State oil company Nigerian National Petroleum Corp lost a total 11.7 million barrels of crude oil to thieves who vandalized its pipelines between 2009 and 2012, a spokesman for the corporation said Thursday.
The crude theft, when vandals hacked into NNPC-operated pipelines that linked oil fields to the four state-owned refineries, amounted to Naira 437.34 billion ($2.73 billion), the spokesman said.
“These facts [production and revenue loses] were presented to members of the House of Representatives yesterday on the state of finances of the NNPC,” the spokesman said.
The crude theft occurred mainly on the Escravos-Warri pipeline carrying crude to the 125,000 b/d Warri refinery, the Shell-Warri pipeline that supplies crude to the 110,000 b/d Kaduna refinery and the Bonny-PHRC line that feeds the 210,000 b/d Port Harcourt refineries.
NNPC had come under parliamentary scrutiny for its failure to remit Naira 142.7 billion to the Federation Account. But the corporation, which manages Nigeria’s interest in joint venture businesses with foreign oil companies including Shell, Chevron and ExxonMobil, said the oil thefts and pipeline vandalism was crippling its operations.
“The lawmakers have agreed to meet with the NNPC over the issue of remittance in two weeks’ time,” the NNPC spokesman said.
Oil theft has prevented Africa’s top producer from fully utilizing its installed capacity of around 3.2 million b/d and caused huge revenue loses, estimated at over $7 billion a year.
Armed gangs continued to tap crude from pipelines either for local refining or to move it in barges for sale to tankers waiting off the coast.
Nigerian armed forces have sought unsuccessfully to crack down on the thieves, prompting President Goodluck Jonathan earlier this year to seek international cooperation in tracking stolen crude into eastern Europe, South America and Asia.
Information from Platts was used in this report.