The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), Mele Kyari, has corroborated the claim by the Chairman of the United Bank of Africa, Tony Elumelu, that Nigeria is losing 95 percent of oil production to thieves at Bonny Terminal, Rivers State.
Mr Elumelu had in a Twitter thread on March 17, said Nigeria was losing 95 percent of production at the Bonny Terminal to vandals making Shell declare force majeure production activities on that field.
“Look at Bonny Terminal that should be receiving 200k barrels per day, instead it received less than 3,000 barrels, leading the operator @shell to declare force majeure,” Mr Elumelu tweeted.
Mr Elumelu’s claim was confirmed on Thursday by Mr Kyari while appearing before the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Upstream).
The GMD told the panel that Nigeria can only get 3,000 barrels out of 239,000 barrels injected into the pipeline from Bonny Terminal.
He further disclosed that the country lost $4 billion to theft at the rate of 200,000 barrels per day in 2021. He added that the country already lost $1.5 billion so far in 2022 because the vandalism has escalated.
“Indeed, what is happening is massive acts of vandals and thieves on our pipelines that have first made us lose our volume. Secondly, it forced us to shut down production. The difference between the current production of 1.49 million and our potential that we can easily do –close to 1.8 million or so—at an independent level is not necessarily stolen and they are not within the reach of ordinary vandals. What has been in massive difficulty is the production from the independents and the JV. Unfortunately, except for the ExxonMobil production, most of our JV is onshore. This is where we have the challenge,” he said.
He said the rate of vandalism has forced the NNPC and their Joint Venture partners to shut down two production fields. He stressed that the NNPC had to abandon the lines because removing the breach will not deter the oil vandals from stopping.
He said the situation has become “desperate.”
Speaking on the solution, Mr Kyari said the stealing is beyond ordinary “vandals” because the sophistication required is beyond small-time vandals.