•NNPC signs MoU with Ghana, Gambia, Guinea Bissau oil firms
By Dapo Akinrefon
THE Nigerian Navy, yesterday, denied a media report indicting the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL, of crude oil theft, noting that it has been working with NNPCL to curb the menace of crude oil theft.
Meanwhile, NNPCL, yesterday, signed five Memoranda of Understanding, MoU, with the national oil companies and relevant entities of five African countries on the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline Project.
The five national oil companies and relevant entities are from Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone.
The Navy, in a statement by its Director of Information, Commodore Ayo Vaughan, faulted a publication in a newspaper publication on the matter.
The statement reads: “The attention of the Naval Headquarters, Abuja has been drawn to a publication on the said matter. The said statement was purportedly made at an interactive hearing before the Senate Committee on Economic and Financial Crimes, EFCC, during which the relevant agencies implementing the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act, 2022 briefed the committee at the National Assembly.
“The report indicated that the chairman of the committee, demanded explanations on why the country continued to experience cases of oil theft if the waterways were secured. The Senator had queried that, “the oil theft issue has been a very worrisome one to every Nigerian and more importantly, it has negatively impacted our economy. How come the Navy hasn’t been able to solve the issue of oil theft and if the Navy is claiming that the waterways are secured, why are there still cases of oil theft?”
“Equally, it was mentioned that another Senator noted that at an oversight function, the NNPCL said crude pipelines were being tapped from the pressure pipe under sea and crude oil was usually transferred from there into vessels, and this has been happening for nine years. He reportedly asked, “Is the Navy aware or not of the taping going on under the sea?”
“The questions were all responded to and in the course of responding, it was explained that the challenge was due to the criminal activity inshore by the illegal local refiners in tapping into the export lines, many of which have not been in operation since early this year, 2022 resulting in opportunity lost.
“Also, the major terminals have not been able to process crude for export since around February/March and this inability to process as export is reported as stolen oil since it is practically impossible to steal and move 100,000 barrels per day out of the creeks.”
NNPC signs MoU with Ghana, Gambia, Guinea Bissau oil firms
The signing ceremony, which held, yesterday, in Morocco was attended by the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Ltd, Mele Kyari; General Director of Morocco’s National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines, Dr Amina Benkhadra; Managing Director of the Gambia National Petroleum Corporation, GNPC, Gambia, Mr. Baboucarr Njie and General Director of PETROGUIN- Guinea Bissau, Celedonio Placido Viera,
Also in attendance were Director General of the National Company of Oil, SONAP, in Guinea, Mr. Amadou Doumbouya; Mr. Foday B.L. Mansaray II, Director-General of Petroleum Directorate of Sierra Leone, PDSL, and Dr Ben K.D Asante, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Gas Company.
Speaking at the event, Kyari commended the NNPC’s partners ONHYM, who have diligently worked with the NNPC Limited all through the years, to bring the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline Project to limelight.