According to NEITI, Nigeria documented 7,143 pipeline vandalism cases in five years, costing N471 billion in repairs.
According to Dr. Ogbonnaya Orji, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), this is the case.
Dr. Orji made the remarks while delivering a keynote lecture on pipeline security, oil theft, and the implications for economic growth at the 2023 International Pipeline Technology and Security Conference, which is now taking place in Abuja.
According to him, Nigeria recorded 7,143 incidences of pipeline breakdown and deliberate vandalism between 2017 and 2021, resulting in crude theft and product losses of 208.639 million barrels valued at $12.74 million, or N4.325 trillion.
During the same time period, Nigeria spent N471. 493 billion on repairs and maintenance.
He also stated that the NEITI has made available empirical data on oil theft and losses totaling 619.7 million barrels of crude worth $46.16 billion, or N16.25 trillion, between 2009 and 2020.
From 2009 to 2018, Nigeria lost 4.2 billion liters of petroleum products from refineries, valued at $1.84 billion, at a pace of 140,000 barrels per day.
So, between 2009 and 2020, the entire amount of petroleum losses exceeded the size of the country’s foreign reserves and was about ten times Nigeria’s oil savings in the Excess Petroleum Account.
He further stated that crude oil theft in Nigeria is primarily committed through pipeline clamping and four other methods.
NEITI’s reports over the years, he claims, as well as recent insights from their membership in the Special Investigative Panel on Oil Theft and Losses, have led them to believe that oil theft is mostly committed by pipeline clamping, as well as:
Pipelines with illegal connections (ICs)
Exploitation of decommissioned oil wellheads
Vandalism of critical national assets is being used to unlawfully siphon petroleum into waiting tankers stationed at crucial terminals.
He went on to say: “From NEITI’s 2021 Oil and Gas Industry Report released recently, the sector accounted for 72.26% of Nigeria’s total exports and the government’s foreign exchange, 40.55% of government revenue, and provided 19,171 jobs. “It is undeniable that, despite strategic contributions, the country has yet to reap the full benefits of its oil and gas resources due to oil theft and losses caused by pipeline vandalism, pipeline integrity compromise, blatant sabotage, and regional unrest.”
Dr. Orji emphasized the fundamental need for addressing oil theft and pipeline vandalism, adding that doing so is critical for rebuilding industry trust, restoring investor confidence, and promoting economic progress.
He stressed that oil theft and losses in Nigeria have reached a crisis level, posing a serious threat to oil exploration and extraction.