The Online news media Leadership news paper reports that Nigeria Oil and gas stakeholders proffer solution to curb oil theft, while Nigeria continue to look for solutions towards stemming the huge revenue loss due to pipeline vandalisation , experts spoke on the topic “Exploring Solutions to Asset Security Challenges Faced by the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry at the recently concluded 2014 Nigeria Oil and Gas (NOG) conference and exhibition in Abuja, they have collectively agreed a multi-dimensional approach is needed to curb the menace.
The session which chaired by the senior energy editor, Guardian Newspaper, Collins Olayinka, participants agreed that host communities should also have a sense of ownership and protect pipelines which pass through their communities.
The lead presenter, Roger Brown of IDG Security, adduced that poverty, corruption and community conflict as the key drivers behind the challenge, noted that strong leadership is required to ensure national and industry security.
The general manager, Technical, Pan Oceanic Oil Corporation, Toni Egboh Ezeukwu, stated that the industry must now deploy a new technology that can ensure safety of the pipelines despite the cost, given the harsh operational environment.
“When the existing pipelines were built many years ago, the situation was different. Now the Niger Delta is volatile so we need to move away from the old pipelines and replace them with new technology.”
The national coordinator of the National Coalition on Gas Flaring and Oil Spills in the Niger delta, Rev. Father Edward Obi, thinks that the oil companies and communities cannot only be blamed for the challenge. He stressed that government should find a solution to the menace from the tax it collects from the operating oil companies.
“Government should use the taxes they collect to fix the problem; they cannot just be collecting the taxes and blaming the companies and communities for the challenges being faced,” Obi said.
Similarly, the technical manager, Platform Petroleum, Longfellow Atakele, harped on the need for a multi-stakeholder approach to the challenge while emphasising that the Niger Delta should be developed to give the communities a sense of belonging. However, the managing director of Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Haruna Momoh, stated that disrespect for the law was a major reason behind pipeline vandalism and oil theft.
“The question is if it works in other climes, then why it is not working here. Each time we pump crude, I can tell you that lots of it is stolen. In order climes there is respect for the law, people don’t go near the pipelines, but here some people have no respect for the law,” he said.
Speaking further, Momoh said that if we continue this way, somewhere along the line we may begin to have issues with providing infrastructure and basic amenities, stressing that “we must not allow the few bad ones among us to continue to do this.”
Theft is estimated at 400,000 barrels of oil per day, equating to an estimated revenue loss of about $1.7 billion a month and $20.4 billion annually, Nigeria is said to top the list of countries most plagued by oil theft in the world. The amount stolen represents 7.7 per cent of the nation’s GDP vanishing, or more than the country spends on education and healthcare combined, according to a report by oilprice.com.
The report maintained that “the numbers paint a harsh picture about the inability of the Nigerian government, and the multinational oil companies in the Niger Delta, to do anything about this rampant theft.”
The federal government has repeatedly given assurances of its commitment to end oil theft with the help of the international community. However, progress has barely been made in this regard as the illicit business continues to thrive. The Global Financial Initiative points out that “stolen Nigerian crude oil is transported on internationally registered vessels, sold to international buyers, processed by international oil refineries and paid for using international bank accounts.”
In Lagos hellenicshippingnews reported that Some oil and gas experts urged the federal government to deploy modern technology in combating the activities of crude oil thieves in the Niger Delta area.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that such technology should include Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) and other electronic devices that could indicate that a pipeline was being tampered with.
They also said that such devices gave timely images and reports to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) and other relevant bodies monitoring the pipelines to promptly tackle the problem.
The experts in the industry adding that deploying such electronic monitoring devices would assist in reducing the huge national revenue loss through illegal bunkering of crude oil.
The Managing Director, Tec Flow Oil and Gas Limited, Mr. Simon Francis, said the issue of oil theft was a serious challenge that needed to be dealt with through a new mechanism.
For Inquiries or Request for Quote,
Lubricants, Oil and Gas Chemicals, Welding consumables, fabrication Services
Business Development Executive
Epoxy Oilserv Limited Nigeria
(Shell lubricants Distributor Nigeria)