Nigeria has lost four million barrels of oil from the disturbed Nembe Creek Trunk Line in 2019.
This is the figure given by Victor Okonkwo, Managing Director of Aiteo, at a week-long conference organised by the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The figure does not tally with the 61 days of shutdown the company said in a statement that it had recorded on the pipeline, which carries 200,000 barrels of oil daily, so far in 2019.
Okonkwo said security agencies had up to the point of his presentation, failed to arrest any of the ‘crude oil thieves’ identified and reported.
He said, “Despite our efforts in raising NCTL uptime from 60 to over 80 per cent since acquisition, we have recorded more shutdown days in operations due to third party infractions for over two months this year compared to previous years.
“This has resulted in loss of revenue and deferments estimated at about four million barrels so far this year.
“Also worrying is the amount of crude loss recorded even when the pipeline is operational, usually in the range of 25 to 35 per cent.
“More worrying is that even when the perpetrators of these acts are caught and handed over to security agencies, we are yet to witness any conviction.”
Speaking further, Okonkwo stated that the challenge with operating the line had not stopped it from investing N3.6bn on community development projects.
He added, “Despite all these challenges, we have kept our commitment to NCDMB, paying up to N1.52bn in fees and N1.5bn as NDDC levies.
“In addition, Aiteo has spent over N3.6bn in community support programs and projects; offered jobs to thousands of Nigerians and intentionally led inclusive participation of indigenous contractors in our business operations.”
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, said Nigeria’s resources were being depleted by a high cost of producing a barrel of petroleum relative to the margins in other OPEC member-states.
He disclosed that he would reduce the cost of production in crude oil exploration by five per cent.