Mele Kyari, the group managing director of Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd, has lamented the negative impact of the activities of oil vandals and operators of illegal refineries.
Speaking when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Upstream), on Thursday, he said this has led to the loss of $1.5 billion worth of crude from January till date.
He said the country’s oil sector was recording an all-time low crude oil production of 1.49 million barrels per day due to increase in the activities of vandals and operators of illegal refineries.
“What is going on has nothing to do with the PIA. It is purely an act of thieves; acts of vandals which have rendered the industry unworkable and taken us to the level where today, our production is around 1.49 million barrels per day.”
“When you lose about 200,000 barrels per day, even at an average price of 65 dollars per barrel, we lost close to 1 billion dollars between January and March. From January till date, we lost an average of 250,000 barrels per day and at the current price of about 100 dollars to the barrel, even within this short period, we have lost close to 1.5 billion dollars.
“This situation deteriorated to the extent that by March 7, 2022, it came to zero and so, we shut down the line and declared force Majeure. Even on our most reliable pipeline which is the Forcados pipeline, we still lose about 7000 barrel per day. Needless to say that this is all coming as a result of the acts of vandals and oil thieves,” he said.
Kyari, however, assured the lawmakers that massive joint security operations among agencies were currently ongoing to address the situation.
“Many of these illegal refineries are being taken down and also the insertions are being constantly removed and we believe that these interventions will pay off. And we will be able to restore production. And this is centrally coordinated. There is a coordinated action now because we are using a number of strategies including community based security outfits”, he said.
Kyari said in view of the negative impacts of the activities of the oil vandals on the country’s economy and environment, there was the need to set up a special court to prosecute such cases to ensure speedy dispensation.
Earlier, the Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum (Upstream), Rep. Sarki Ada (APC-Sokoto) said the interface with the NNPC GMD was to ascertain the factors responsible for the decline in country’s oil production with a view to proffering solutions.
He assured that the House would give the necessary support to ensure the menace is addressed in the interest of the country.