NNPC Weekly: Buhari moves to end crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism

The minister said that the days of oil vandals and oil thieves were numbered as efforts would be intensified to stop their criminal activities.

President Muhammadu Buhari


The weekly activities of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.) started with a move by President Muhammadu Buhari to end crude oil theft in the country.


To this end, Buhari ordered the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva and the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, to halt the worsening state of crude oil theft across the country.


The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Mr Gbenga Komolafe and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, were also told to join the fight against oil thieves.


Speaking during an assessment tour of the Niger Delta, Sylva described the perpetrators as criminals, and said that the deployment of top stakeholders by Buhari was to underscore the importance of the situation.


The minister said that the days of oil vandals and oil thieves were numbered as efforts would be intensified to stop their criminal activities.


He said that government would no longer afford these activities, assuring that stringent action would soon be taken against the criminal elements.


According to the minister, there are three elements to the solution of the extant problem, including the communities.


Sylva said that since the perpetrators were from communities, the host communities needed to be involved in finding a lasting solution to the menace.


He tasked all stakeholders, including the security agencies and the operating companies on the urgent need to take the president’s order seriously and bring the menace to an end.


NNPC GMD/CEO, Malam Mele Kyari


On his part, the GMD/CEO of NNPC Ltd, Malam Mele Kyari stated that the government had concluded plans to move against oil bunkering, pipeline vandalism and illegal activities threatening the country’s oil sector.


He noted that the government would leave no stone unturned to arrest the increasing spate of oil theft and destruction of the environment which had cost the country foreign exchange earnings.


Kyari said that the team which visited various sites where illegal oil refineries were being carried out was on a mission to ensure that illegal oil refining and theft of crude oil was halted.


At Ibaa, Emeoha Local Government of Rivers State, the team ordered the destruction of several illegal sites.


The NNPC’s helmsman said the country can no longer afford to see her oil illegally exploited and stolen, while assuring that the strategy being adopted would finally arrest the situation.


He commended the efforts of the security team to stop the perpetrators of the heinous act from denying the country of the much needed resources for economic development.


The trip and subsequent actions were necessitated by the public outrage against the massive stealing of Nigeria’s crude oil which had robbed the country of huge revenue.


In a recent presentation to both the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and the GMD/CEO of the NNPC during the working visit, former chairman of the Independent Petroleum Producers’ Group (IPPG), Isah AbdulRasaq said that oil producers have been struggling with the incidence of crude oil theft which were unprecedented.


AbdulRasaq who lamented the escalating cost of security in the operations said between 15 per cent and 90 per cent of losses from oil theft in the last six months were from the eastern axis.


He called for the launching of major offensive against crude oil thieves and an executive private sector driven pipeline security initiatives.


Crude oil theft assumed an alarming proportion and was having a debilitating effect on government revenue and the fight should not be left to the stakeholders alone.


The support and cooperation of all Nigerians was required to bring the nefarious activity to an end.


In another development, the Federal Government applauded the transfer of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 11 from the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).


The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said this at the Exit Agreement Sign-Off ceremony in Abuja to signal the formal ceding of OML 11 to NPDC by SPDC.


Sylva who said the move would yield more revenue to the federation account, expressed satisfaction with the process leading to the resolution.


He said that all the issues that hindered the asset from operation in the past 20 years had been settled for the benefit of all Nigerians.


NNPC GMD, Malam Mele Kyari and Mr Gbenga Komolafe, CEO, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), vouched for the integrity of the negotiation process and commended the roles of NPDC and SPDC in driving the process to conclusion.


In his remarks, the Director, Gas and Commercial, SPDC, Mr Hans Nijkamp, stated that with the signing of the document of exit, NPDC had become the new operator of the asset.


Nijkamp said that the company was ready to commence the handover process.


On his part, the Managing Director of the NPDC, Mr Ali Zarah, described the event as a great development that would boost the nation’s reserves and production.


He stated that with the peaceful resolution of issues surrounding the asset, both parties would commence the process of withdrawing all the court cases.


He added that both parties were ready to continue in partnership to deliver more projects.


It would be recalled that OML 11 was previously a Federal Government asset under NNPC/SPDC Joint Venture (JV) which had NNPC, SPDC, TEPNG and NAOC as partners with Shell as the operator.


However, with the Exit Agreement Sign-Off, the asset has been fully transferred to NPDC, the flagship exploration and production company of the NNPC Ltd.


Also in the week under review, the NNPC Ltd. said there were over 1.6 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) available for nationwide distribution.


Malam Mele Kyari, NNPC Group Managing Director, made this known at the official unveiling of the Association of Distributors and Transporters of Petroleum Products (ADITOP) on Thursday in Abuja.


Kyari, who was represented by Mr Adeyemi Adetunji, Group Executive Director, Downstream, NNPC, said “NNPC as of today has 1.6 billion litres of PMS which is about 27 days sufficiency.


“This is to assure Nigerians again that there is adequate supply of PMS and it is getting to all nooks and crannies of the country. We will continue to ensure that we facilitate the availability of PMS.


“I appreciate all Nigerians for all the patience and cooperation as we get back to normalcy in terms of petroleum products distribution in the country.


“After the challenge we had in January and the global environment for energy got worsened with the crisis in Ukraine and Russia, NNPC will do its best to alleviate the plight of Nigerians,” he said.


He noted that the company had been working with relevant stakeholders in the oil and gas industry to put palliatives to ensure that there was free flow of PMS in all areas of the country.


“We are working with the authority, we are working with the Nigerian Association of Transport Owners and Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), now we are going to work with ADITOP to ensure we create normalcy to the situation,” he said.


Also speaking, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, called on stakeholders in the industry to make petroleum products available for citizens.


Sylva who was represented by Mr Famous Asiegbu, Director Human Resources in the ministry, said the ministry would continue to offer the association the needed support.


Alhaji Lawan Dan-Zaki, President, ADITOP, said that the Petroleum Industry Act if implemented properly and selflessly could serve as a standard for national resource management.


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“Nigeria has a wealth of natural resources with petroleum playing a major role in the economy.


“Unfortunately, in the Nigerian economy, the distribution of petroleum products is plagued by complex issues resulting in product outages, inflated costs, and disagreements over the product’s pump price,” Dan-Zaki said.


He said that ADITOP was poised toward working with all the key players in the industry to tackle the challenges.


In his goodwill message, Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo, President Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), said that the unveiling of the association was a new road map for the oil and gas industry.


Okoronkwo decried that prior to the coming up of ADITOP marketers had no association that could aggregate the activities of truck ownership.


“We are in a season that we are losing members because those not in the business have hijacked our business.


“With the collaboration with ADITOP, there will be no more strike where people will lock NNPC depot. All these excesses would be checked,” Okoronkwo said.

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