Nigeria Agip Oil Company, (NAOC) disclosed on Monday in Yenagoa that it loses 20,000 barrels of crude oil per day to oil theft thus necessitating the discussion initiated by the Bayelsa State government on how to tackle the scourge.
The tripartite meeting held at the Banquet Hall had in attendance the Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah, the representatives of NAOC and surveillance contractors engaged by the company to tackle the scourge.
In his address the Deputy Governor said that Government was losing a lot of revenue due to crude oil theft in the Niger Delta.
According to him, crude oil theft was impacting negatively and adversely on the economy of the nation, which is dependent on oil, hence, Government is worried at all levels and was making efforts to ensure that the menace is checked.
The deputy governor also expressed concern over the damage done to the environment as a result of oil exploration activities of the International Oil Companies in the Niger Delta.
He also said that the Federal Government had already constituted a committee headed by the Governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, which comprises governors of the south-south region to deal with the issue of crude oil theft in the region.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Energy, Mr Francis Ikio, said that the mechanism of crude oil theft is very technical which can only be carried out by persons that have professional knowledge to do so, adding that the International Oil Companies should check their internal systems as there is the possibility of insider abuse.
In his comments, Mr Albert Ijuwe, Manager, Security, Nigeria Agip Oil Company, thanked the State Government for the initiative to curb oil theft in the State.
He also said that the company was losing about 20,000 barrels of crude oil per day due to oil theft and even had to shut down production early this year to enable the company effect repairs on 162 theft points.
In his remarks, Chief Nengi James, one of the surveillance contractors said that the meeting was a welcome development, given the activities of pipeline vandals in the Niger Delta.
He also said that apart from the adverse effects on the national economy, occasioned by oil theft, the ecosystem in the Niger Delta has been damaged due to oil exploration activities.
Senior Special Assistant on Media
to the Deputy Governor
August 12, 2013