Why Oil Companies Should Lead Fight Against Crude Oil Theft

Shell OML133 comes to live L-R: Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC), Mele Kolo Kyari; Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Gbenga Komolafe; and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor, at the execution of Production Sharing Contracts for Oil Mining Lease 133 in deep water Nigeria at the NNPC Towers, Abuja

The Federal Government has been shouting over the incredible level of crude oil theft and the attendant loss of revenue, but it looks like it may not win the battle except the oil operators on their put in place the necessary machinery to fight the menace.

One of the reasons why the government would not win the war is because according to industry operators nobody is attempting to do anything to resolve the issue.

They also believe that the agents of government that are directed to stem the tide have been compromised already, so they are helpless.

The current crops of security structure put in place in Niger Delta to fight the course have also become part of the problem, an industry analyst said.

Another reason is that the problem has been long and unattended to, to the extent that it has become an open secret that some of the big boys allegedly involved in crude theft are also said to be part of governments at various levels. Because of this, it is almost impossible for the agents of state to successful execute any program mme that would deter the crude oil thieves without them being frustrated.

Again, government is believed not to have the resources to deploy the necessary technology to fight the problem

On the other hand, the analysts believe it is the operators themselves that can solve the problems through collaborative efforts. “The operators should acquire the required technologies to monitor the pipelines. This could be done through synergy and they would get results.

They blamed the situation on the attitude of the various operators of the pipelines, saying that if the operators are serious they would address the situations. For instance, they said the Trans Niger Delta Pipeline is being operated by Shell, but she is no longer investing in onshore assets, because of this it is not showing enough seriousness on what is happening to the pipelines.

Shoreline controls the Trans Forcadoes pipeline, it can do something perhaps by engaging the young ones responsible for the damages of the pipeline in meaningful.

The Nembe Creek Pipeline owned by Aiteo would not have suffered the same fate with as others if the company was proactive and forward looking.

Some of the industry analysts spoken to by Business Standards believe that except the companies are ready to do something and not waiting for government the situation may remain the same for a long time to come.

Some of the industry analysts believed that problem persist because of the way the companies handle the situation

Abiola  Ajayi, managing director of  Energy and Mineral Resources Limited, said the issue has become a hydra headed problem.

“It’s now an industrial scale theft, with full complicity of many agencies, revamping d security apparatus would be a start. Community connivance is also a problem because most of d actors are known,” he said.

The country in the month of July lost $2.16billion because of its inability to meet the allotted OPEC production quota. Out of this, the Federal Government alone lost $1.5 billion

On the average, the country lost 720,000 barrels per day (bpd), and this did not allow her to meet her daily 1.8 million OPEC production quota.

olusola Bello

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