Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said that it remained committed to end the frequent sabotage attacks on oil pipelines that criss- crossed the Niger Delta area, because of the threat it posed to the economy of the country.
Speaking at the launch of a public awareness program on the impact of pipeline vandalism on the economy of the country in Lagos, NNPC spokesman Ohi Ajebge said “It is quite a pity that the activities of vandals persist in spite of the efforts being made by the government and security agents to address the problem. The menace does not only disrupt our operations, it also introduces huge losses to the national economy and toll on human capital,”
The NNPC spokesman said that apart from the revenue loses, attacks on pipelines were also a major source of pollution and a health hazard.
Theft from crude oil pipelines has grown into a major problem for Nigeria, which derives some 80% of government revenue from the oil industry. Besides robbing the country of an estimated $6 billion a year in revenue, it causes pipeline shutdowns since thieves often sabotage the lines before tapping the crude.
The Paris-based International Energy Agency estimates Nigeria is losing 150,000 b/d to oil theft at a cost of $5 billion/year, equivalent to the total sum budgeted in 2013 for federal spending on education and health combined.
Major oil companies have also been pulling out of onshore fields in the Niger Delta due to oil theft and security concerns.