Nigeria’s Oil, Gas Facilities Must Be Saved, Kyari Tells NUPENG, NARTO, Others

The Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari, is seeking the support of the National Association of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and other stakeholders in the oil and gas sector to tackle crude oil theft in the Niger Delta. He said this, yesterday, at the 5th quadrennial delegates’ conference in Asaba, Delta State.

The conference, themed, ‘Just Energy Transition: For Oil and Gas Workers Social Welfare and Security’, was attended by Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, who was represented by President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba; the Governor of Delta State, who was represented by Deputy Phillip Shuaibu and the Group Executive Director (Upstream), NNPC, Adokiye Tombomieye and other senior government officials.

Crude oil theft has been hurting the revenue of the Federal Government. It also threatens NNPC’s quest for energy security for the country.

A report released last month during a meeting on crude oil theft between the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission and Oil Producers Trade Section, as well as the Independent Petroleum Producers Group, showed that between January 2021 and February 2022, the country lost $3.2 billion.

The amount, when converted by the official N416.25 to a dollar exchange rate, translates to about N1.36 trillion. The report revealed that oil theft rose significantly between 2021 and 2022, with over 90 percent of total crude produced at the Bonny Terminal stolen in January 2022.

Speaking on the development, the NNPC GMD told participants at the conference that the impact of pipeline vandalism has reduced the capacity of the country to meet its production quota.

He lamented that currently, Nigeria is producing less than 1.5 million barrels per day of crude oil. Kyari said, as major stakeholders in the oil and gas business, the time had come for NUPENG and NARTO to collaborate with NNPC in bringing the problem to an end.

He said: “Activities of oil thieves have got to a point we haven’t seen before, almost bringing down this industry to its knees. As we speak, our production total is less than 1.5 million barrels per day. This, no doubt will affect investing companies. They will not have the resources to continue to invest and this will make sustainable employment a challenge.

“That is why all of us must practically come together to see how we can contend with it. There is so much going on. We are leading a process to ensure we intervene in the security matter.”