Senate Constitutes 13-Man Committee to Investigate Oil Theft

April 15, 2022
investigate oil theft

By Adedapo Adesanya

A 13-man committee has been constituted by the President of the Senate, Mr Ahmad Lawan, to investigate oil theft in Nigeria and its impact on petroleum production and oil revenues.

The composition of the panel was announced on Thursday and it is to be headed by Senator Bassey Albert Akpan, with a directive to conclude its probe in one month and then submit findings to the chamber.

Members of the panel are Senators Yusuf A. Yusuf, Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, Kabiru Gaya, Mohammed Adamu Aliero, George Thompson Sekibo, Gabriel Suswam, Kashim Shettima, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, Ali Ndume, Stella Oduah, Sani Musa and Ibrahim Gobir.

Oil theft has become a major discussion in the country with as much as 90 per cent of oil production lost to thieves, according to reports.

Recently, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Mr Mele Kyari, said that Nigeria can only get 3,000 barrels out of 239,000 barrels injected into the pipeline from one of its major oil export terminals, Bonny Terminal.

According to Mr Kyari, the country has lost more than $1.5 billion in the first three months with an indication that this number will continue and exceed the $4 billion recorded last year.

In his words, “Indeed what is happening is massive acts of vandals and thieves on our pipelines that have first made us lose our volume.

“Secondly, it forced us to shut down production. The difference between the current production of 1.49 million and our potential that we can easily do –close to 1.8 million or so—at an independent level is not necessarily stolen and they are not within the reach of ordinary vandals.

“What has been in massive difficulty is the production from the independents and the [Joint Venture] JV. Unfortunately, except for the ExxonMobil production, most of our JV is onshore. This is where we have the challenge.”

He also said the rate of vandalism has forced the NNPC and their JV partners to shut down two production fields.

This is one of the factors not allowing the country to meet its 1.8 million oil production quota with the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+).

In March 2022, Nigeria’s oil production fell further by 1.7 per cent to an average of 1.354 million barrels per day versus the 1.378 million barrels per day produced on average in the month of February 2022.

They have also been attempts by some International Oil Companies (IOCs) to sell their assets in the country over the issue.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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