal refineries and pipeline vandalism.
On his part, Usman Anibasa who spoke on, “crude oil theft and illegal, refining: Implication for Remediation and Environment,” disclosed that crude oil theft increased to 108,000 bpd in Q1 2022, from 103,000 bpd in 2021.
Anibasa explained that, “$1 billion was lost in Nigeria’s Q1 revenue to crude oil theft.”