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How NNPC plans to stop crude oil theft with app

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited on Friday launched an applications platform to monitor crude oil theft in the country.

The company launched the app in Abuja at the signing of renewed Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) agreements between NNPC and its partners in oil mining leases.

The platform ‘Crude Theft Monitoring Applications’ according to NNPC Limited was created for members of host communities and other Nigerians to report incidents of oil theft and get rewarded.

The Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPC Limited, Mele Kyari, had in April disclosed that Nigeria lost $4 billion to oil theft at the rate of 200,000 barrels per day in 2021.

He said the country already lost $1.5 billion so far in 2022 because pipeline vandalism has escalated. Mr Kyari said the country was losing 95 per cent of oil production to oil thieves at Bonny Terminal, Rivers State.

The federal government in its recent draft fiscal strategy paper for 2023 through 2025, presented by the Minister of Finance, Budget & National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said that oil revenue underperformed due to significant production shortfalls such as shut-ins resulting from pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft.

Speaking at the launch Friday, Mr Kyari said “the actions of vandals on pipelines have become a difficult thing to deal with. There are still ongoing activities of oil thieves and vandals on our pipelines and assets, very visible in the form of illegal refineries that are continuously put up in some locations and insertions into our pipeline network.

“Arrests have been made and vessels have been arrested by the Nigerian Navy, I commend the Armed forces, in the last three months, they have done substantive work and have destroyed some illegal refineries.

“First, we have created a platform where members of the community and other Nigerians can report whenever incidents of theft occur and also reward them, and keep it confidential and private.

– “We at the NNPC will guarantee absolute privacy on any such report that comes and I’m directly managing this myself as no one will be exposed.”

Mr Kyari urged companies to report suspicious sales even in the international arena.

“Secondly, on an international scale, companies must report suspicious sales of crude. Every oil that leaves this country has a unique registration number that is issued by the NNPC and also validated by the OPEC commission. And I know that the destination reporting framework has been put up by the Commission,” he said.

“Ahead of this, we are also creating a platform where end-users, particularly investors and traders, can validate the crude they are handling from Nigeria as their only source. And whenever they have no validation report, then they must world.

“If they don’t do this, as I always say, our companies are international, which means they are part of the riggers and whenever we discover this, we will take necessary actions against them.

“And I’m sure that our partners will cooperate with us, to make sure that this is done. That way we know that we are looking at the market and also curtailing our local issues.

“To ensure that we respond to this situation and this also, we can’t do without government engagement and involvement, particularly government security agencies and also members of the community.

“We have put up a very robust framework for ensuring that we curtail this menace and we are already seeing results. Needless to say, there are still ongoing activities of vandals in our pipelines or oil thieves on our assets.

“This is very visible in the form of illegal refineries that are continuously put up in some locations and also insertions into our pipelines network. We are reacting to it, we are doing many things surrounding it. There are massive actions by our government agencies just to make it clear to us,” he said.

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