Nigerian crude oil theft declines by 70 %

Sep 28, 2005 02:00 AM

Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Engr. Funsho Kupolokun, said the volume of crude oil theft in the country has declined to 30,000 bpd (bpd) from 100,000 bpd recorded last year.
Kupolokun said the 70 % reduction in the volume of oil theft through illegal bunkering was the result of the concerted efforts by the Federal Government and its Joint Venture Partners to radically improve the socio-economic environment of the Niger Delta region.

NNPC chief executive made this known while briefing the international oil communities on the experiences and strategies employed in Nigeria for a sustainable relationship with oil producing communities at the ongoing 18th World Petroleum Congress (WPC) in Johannesburg, South Africa.
According to him, Nigerian government and the oil producing companies have developed a vision for the sustainable development of the Niger Delta, which aimed at creating "safe, healthy, thriving and self-reliant communities capable of sustaining their development and where oil and gas companies are valued stakeholders."

To achieve this objective, the Federal Government, he said, among others measures established the Ministry of Environment, created Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), raised the derivation fund to 13 %, began publishing oil accounts as well as monthly allocation to the different states to entrench accountability.
Government, he noted, has also embarked on massive infrastructural development in the Niger Delta (roads, jetties, water supply) and economic interventions by World Bank, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations Development Programme, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Department of International Development (DFID).

Kupolokun said NNPC and the oil joint venture partners have taken steps to improve the environmental, social and economic situation in the region by ensuring strict regulatory standards and compliance, prompt rehabilitation of oil spilled impacted areas, gas flare out and above all, changing their investment strategy from community assistance to sustainable community development.
"As a result of what we are doing in the industry, as a result of the constructive engagement of the Federal Government, as a result of the introduction of the Joint Task Force (JTF), production shut-in, what we called deferment, have reduced drastically.

"Oil theft has reduced from some 100,000 bpd since a year ago to 30,000 bpd. That is significant improvement. So, we are happy with the result we are getting and the communities are responding to the efforts of government and NNPC and its joint venture partners," he said.
He added that the volume of oil spill recorded as a result of vandalisation of pipeline slumped to about 3,000 bpd this year from around 9,000 bpd last year. Kupolokun noted that the oil industry has defined corporate social responsibility to mean a continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and the society at large.

Oil theft in the region hit an all time high of 200,000 bpd in 2003. Coupled with vandalisation of both crude and fuel pipelines and forceful closure of oil production facilities by militants demanding fair share of the oil wealth, Nigeria then lost about $ 1 bn in revenue.
"What that means is that in the past what we had was community assistance, in which case you go to the community and you say that you need this, take it. It is like you are giving him pittance. Then we moved away to community development. Again you say the community needs school, so you go and put school there.”

“What we have not done is to engage the communities. But now, in the last three four years, we have shifted the focus to sustainable community development, where we go to the communities, we sit down with them and find out what are there needs.”
"If we do anything, the community has to own it, they see it as theirs, they believe in it. So I will be the first to agree that we made mistakes in the past," he added.

Source: This Day
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