June 22, 2024

NIGERIA Global News

Oil thefts and Pipelines Vandalism Rocks Niger Delta as Nigeria Bemoans A Record-Low Oil Production

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A mind-blowing quantity of oil above two hundred and forty thousand (240,000) barrels of oil daily cannot today be accounted for by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

 

This quantity, which is more than the daily oil production of some OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) Nations like Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, has gone missing as Nigeria’s production reduced from 1.39 million barrels of oil per day recorded in February to 1.15 million barrels per day now.

 

The Group Managing Director/CEO of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari has indicated over the weekend that the alarming increase in the rate of oil thefts and pipeline Vandalization is culpable for the decline in the Nation’s oil production strength.

 

The fall in production is unarguably a big blow to the Nation’s economy as it does not only affects the geometry of the Nation’s income in petrol dollars but also falls ridiculous below the requirements in funding the 2022 Budget which was benchmarked at 1.88 million barrels per day of Oil Production.

 

This shocking revelation follows the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited’s laudable declaration that it has strengthened its digitalization and standardization efforts, further disclosing that the Company would be exclusively commercial by July 1, 2022.

 

Speaking in Abuja at the launch of the platform on April 1, Mallam Mele Kyari was quoted as saying “As we speak now, there is a massive disruption to our operations as a result of the activities of vandals and criminals along our pipelines in the Niger Delta area. This has brought down our production levels as low as we have never seen before.

 

“Today, we are doing less than 1.15 million barrels per day simply because some criminals decided that they should have some infractions on our pipelines. That is the biggest form of business disruption that we are facing today and this kind of engagement, the certifications that we have today around our systems and processes  should be able to respond to this, and part of the response is to bring in the best framework possible to contain the situation.”

 

According to historical figures, Nigerian Oil production was reported at 1.417 million barrels per day in February 2022 which records a decrease from the previous number of 1.427 million barrels per day for January 2022.

 

The production data reached an all-time high of 2.496 million barrels per day in November 2005 and an initial record low of 1.279 million barrels per day in December 2021. Production data is updated monthly, averaging 1.925 million barrels per day from January 2002 to February 2022.

 

With regards to this analysis, it is evident that Nigerian Oil production rates since December 2021 have been on an imbalance slope. Hence a record-low output has been observed.

 

Oil theft and vandalism in any form have become a cliche in the Nigerian business space as lots of stories have been published over time indicating the acts of oil loots and Pipelines vandalism.

 

In Reaction to this record low production of oil, the General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye while delivering a sermon during the church’s monthly thanksgiving service stressed that the increasing habits of Oil thefts will push the Country into Bankruptcy. He further backed up his statement with media facts that about 80 percent of Nigeria’s oil production capacity is being stolen, and that the nation could as well be headed towards bankruptcy if the situation is not well managed.

 

He said “It is in the news and nobody has denied it that as of now more than 80 percent of the oil we are producing is being stolen. That leads me to several questions.

 

“Who is stealing the oil? Where is the money going? What do they want to do with the money? Who are the foreign Nations buying this stolen oil? How many of these nations of the world are your friends?

 

“We are borrowing money and according to a friend of mine, we are moving steadily towards a state of bankruptcy, a whole nation.”

 

The attitude of the government in securing the Delta region has been unstable for a while. Despite the oil richness of the Niger Delta area, it has always been a wrestling ground between the government and the local citizens. While these local citizens live in poverty, the government and foreign oil corporations continue to reap the benefits of oil Production. This has been the main reason for pipeline vandalization.

 

With the increase in the oil theft rate, Nigeria records 193 million barrels of oil deficits in 11 months. This could be calculated into $3.5 billion of revenue lost to crude oil theft in 2021 only, which is about 10% of the country’s foreign reserve. The atrocities committed in this oil sector are worth investigating since petroleum products cover about 85% of our total export revenue and Nigeria’s overreliance on oil is unmeasurable.

 

Indeed if these acts of oil thefts and Pipelines vandalism keep up, the country could realistically be headed towards bankruptcy as said by Pastor Enoch Adebayo. Who these criminals are, how they execute their criminal acts, and solutions to end these acts should be the next line of action!

 

 

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