The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has said the nation lost about $750m to crude oil theft in 2019.
The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, who disclosed this on Tuesday, decried the growing activities of oil thieves and pirates which he described as a threat to the operations of the corporation.
Kyari spoke to members of the Executive Intelligence Management Course 13 of the National Institute for Security Studies who visited the NNPC Towers, Abuja, on a study tour.
He said any threat to the corporation’s operations was a direct threat to the very survival of Nigeria because of the strategic role of the corporation as an enabler of the economy.
According to Kyari, other security challenges facing the corporation include vandalism of oil and gas infrastructure and kidnapping of personnel.
He said there was a deep connection between the various shades of insecurity challenges, adding that they were all linked to what was happening in the Gulf of Guinea and the entire maritime environment.
He called for a concerted effort and synergy to secure oil and gas operations for the economic survival of the country.
Responding to questions on the challenge posed by the proposed energy migration by most western countries to renewable energy, the GMD said that fossil fuel would still be relevant and that the demand for crude oil would not reduce in the nearest future.
“Even by 2050, fossil fuel would account for 80 per cent of the energy mix, and there would still be consumption of at least 100 million barrels of oil per day. We are determined to remain relevant in the long term,” he said.
In his presentation, the NNPC Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Mr Yemi Adetunji, said the Gulf of Guinea accounted for more than half of the global kidnappings for ransom in 2016, with 34 seafarers kidnapped out of 62 cases worldwide.
He said the corporation was working closely with security agencies to tackle the security challenges, and cited the ‘Operation Kurombe’ that was recently conducted by the Nigerian Navy at the Atlas Cove as an example of such collaborative efforts.