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Kyari Deserves Commendation For Ensuring Protection For NNPC’s Operational Assets And Personnel

By Adewole Kehinde

This week, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari and his top management team paid courtesy visit to the Defence Headquarters in Abuja.

The purpose of the visit was to commend the security agencies for their support and called for more protection for NNPC’s operational assets and personnel.

During the visit, Kyari disclosed that though petroleum products theft on the System 2B Pipeline has reduced considerably due to support from the security agencies even though the nation was still losing about 200,000 barrels of crude oil daily to theft and vandalism.

“We have two sets of losses, one coming from our products and the other coming from crude oil. In terms of crude losses, it is still going on. On the average, we are losing 200,000 barrels of crude every day,” Mallam Kyari stated.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Lucky Irabor also promised to galvanize the military to provide maximum security for the nation’s oil and gas assets.

It will be recalled that a report published by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has revealed that crude oil and refined products worth $41.9 billion have been stolen in Nigeria since 2009.

Concern is currently at an all time high as the country’s revenue continues to dwindle due to the relentless activities of oil thieves who steal up to 200,000 barrels per day according to Mele Kyari.

Although before Kyari took over as the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), over 400,000 barrels per day are stolen by oil thieves.

It is a well know fact that the actual bunkering is done by unemployed youths and militants in the Niger Delta. Worse still is that some observers’ say the sophisticated technology, logistics and financial muscle required for such a vast scale of theft means that it could not take place without complicity at the highest levels.

In other words, what the youths are purported to be stealing is child’s play in comparison to the theft that is perpetrated by very powerful; very well funded cabals that drill holes in the pipelines to siphon the oil and ship it off for sale. Therefore, it is all well and good for the perpetrators at the bottom of the food chain to be apprehended by the efforts of the Military.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Department of Petroleum Resources must be commended for monitoring and reporting how much crude oil is produced and lifted from the wellheads and terminals through an automated metering system put in place in all the oil terminals and wellheads.

The technology has ensured scientific and precision metering of oil and gas flows at any point in the oil and gas supply chain such as the wellhead, the flow station, the manifold and even at the export terminal.

The availability of reliable baseline information and data on the actual quantity of crude either lost through theft, bunkering or pipeline vandalism is another commendable gesture from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

It is the precise data collated at the different stages in the oil and gas infrastructure that informed the regulatory authorities to the actual gross liquids and the hydrocarbon mass balance. This information has definitely helped in identifying areas that are notorious for oil theft and inform the strategies for stemming such theft where necessary.

In conclusion, dealing with oil theft is undoubtedly a thorny issue. Therefore the visit of Mele Kyari and his Management Team to the Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Lucky Irabor is a commendable step which needs to be followed through, as several quarters hold the belief that oil theft is lucrative because thieves find it easy to steal crude with the aid of some Military personnel backing them.

Adewole Kehinde is the Publisher of Swift Reporters based in Abuja and can be reached via 08166240846, 08123608662

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