Shell Threatens to Shut Down Production in Nigeria Over Oil Theft, Others

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The General Manager of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, (SPDC) Mr. Igo Welli, has said that the company is considering shutting down production in Nigeria due to high rate of oil theft, pipeline vandalism and illegal refineries.

The giant oil firm boss who made this known on Saturday during a one day engagement with media professionals from Imo and Abia states, lamented that oil theft, pipeline vandalism and have become a clog on Nigeria’s development.

According to Welli, Nigeria had not benefited from the recent hikes in oil price due to unfortunate activities of oil thieves in the country.

The Shell GM who listed some of the problems arising from the issues to include exorbitant foreign exchange rates, unemployment and poor infrastructure, added that a large percentage of the national budget is diverted to cleanups targeted at reducing the effects of  oil spillage occasioned by pipeline vandalisation.

He lamented that the issues have greatly affected productivity and profits of the firm in Nigeria, reaffirming that it could lead to the company’s withdrawal of its oil production service.

He said that “The issue of illegal refineries, oil theft and pipeline vandalism has resulted in pipeline leaks which lead to a shutdown of our facilities to reduce impact on the environment.

“The oil bunkering has equally put the lives of our staff at risk and projects which pose threats to our staff have been paused, our productivity and profits have been limited as a result.

“This means Nigeria has not benefited from the hike in oil prices because the benefits are hijacked through theft and vandalism which is the main reason for the issues facing the country.”

Welli, who called for improved presence and coverage in the project areas to limit the activities of oil thieves, noted that there is the need to devise a new way to improve productivity in Nigeria. He further called for sustained government participation and support for project delivery.

Similarly, the Remediation Lead, Ivan Okoye, who also spoke during the programme, said that Nigeria had lost at least $1billion in revenue in the first quarter of the year; adding that there are at least 150 oil bunkers in Ohaji Egbema in Imo State.

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