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NNPC calls for special court to prosecute oil theft, laments loss of $1.5bn to vandals

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THE Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has called for the establishment of a special court to prosecute vandals of the country’s oil sector.

The NNPC Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, made the appeal on Thursday, April 7, 2022, when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Upstream).

Kyari disclosed that the country had lost, at least, $1.5 billion oil revenue to oil theft and the operators of illegal refineries in the first quarter of 2022 alone.

He said, “What is going on has nothing to do with the PIA. It is purely an act of thieves, acts of vandals which have rendered the industry unworkable and taken us to the level where today, our production is around 1.49 million barrels per day.

“When you lose about 200,000 barrels per day, even at an average price of $65 per barrel, we lost close to $1bn between January and March. From January till date, we lost an average of 250,000 barrels per day. And at the current price of about $100 to the barrel, even within this short period, we have lost close to $1.5bn.

“The situation deteriorated to the extent that by March 7, 2022, it came to zero and so, we shut down the line and declared a force majeure. Even on our most reliable pipeline, which is the Forcados pipeline, we still lose about 7000 barrels per day. Needless to say that this is all coming as a result of the acts of vandals and oil thieves.”

He, however, assured that there were ongoing synergies among security operatives and host communities to arrest the trend.

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“Many of these illegal refineries are being taken down, and also the insertions are being constantly removed. We believe that these interventions will pay off and we will be able to restore production. And this is centrally coordinated. There is a coordinated action now because we are using a number of strategies, including community-based security outfits,” he said.

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