FG introduces measures to combat crude oil theft

By Innocent Raphael

The Federal Government is set to introduce trucks and barges as alternative means to transport crude oil, aiming to curb the rampant cases of pipeline vandalism.

This is according to a document recently released by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).

Outlined in the document titled “Stability in the Nigerian Energy Sector: Integrated Strategies for Infrastructure, Transportation, and Security,” the move aims to mitigate production deferment, losses, and other adverse effects caused by pipeline disruptions and outages.

NUPRC highlighted the increasing need for heightened surveillance and security measures to protect oil and gas infrastructure from criminal syndicates, which frequently target installations to siphon off crude oil for illegal sale.

According to NURPC, the illicit activities have resulted in significant revenue losses for the government and stakeholders, elevated production costs, and detrimental environmental impacts, ultimately undermining Nigeria’s global competitiveness.

In response, the commission has advocated for the implementation of Alternative Crude Oil Evacuation Systems, primarily utilizing barges and trucks for transportation from production sites to injection/storage points, ultimately destined for export terminals.

The initiative comes in the wake of a damning report by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, in November, revealing a staggering loss of N4.3 trillion to crude oil theft through 7,143 pipeline vandalism cases over a five-year period.

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