Dr Aisha Abdurrahman, former NNPC boss

By Obas Esiedesa

Nigeria’s oil production losses due to production and terminal shut-ins reduced by 70.44 percent in January, 2022, to 2.217 million barrels from 7.5 million barrels in  December, 2021,  a report by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited has disclosed.

The figures reported by the NNPC Limited to the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting in March, 2022 show highest losses were recorded in Odudu at 1.05 million barrels with the Corporation attributing the losses to maintenance work at Odudu and Ima that led to shut-in at Okwori producing well.

It was followed by Onescree where loss of 420,000 barrels was recorded due to funding challenges. The Brass terminal recorded 325,750 barrels shut-in which was blamed on sabotage on the Tebidaba and Ogbaibiri flow stations.

Also, the Corporation reported that Escravos recorded 306,200 barrels shut-in during the month caused by the south swamp community crisis resulting in the loss of 9,000 barrels per day. It explained that a flow line was also damaged by Delta Champion barge leading to a loss of about 1,700 barrels per day.

At the Forcados terminal, 60,959 barrels were lost after SPDC declared a force majeure. Other affected terminals were Bonga 22,612 barrels, Aje 21,000 barrels and Ajapa 11,000 barrels. 

The Federal Government and oil industry operators had last week lamented losses to thieves and vandals, warning that the sector was facing existential threat.

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) at a meeting with stakeholders disclosed that about $3.27 billion worth of oil has been lost to vandalism in the past 14 months.

The Commission disclosed also that most of the crude oil losses came from Bonny Terminal Network, Forcados Terminal Network and Brass Terminal Network.

The Chief Executive of NUPRC, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe said the government was determined to end the menace so that the country can benefit from the rising price of oil and also to protect the environment from oil spills.

Komolafe explained that the meeting with the stakeholders “arose out of the concern of the Commission to get the opinions of the stakeholders especially the investors, the OPTS (Oil Producers Trade Section of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce) and the independent producers.’’

On their part, the International Oil Companies and the Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG) said the cases of oil theft have become an organized crime.

The Chairman/Managing Director of ExxonMobil, Richard Laing who represented OPTS explained that he described the activities of the vandals as an organized crime because of the scale and technology involved.

He said: “When I say organized criminality, the sophistication of the engineering involved points toward a degree of sophistication and technology and then the distribution. I think we just need to be honest and accept that this is not just theft but something more”.

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