N153.5bn lost to oil theft in one year –NNPC

The Federal Government lost a total of N153.504 billion to the crude theft in the last one year as the menace surged with renewed militancy in the Niger Delta.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) disclosed this in its monthly financial report for March 2016.

The corporation said that pipeline repairs and management associated with vandalism and militancy cost the country N95.118 billion.

According to the NNPC report, until May when the government removed subsidy, N249.329 billion was expended on subsidy payments between April last year and March 2016.

Noting that the country’s annual losses to crude theft rose to N153.5 billion, the NNPC added that Nigeria also lost N12.566 billion in one month to pipeline vandalism and oil theft.

The study also put the value of petroleum products lost in the reviewed month at N1.757 billion, while crude oil loss amounted to N5.94 billion.

According to the NNPC, the sum of N4.87 billion was spent on pipeline repairs and management in the same period.

A breakdown of the figures showed that between April 2015 and March 2016, N15.456 billion was lost to crude oil theft, while N42.93 billion was lost due to petroleum products losses.

Militants’ restiveness has intensified in recent times.

The 48-inch Forcados Oil Terminal Export line was vandalised last February.

This crippled the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) and all Joint Venture (JV) partners’ ability to export crude oil from the terminal and pipeline blow-ups have been on the increase too.

The NNPC report said that 3,153 vandalised points were recorded within the same period, noting that crude oil and petroleum products’ theft have become major drain pipes to the nation’s treasury.

“N249.329 billion was expended on subsidy payments between April last year and March 2016,” the corporation stated.

The NNPC, however, earned N918.8 billion from crude oil sales within the same period.

The state-owned oil firm, according to the report, earned a total of N69.544 billion from the total sales receipt from domestic sale of crude oil and gas.

On the operational mechanism, it stated that: “NNPC leadership is already addressing the corporation’s key business and operational challenges, as well as currently undergoing a comprehensive restructuring exercise aimed at repositioning it for efficiency, profitability and value creation for the common good of the corporation and its stakeholders.”

The crude theft, the NNPC report explained, increased with militancy in the Niger Delta.

Oil giant, Shell, last Friday confirmed attack and signs of a leak on the 48-inch Forcados export pipeline at a location between shoreline and the Forcados terminal in the western Niger Delta.

The subsidiary of the company in Nigeria, Shell Petroleum Development Company, operator of the SPDC JV, said the leaks came on the heels of a reported attack on the pipeline in the early hours of Friday, June 3.

“We are yet to fully evaluate the potential impact and damage to the pipeline resulting from this latest incident,” the SPDC’s spokesperson, Precious Okolobo, said.

“We have, however, mobilised appropriate oil spill response measures and will be conducting a joint investigation visit to the leak site with relevant stakeholders.

“We are currently focused on securing the pipeline to protect the environment. Given this latest incident and the wider security situation in the Niger Delta, we are unable to determine probable timing of resumption of exports from the Forcados terminal,” he added.

The company is the operator of the export line on behalf of the joint venture partners comprising NNPC (55%), SPDC (30%), Total E&P Nigeria Ltd (10%) and Nigerian Agip Oil Company (5%).