RIVERS- Oil theft in Nigeria is now an ‘existential threat’ according to Shell.
The Nigerian army claimed to have attacked a boat carrying crude oil and heading for open seas.
The army launched an attack by air raids.
This is coming after Nuhu Ribadu, Nigeria’s national security adviser, said that the nation was losing 400,000 barrels of crude per day to thieves.
The Niger Delta region’s illicit oil refineries were bombarded with air raids on Sunday, according to the Nigerian air force. The Nigerian army claimed to have attacked a boat carrying crude oil and heading for open seas, as well as many illegal locations in the oil-rich state of Rivers.
Although aircraft bombardments are rare, Nigeria has been actively combating oil thieves in the Niger Delta by destroying crude-laden ships and tiny illicit refineries. The majority of illicit oil refineries are often found in streams far from settlements, however, environmentalists have denounced the refineries’ ongoing burning.
Authorities have also destroyed illegal oil boats that contained undamaged petroleum after being captured by a private security contractor in the past.
The attacks on Sunday happened at the same time that Nigeria’s national security adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, said that the nation was losing 400,000 barrels of crude per day to thieves, during a visit by defense and oil leaders to Rivers state.
On Saturday, Ribadu led a presidential team to tour oil and gas installations in Owaza, Abia, and Odogwa, Etche Local Government Area, Rivers. He said that the acts of oil thieves and pipeline vandals had harmed the nation’s economy and were largely to blame for the country’s growing cost of living.
“It’s unfortunate that few individuals would steal our common resources, and in the process cause unbelievable loss to both the nation, communities, and the people. Nigeria has the capacity to produce 2 million barrels of crude daily, but we are currently producing less than 1.6 million barrels due to theft and vandalism of pipelines,” he said.
“So, we are talking about 400,000 barrels of crude oil going to waste with few criminals and economic saboteurs not even getting much out of it,” he added.
It was reported in July by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), that between July 15 and July 21, 2023, 40 instances of crude oil theft were reported across the nation. 93 illicit connections had been discovered and disconnections and repairs are still being made. The NNPCL added that 69 illicit refineries were found and shut down over the time they highlighted.