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2 Naval officers, 62 others nabbed for crude oil theft

Posted by By Emma Amaize and Austin Ogwuda on 2005/08/22 | Views: 279 |

2 Naval officers, 62 others nabbed for crude oil theft


THE Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, operator of the NNPC/Shell/EPNL/Agip venture says that two senior officers of the Nigerian Navy are among the 64 suspects arrested in 2004 for crude oil theft while 32 barges including six ships , six tugboats and 10 road tankers were also seized.

THE Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, operator of the NNPC/Shell/EPNL/Agip venture says that two senior officers of the Nigerian Navy are among the 64 suspects arrested in 2004 for crude oil theft while 32 barges including six ships , six tugboats and 10 road tankers were also seized.

It also raised alarm that oil thieves in the Niger Delta were injecting chemicals into its pipelines to weaken them and facilitate siphoning of products. The development, said the External Affairs Manager - West of SPDC, Mr. Harriman Oyofo who presented the "2004 People and the Environment Annual Report" to the media in Warri, yesterday, was causing tension in the oil industry.

On a cheery note, oil production during the year averaged one million barrels per day (bpd), compared to 910,000 bpd in 2003 representing an increase of about 10 per cent on the 2003 figure and the highest production level since 1980. This enabled the government to build up its foreign external reserves to some $16 billion and to increase the funding of the joint venture investments in the oil and gas sector.

"The increase in gas sales recorded in previous years continued in 2004 with an average of 1,242 million standard cubic feet per day (scf/d) of gas sold. This was six per cent higher than the 1,7171 million scf/d of gas sold in 2003. Of this total, about 849 million scf/d (or 68 per cent) was supplied the NLNG. The figure represents an increase of about 13 per cent over 2003 figures and is due to increased uptake by NLNG’s train three. The balance of some 393 million scf/d (or 32 per cent of daily sales) went to the domestic market", it said.

The company in the annual report signed by its Managing Director, Mr. Basil Omiyi regretted the delay in its efforts to stop gas flaring in the Niger Delta and blamed the development on under funding by partners in the joint project. It said that a total of 1.85 billion dollars would be required to complete the Associated Gas Gathering projects to stop the flaring.

It also raised alarm that oil bunkerers were injecting chemicals into its pipelines to corrode the pipelines and siphon products but generally in 2004, the company said "the security situation across the Niger Delta was mixed as the eastern part of the region which had been previously peaceful witnessed an increase in the activities of ethnic warlords, especially along the waterways while there was a marked improvement in the security situation in the western Niger Delta.

In 2004, the company said that 2.2billion dollars was paid as petroleum profit tax to the Federal Government, representing an 83 per cent increase on the 1.2 billion paid in 2003 with royalty payments rising by nearly 50 per cent form $608 million in 2003 to $904 million in 2004..

Mr. Omiyi stated that there was still poverty in the region and throughout the country despite the increase in oil production and more money to government. He challenged the respective state governments in the Niger Delta which received a total of $6.2 billion dollars in 2004 from the federal allocation to apply the resources in a transparent and efficient way to achieve sustainable development of the region.

According to the report: "The organised theft of crude oil by armed gangs remains a major concern During the year, there were periods of high theft activity peaking at 60,000 bpd and low periods of 40,000 bpd , which compares to 100,000 bpd and 20,000 bpd respectively in 2003.

"In all, we recorded 71 crude oil theft incidents in 2004, a 20 per cent drop from the 88 incidents reported in the previous years", it stated, adding that: "Altogether, 314 criminal incidents were recorded , ranging from attempted fraud to armed robbery. About 46 of these involved the use of firearms and accounted for 10 of the work-related fatalities recorded during the year. The total number of fatalities was 21. Of these, 12 were contractors and staff and nine were third parties".

"Community-related disruptions, which include the closure of production facilities, seizure of assets, blockade of access and disrupting of drilling activities", it also said "increased by 10 per cent to 176 when compared to 2003. However, fewer project days were lost (223 in 2004, compared to 382 in 2003) and the resulting deferment of production was significantly lower (5.2 million barrels in 2004, compared to 45 million barrels in 2003).

Furthermore, according to the report, the joint venture contributed a total of $68.9 million to the funding of the NDDC as against the $54.5 million in 2003. SPDC said that of this amount , its contribution was some $21million.

"In 2004, approximately $727 million in contracts was awarded to Nigerian companies (20 per cent from the Niger Delta", it said , stressing that "we are committed to the development of the Nigerian content of our business as part of our contributions to the sustainable development of the Niger Delta region in particular and the country in general".

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.