Contrary to wide held speculations that about 80 percent of the country’s crude oil is being stolen by oil thieves and vandals, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has revealed that Nigeria loses only 7.6 percent of its net crude production daily,
This was disclosed on Monday by Gbenga Komolafe, the Commission’s Chief Executive Officer, in an interview on Arise TV monitored by EnergyDay.
Komolafe while debunking claims made by some operators in the Nigerian oil sector that 80% daily of daily production is being stolen warned that such unsubstantiated figure could encourage falsification of figures by producers and industry regulator.
EnergyDay recalls that Tony Elumelu, Chairman of UBA Banking Group and Heirs Holdings had raised alarm that Nigeria was losing over 95% of its daily crude oil production to oil thieves, while Austin Avuru, founding MD/CEO of Seplat Energy, on his part, claimed that the country loses about 80% of production to the vandals and thieves.
Meanwhile, the NUPRC C.E.O explained that the country’s total daily production currently stands at 1.5 million barrels and with loses of about 115,000 barrels per day ($3.27 billion) to oil theft and vandalism between January 2021 and February 2022.
This calculation according to him was based on the Commission’s Investigative Audit recently conducted.
Komolafe, therefore, noted that the country loses only 7.6% of daily crude oil production contrary to figures being credited to some industry operators by the media.
The NUPRC’s boss emphasized the need to ensure unity in the figures given by various stakeholders in the industry, especially the regulators, to prevent manipulation of figures and stealing of public funds by some players who may capitalize on the discrepancies.
He said, “The essence of the Investigative Audit that the Commission has ordered and embarked upon is very critical to the Federation’s revenue. Because, at the end of the day, the nation takes its royalties and taxes from the net crude that it earns.
“So, if we cannot establish the absolute figures of crude oil theft forensically, then it means the nation will be shortchanged.”
Komolafe equally lamented the deplorable state of the environment in the Niger Delta region which according to him was caused by activities of vandals and oil thieves. He said that the havoc on the environment is a challenge left to be addressed much more later by the Nigerian Government.
He said, “Beside this stealing is the huge environmental pollution and the environmental degradation by these criminals after the theft.
“That poses a different issue that the nation will have to be dealing with,” Komolafe said.