NNPC To Use Drones to Combat Oil Theft
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has revealed that it has a number of plans in mind to fight the incidence of oil theft in Nigeria.
Despite being an oil rich nation, the prevalence of oil theft in Nigeria means that the government loses billions of dollars every year in revenue to the daring thieves in the Niger Delta.
It is estimated that Nigeria loses $8 billion in revenue annually as the sophisticated oil thieves set up local refineries where they refine the stolen crude before transporting it via the Atlantic to buyers in West Africa and even parts of Europe.
Speaking at the Gulf of Guinea Security Summit, the managing director of the NNPC, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, reiterated the need to end oil theft in Nigeria as well as the means through which the government intends to do it.
”We are launching an armada of approaches, which will include incorporation of drones to check movements of vessels within our territorial waters.
“We are looking at the current logistical nightmares of changing staffing at the loading bay of crude oil export terminals virtually every 90 days.
“We are trying to equip the navy sufficiently, though they are very well equipped in terms of skills set but not in terms of arsenal for patrols within the maritime area,” Kachikwu said
He spoke on the real dangers of oil theft and said that the NNPC has resolved to put an end to oil theft within the next eight months, “Most of our product pipelines are ruptured and attacked frequently. For instance between June 2014 and June 2015, we recorded about 3,500 to 4,000 attempts at the various products pipelines across the country. In addition to that, the pipelines that are supposed to convey crude to the refineries are perpetually hacked.”
“What this means is that no matter what we do with the refineries today, unless that is solved, we really are going nowhere, we cannot operate the refineries,” he said.