Agip, Bayelsa govt, unite against oil thieves
YENEGOA – The Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and Bayelsa State government have commenced talks on measures to curtail oil theft in the state, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
NAOC told the meeting, initiated by Bayelsa State government, that it was forced to suspend operations in May due to the high incidence of oil theft, as it was recording a loss of 20,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
According to the company, the discussion would explore ways to tackle the menace.
NAN reported that Bayelsa State deputy governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (retd), representatives of NAOC and surveillance contractors engaged by the company to tackle oil theft, attended the meeting.
He said the menace was impacting adversely on the economy of the nation, which was dependent on crude oil export.
The Federal Government, he said, was worried over the situation and was making efforts to ensure the menace was curtailed.
The deputy governor also expressed concern over the damage done to the nation’s environment following activities of international oil companies operating in the Niger Delta.
He said the Federal Government had constituted a committee, headed by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State, to deal with the issue of crude oil theft.
In his remark, the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Energy, Mr Francis Ikio, said that oil theft required complex skill found only in the oil sector.
He urged international oil companies to look inwards, adding that oil thieves were likely to be insiders.
In his comment, Mr Albert Ijuwe, an official of NOAC, commended the Bayelsa State government for its efforts to combat oil theft.
He said the menace had compelled the oil firm to stop production to effect repairs on 162 leakage points on its pipeline network in Bayelsa.
He said that the development had led to a production loss of 20,000 barrels per day since May 2013.
– NIGERIAN TRIBUNE