Figures of crude oil theft highly inflated, says naval chief


Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, has declared that there has been a significant misinformation in the determination of how much Nigeria is losing to crude oil theft, because losses due to other factors are often lumped together as oil theft.

Gambo, who spoke on a Channels Television programme monitored in Lagos, noted that the losses are then blamed on security agencies, maintaining that Nigerians needed to understand and properly situate the difference between oil theft and oil losses.

“While oil theft is siphoning oil from vandalised pipes into barges, oil losses occur when there are visible production issues, especially during shutting down of production and _force ma’jeure_, as the Federal Government does not earn the desired revenue.

“Losses also occur from metering errors on operating platforms as read, but the volume of crude oil shot-ins from non-production is often added to them as oil losses, which should not be,” he explained.

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Citing earlier reports that between 200,000 barrels of crude oil were being stolen daily in Nigeria, Gambo said: “About 100,000 barrels of crude oil is the equivalent of 15.3 million litres of crude oil that require a five-ton barge and 3,166 trips to convey such volume to a mother vessel within a day. Most of the claims are definitely outrageous and unrealistic.”

He insisted even if there were enough barges to do so, it is very unlikely given the increased presence of security forces in the creeks and estuaries, as well as the substring operations specifically targeted at the type of criminal activity.

Oil thieves

_The Trumpet_ recalled that the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited recently announced that Nigeria was losing $1.9 billion to oil theft monthly, while International Oil Company (IOCs) operating in Nigeria have continuously expressed their frustration over the escalating oil losses in the Niger Delta region due to the activities of oil thieves.

While the Federal Government, through the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, announced that the government would soon unveil the identity of those behind the oil theft in Nigeria that had not happened as of the time of going to press.

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