Nigeria has reported 131 incidents of crude oil theft within a week, as disclosed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited through its official Twitter account on Tuesday, November 14.
The NNPC report outlined various infractions during this period, including 24 illegal connections, 43 illegal refineries, 17 pipeline vandalisms, 23 vessels AIS infractions, 5 wooden boat arrests, 10 vehicle arrests, 4 oil spills, 3 illegal storage sites, and 2 vandalism acts.
Aerial surveillance in the Niger Delta region revealed numerous illicit refineries operating discreetly under tree cover. The incidents occurred across Imo, Abia, Delta, Bayelsa, and Rivers states.
Throughout the week, 21 suspects were apprehended in the affected areas, with 10 crude oil theft incidents in the Deep Blue Water, 33 in the Western region, 43 in the Central region, and 45 in the Eastern region.
The ongoing challenge of crude oil theft significantly impacts oil production and gas output in Nigeria. The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited has maintained a one-year force majeure on the Bonny plant due to crude oil theft, affecting feed gas supply and resulting in the company operating at less than 50 percent of its capacity.
Olu Verheijen, the Special Adviser on Energy to President Tinubu, emphasised the government’s commitment to addressing the crude oil theft menace and environmental issues in the Niger Delta region.
Data obtained from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) for September 2023 indicated the country’s crude oil production reached 1.57 million barrels per day, marking the highest levels.
According to the upstream regulatory body, crude output declined slightly in October to 1.56 mbpd in October, indicating an 0.65 percent drop from the preceding month.