Shell expresses fresh concern over oil theft, says Nigeria losing $1.6bn annually
YENAGOA – The Royal Dutch Shell has expressed fresh concern over crude oil theftin Nigeria, saying the country was losing $1.6bn annually to the illegal act.
Shell Petroleum Development Company, the local arm of Shell in Nigeria, said a forced shut down of its Nembe Creek Trunklines, NCTL, in Bayelsa State, has caused a loss of about 150,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
The company its shut down the trunkline due to the activities of oil thieves, specifically, to enable it remove crude oil theft connections, investigate suspected oil theft leaks and effect repairs.
Shell Manager, Government/Community Relations, Evans Krukrubo, whoo spoke at a workshop organised for media practitioners in Yenagoa, said over 90 per cent of its pipelines in the region had been ruptured by suspected oil thieves.
According to him, the shut down of production through the NCTL would impact negatively on Bayelsa’s share revenue from the Federation Account.
Krukrubo, represented at the event by Funkakpo Fufyin, said the recent upsurge in illegal refining business in the Niger Delta should be a major concern to all stakeholders.
“We are not worried by the money lost by Shell, but the harm and destruction unleashed on the environment,” he said, adding that most of the spills in the Niger Delta region could be traced to the activities of crude oil thieves and illegal refinery operators.
Citing Bodo in Rivers State, Imo River, NCTL and offshore of the Niger Delta as major hotspots for oil bunkering and sabotage, Krukrubo urged security agencies and state government to assist oil companies fight the oil thieves and illegal refinery operators.