Crude Oil Theft: Nigeria Introduces 24-hrs Aerial Surveillance Over Oil Pipelines

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has introduced a 24-hour aerial surveillance across the Nigerian creeks and all Nigerian National Petroleum Company [NNPC] pipeline locations nationwide.

The aerial surveillance with helicopter and other devices is part of way forward to arrest the raging theft in Nigeria, the group managing director of the NNPC, Mr. Mele Kyari said yesterday in an

He said indeed the federal government has stepped up efforts to tackle the scourge of thefts in Nigeria.

“One of the measures is that the authorities, backed by other stakeholders, now have full surveillance of the nation’s oil infrastructure and are facing this challenge squarely,” he said.
According to him, the Nigerian government has deployed helicopters for 24-hour surveillance to monitor and protect pipelines.

Also Read: Oil Theft: Nigerian Navy Arrests Two More ‘Rogue’ Ships In Niger Delta

 He revealed that oil thieves in are sophisticated. “They use technology to connect into pipelines,” Kyari said, pointing out that the thieves were emboldened by the collaboration and partnership with government and officials in critical quarters.

He said the fleecing continued for a long time because it is hard to believe that top government officials and agencies could turn their duty posts as helpdesks for thieving cartels.

Noting that collaboration, of which extent was unknown to the authorities until recently, the NNPC boss said the situation is coming under control with new onslaughts by the Nigerian government.

“When you introduce technology into stealing and this is precisely what they did and when there is a collaboration of people who should not be part of that transactions, you can lay pipelines and no one will see it,” he said.

Also Read: Oil Theft: Embattled Ship, Crew Drag Nigeria to Court

“You can do it in the night if you have the abilities and ultimately, this is what we think happened. You can lay pipelines for the wrong reasons to abandon or active assets. You will see end-to-end collaboration either by people who are around those assets, people operating the assets or people supposed to provide security.

“You can eliminate anything. When you find collaborators in the system, then you can get anything done. We didn’t know because the extent of collaboration is unknown to us.”

At the Legislative Transparency & Accountability Summit held last Wednesday in Abuja, the NNPC boss the company has discovered no less than 295 illegal connections to its pipeline.

“We have seen thousands of illegal refineries that we have taken down in the last 45 months. We have seen connection in a 200 kilometre line. We have up to 295 illegal connections to our pipelines and many of them have been there for years,” he said.

Also Read: Oil Theft: Academy of International Affairs Call for Judicial Inquiry

The summit was organised by the House of Representatives Anti-Corruption Committee with the theme, ‘Enhancing Transparency & Accountability in the Oil & Gas Sector’.

Kyari said as a result of oil theft, production equally came down to about 1.1 million barrels from 1.8 million about January of last year.

He, however, made it clear that not all the oil were stolen, explaining that “companies will stop injecting oil into the pipeline the moment they discover that they cannot get to the terminal”.

Oil theft has become a malignant cancer in for years with unimaginable volumes of oil being lifted by some cabals in the oil sector.

One of the stunning recent discoveries of illegal connections is the illegal oil connection from Forcados Terminal that operated for nine years with about 600,000 barrels per day of oil lost in the same period.


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