The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) announced on Wednesday that a total of 10,166 illegal refineries and crude oil connections have been destroyed in Nigeria since 2021.
Mele Kyari, NNPCL’s Group Chief Executive Officer, shared this information during a lecture at the 2024 Faculty Lecture titled, “Energy Security, Sustainability and Profitability in Nigeria: Advances, Challenges and Opportunities,” organized by the Faculty of Science at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State.
Kyari emphasized that over 5,686 illegal refinery sites and 4,480 illegal crude oil connections were specifically destroyed.
He highlighted the adverse impact of pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft on NNPCL’s operations but noted that the establishment of a command-and-control center has aided in detecting and destroying illegal sites, addressing vandalism across operating corridors.
“The centre provides live streaming of surveillance data to security forces, contributing to the detection and destruction of over 5,686 illegal refinery sites and the removal of 4,480 illegal connections from 2021 to the present,” the company’s boss stated.
He called for collaboration between the academia and the oil and gas industry towards addressing the challenges of energy sufficiency and sustainability.
Kyari highlighted the important role academic communities, such as the prestigious OAU, play in safeguarding national energy security through research and collaboration with the industry.
While pointing out the challenges hindering energy security in Nigeria to include rapid population growth, pipeline vandalism, and crude oil theft, Kyari identified energy conservation, diversification and efficiency measures as major avenues for enhancing energy security.
Addressing the projected rapid population growth, Kyari harped on the importance of finding solutions to ensure sustainable energy security for the benefit of current and future generations.
He underscored the intensified competition for vital resources and urbanisation drive, which would lead to a doubling of Nigeria’s energy demand by 2050.
Acknowledging the severity of vandalism and oil theft, Kyari hinted at a strategic shift, focusing on increased product trucking and storage in underground tanks at NNPC filling stations nationwide.
He highlighted NNPCL’s expanded retail assets, making it the largest single downstream company in sub-Saharan Africa after acquiring OVH retail stations and associated downstream infrastructure in 2021.
He said the national oil firm had transformed into a fully commercial limited liability energy company following the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act in 2021, adding that the removal of fuel subsidies had allowed the company to play a more active commercial role, ensuring profitability and delivering greater value to Nigeria’s growing population.