Major Crude Pipeline, NCTL, Shut as Indigenous Oil Companies Continue to Bear the Brunt of Oil Theft

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Worker at an illegal refinery in South-South Nigeria
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SWITZERLAND, SEPTEMBER 18 -Nigeria’s Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL), which exports Bonny Light crude oil, was shut down and placed under force majeure last week, a spokesman for operator Aiteo said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

The pipeline is one of two that exports Bonny Light, so the terminal is currently loading only from the Trans Niger Pipeline, a spokesman for terminal operator Shell said.

Read Also: Indigenous Oil and Gas Companies: The Silent Victims

In a recent article on Today’s Echo, guest columnist and oil analyst, Epa Stevens analysed how the indigenous oil companies in Nigeria are bearing the brunt of damage and loss resulting from oil theft.

Apart from the hundreds of lives that have been lost in fatal accidents from bunkering activities in recent years in Africa’s largest oil-producing country, companies have and are still counting huge losses and so is the country.

According to a report published mid-year by a non-government organisation, Nigeria Natural Resource Charter (NNRC) , Nigeria loses between a whopping $7bn and $12bn annually on crude oil theft. The group attributed the imprecision of the fact to a lack of effective measurement in the sector. In 2015, Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo alleged that Nigeria loses 400,000bpd of crude oil which amounts o N4.8bn daily. To put in proper context, the figures attributed to daily oil theft in Nigeria is greater than the production capacity of over 60 oil-producing countries.

“Unfortunately, the main causalities of these nefarious acts are indigenous oil companies. Nigerian oil exploration companies (NOC) have their assets constantly sabotaged but owing to an array of reasons, are ill-disposed to announcing force majeures, unlike their foreign counterparts. These patriotic firms are endlessly hindered from fulfilling their financial obligations to investors due to these detestable acts,” Stevens wrote

“In accordance with their utmost patriotism and efforts at making significant contributions to the national treasury, NOCs will rather keep up production following facility sabotage rather than halting operations. In addition, the overwhelming angst of creating a perception of incompetence amongst industry regulators and governmental stakeholders contrive to dissuade these companies from frequently ceasing production. NOCs are generally disinclined to constant cessation of production; however, they resort to when the matters deteriorate beyond their control, Stevens said 

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