Measurement inaccuracies, not theft responsible for 40% crude losses, says FG

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The Federal Government has said about 40 per cent of the volumes credited to crude oil losses in the petroleum industry are due to measurement inaccuracies and not theft.

This was revealed from a forensic audit conducted by the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) covering the period of January 2020 to November 2022 on crude theft numbers.

The Chief Executive, NUPRC, Gbenga Komolafe, disclosed this in his speech at the Petroleum Club Quarterly Dinner in Lagos, which was made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Sunday.

He said the audit was to ascertain with accuracy the stolen volume of crude oil within the reference period, adding that the commission was committed to dealing with the issue of metering errors.

This, he said, would be by ensuring that Original Equipment Manufacturers licensed directly as agents of the commission would be responsible for the deployment and maintenance of metering facilities across Nigeria’s oil and gas facilities, for transparency in hydrocarbon accounting.

“The reform measure adopted by the commission offers a paradigm shift from the trajectory in Nigeria’s hydrocarbon measurement since oil was discovered in Nigeria in Oloibiri in 1956; and is aimed at ensuring that no one becomes a judge in his own case.

“Admittedly, one major area of value erosion in the industry is the menace of crude oil theft. Our records indicate that the menace of oil theft has negatively impacted the oil and gas sector for about two decades with attendant huge financial losses to our nation,” Komolafe stated.

He, however, stated that the commission, in collaboration with the various arms of the security forces, NNPC Limited and the host communities, had been able to suppress the ugly trend of hydrocarbon value decimation.

He added: “Now, our nation has continued to record good dividends of these collaborative efforts as production figures are progressively increasing. The January 2023 volume is approximately 1.5 million barrels per day of oil and condensates.

“It is expected that this number will continue to increase as further measures are introduced and sustained to remove all illegal connections that aid crude oil theft.”

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