NNPC Launches App To Monitor Crude Oil Theft, Pipeline Vandalism

In a bid to curb the menace of oil theft in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.) has launched an application for the monitoring of crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism.

The cooperation launched the Application in Abuja at the signing of renewed Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) agreements between NNPC and its partners in Oil Mining Leases, according to NAN.

Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), NNPC Ltd. While speaking during the launch, noted that the actions of vandals on pipelines have become a difficult thing to deal with.

The app called ‘Crude Theft Monitoring Applications’ was created for members of host communities and other Nigerians to report incidents of oil theft.

Mr Kyari said the cooperation partners were engaged, alongside government regulatory bodies, security agencies and host communities while putting up a robust framework to curtail the menace.

“There are still ongoing activities of oil thieves and vandals on our pipelines and assets, very visible in the form of illegal refineries that are continuously put up in some locations and insertions into our pipeline network.

Mele Kyari, GMD NNPC

“Arrests have been made and vessels have been arrested by the Nigerian Navy, I commend the Armed forces, in the last three months, they have done substantive work and had destroyed some illegal refineries,” he said.

Kyari noted that international refineries will be held responsible if they fail to buy crude from credible sources that are validated.

”If they refused to do that, they would be held responsible as part of the culprits involved,” he said.

Kyari said companies must endeavour to report suspicious sales even on the international arena.

Mr Kyari said, ”Every product that left the country must have a unique registration number by the NNPC and validated by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).

“Ahead of this, we are also creating a platform where end-users, particularly refiners and traders can validate the product.

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“We cannot do this without international collaboration. It is impossible for any refinery to take a crude they do not know the source, refineries are designed to process certain specific grade of crude.

“It is their duty to ensure that they validate this, because we have unique number of every crude that leaves this country.”

Speaking further he said “We have visibility around everyone’s operations and the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) is following everyone related to those transactions.

“Wherever there is massive movement of cash, EFCC will follow the person, we believe that the combination of all these will get us back to normalcy,”

Activities of saboteurs and crude oil thieves have become the bane of the oil industry in Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, making it impossible for the country to meet up with its Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)’s quota in recent years.

Nigeria has been experiencing some of the worst crude oil theft in its history with millions of dollars lost daily. There have been several allegations of complicity levelled against security agencies following the increasing incidents of crude oil theft.

Oil theft which can also be referred to as illegal bunkering, and not a new menace in the oil and gas industry, has become quite brazen and risen to an alarming level, with some oil companies disclosing that they lose between 80% and 95% of their crude oil production to the activities of these oil thieves.

Due to crude oil theft, Nigeria lost a staggering $1 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2022, endangering the economy of Africa’s top producer, according to Gbenga Komolafe, the head of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory.

A former Managing Director/Chief Executive of the biggest Indigenous oil exploration and production company, Seplat Energy Plc, Austin Avuru, had earlier this year warned that Nigeria’s oil production has reached an emergency critical status, stating that some oil production wells don’t get to see 80% of production making it to the terminals due to oil theft.

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