Nigeria’s oil revenue suffers further blow as 180,000 bpd Trans-Niger pipeline runs dry due to oil theft

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An oil pipeline which is capable of moving 180,000 barrels of crude every day across Nigeria, has stopped transporting the product since the middle of June as a result of theft.

This further brings to the fore the numerous unresolved incidents of crude oil theft, which has become a major challenge in the upstream sector of the industry, which some stakeholders have referred to as organized crime.

According to Bloomberg, an insider who is knowledgeable about the matter but wishes to remain anonymous said that the Trans-Niger pipeline has not yet been officially closed with the communication bandwidth estimated to be about 15% of Nigeria’s latest average daily production output.

  • Activities of saboteurs and crude oil thieves have become the bane of the oil industry in Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, making it impossible for the country to meet up with its Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)’s quota in recent years.
  • Nigeria has been experiencing some of the worst crude oil theft in its history with millions of dollars lost daily. There have been several allegations of complicity levelled against security agencies following the increasing incidents of crude oil theft.
  • The Federal Government had revealed that Nigeria lost about $1 billion in revenue to pipeline vandals and oil thieves in the first quarter of 2022.
  • Oil theft which can also be referred to as illegal bunkering, and not a new menace in the oil and gas industry, has become quite brazen and risen to an alarming level, with some oil companies disclosing that they lose between 80% and 95% of their crude oil production to the activities of these oil thieves.
  • A former Managing Director/Chief Executive of the biggest Indigenous oil exploration and production company, Seplat Energy Plc, Austin Avuru, had earlier this year warned that Nigeria’s oil production has reached an emergency critical status, stating that some oil production wells don’t get to see 80% of production making it to the terminals due to oil theft.
  • The Nigerian Association of Senior Petroleum and Natural Gas Officials said in March that TNP was illegally involved in about 150 locations when local authorities checked some of the areas where the theft took place.
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