By Adewale Sanyaolu
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, yesterday, said Nigeria lost about N51.3 billion to petroleum theft in 2015.
Baru made the disclosure when he led a delegation of NNPC top management on a courtesy call to the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonishakin, at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja, to appeal to the Nigerian military to help secure critical oil and gas infrastructure and curb losses incurred by the Corporation due to the nefarious activities of pipeline vandals and oil thieves.
The revenue loss, according to Baru, was due to the activities of pipeline vandals, adding that over 3000 vandalism incidents were recorded every year from 2010-2015, while in 2015 alone, pipeline losses of petrol volume of over 643 million litres were incurred.
‘‘From January to May this year, almost 1,447 cases of pipeline hacking were recorded, resulting to a loss of 109 million litres of petrol and 560,000 barrels of crude oil to refineries, posing a great threat to the nation’s economy and the 2016 federal budget.
“The 2016 budget plan was based on 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil production. However, the budget plan is now grossly impacted due to renewed militancy with about 700,000bpd of oil production curtailed due to pipeline vandalism,’’ he said.
The NNPC GMD noted that domestic natural gas supply to power is equally impacted with an estimated drop of about 50 per cent from 1400 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mmscfd) to barely 700mmscfd resulting to significant power outage exposure of between 2500MW to 3000 MW as a result of direct and indirect impact.
“Along with this menace is the incessant cases of kidnapping of personnel and piracy in areas of operations. Other impacts of these despicable acts include loss of lives, high cost of operations, refinery shut down, fuel crisis and large scale environmental degradation and attendant cost of oil spill clean-ups,’’ he said.
While thanking the Chief of Defence Staff for the laudable and timely creation of Operation Delta Safe and the subsequent appointment of Rear Admiral Okojie as the Commander, Baru called on the CDS to provide support for the NNPC for re-entry into the Chad basin and Benue for resumption of exploration and drilling activities.
He pledged that under his watch as GMD, NNPC is committed to collaborating with CDS and other Government security agencies to emplace lasting solution to eliminate the hemorrhage of losses, revenue deferments, energy and security threats.
Olonishakin in his response said that the Defence Headquarters and the armed forces were duty bound to support and provide the NNPC with all necessary security support because of its strategic role in ensuring the economic survival of the nation.
The CDS promised to accede to the request by the GMD for the DHQ to facilitate and sustain the deployment of relevant military personnel to critical oil and gas locations as the need arises.
On the request for military support to enable the resumption of exploration activities in the Chad Basin, Olonishakin explained that exploration activities will remain on hold until the military concludes ongoing campaign by the Multi-national Joint Task Force designed to cleanse the environment of the activities of insurgents.