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You are here:Home>>Strategic Research & Analysis>>The Tragic Crude Oil Theft!
Friday, 18 April 2014 18:22

The Tragic Crude Oil Theft!

Written by Taiwo Lawrence Adeyemi
The Tragic Crude Oil Theft! yahoo


"Anglo Dutch oil giant, Shell, lost about $1.6 billion dollars to theft and other disruption to its Nigerian oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) operations in 2013. The company, also, noted that oil theft, which has witnessed an almost magical increase in recent times, is costing Nigeria even more. The theft is very material,” Simon Henry, Shell’s Chief Financial Officer, said on a conference call”.



A passenger boat operator at Nembe waterside, Yebiri Alexander, says “Unto to thy hands oh Lord, we commit our resources”, Niger Delta’s dream of peace, but are plague by hostilities, they cherished law and order, but cannot stem the tide of insecurity, open fraud. They had to trust their neighbour, but have to lock their doors for protection.



In the name of protecting and securing Nigeria and Multinational’s oil installations and facilities, maintaining law and order in the troubled Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. This is why the Joint Task Force [JTF] was established, but has this outfit lived up to it’s billings?



Welcome to Niger Delta, ‘Where the sun never sets’ ‘The Pride of the Nation’ ‘The Treasure Base of the Nation’ ‘The Big Heart’ ‘Finger of God’, regal in aquatic splendour, once consume by the Niger Delta militants and now being eaten by the termites called the joint Task Force [JTF] ‘Operation Pulo Shield’.



A onetime outgoing Commander of the Joint Task Force [JTF] Operation ‘Pulo Shield’ operating in the Niger Delta, Major General Johnson Ochoga, admitted that some of its personnel were corrupt. “There’s no organization that will say it is 100 per cent clean [from corruption]; so also is with the Joint Task Force ‘Operation Pulo Shield’. ‘ll not say we don’t have bad eggs; but to those soldiers [involved in corruption]; every day is for the thief and one day is for the owner”.




With JTF Operation ‘Pulo Shield’, in the Niger Delta and the Bonny River Channel and the 2 Amphibious Brigade, [encompassing David Ejoor Barracks, Warri, 1 Amphibious Battalion, Port Harcourt, Field Artillery Battalion, Elele, and the Abak Barracks], Nigerian Air force Base, Port-Harcourt;  5 Naval Bases; Rumuolumeni, James Town, Onne,



Borokiri, and in Warri. And, despite several helipads that dots the entire Niger Delta, Bonny River Channel and the Atlantic Ocean across to Eket and Warri for easy overfly and aerial view of the Atlantic Ocean complimented with the Nigerian Navy patrol boats, nobody could stem this tide!


Shell Petroleum Development Company [SPDC] loses about 60,000 barrels of crude oil per day, while Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation [NNPC], loses about 80,000 barrels of crude  per day.


Conservatively Nigeria loses about 140,000 barrels of Crude Oil per day due to Oil thefts, with Bayelsa State accounting for over 87 percent of this illicit deal. What is Joint Task Force [JTF[,


‘Operation Pulo Shield’ doing? With only five openings channels to Bonny River Channel and the Atlantic Ocean, JTF ‘Operation Pulo Shield’ could not stop this ‘Ring’.


Crude oil thefts is part of the Nigeria societal decay, that has cost Nigeria’s government a colossal $7 billion dollars [1.2 trillion naira], everybody is complaining, with a hovering loss of about 140,000 barrels per day. It is indeed disheartening. Nigeria has asked Britain Defence for help to tackle the mufti-billion dollar oil theft business which is run by international crime syndicates and sophisticated ring’, robbing Nigeria of its resources.


In Nembe creeks, Bayelsa State, Krakrama and Awoba in Kalabari axis of Rivers State, as well as areas close to coastal Bonny, also in Rivers State and other parts of the Niger Delta, the illegal pipelines vandalizing and oil thieves are having a field day.


The International Monetary Fund [IMF] on March 6, 2014 called on the President Goodluck Jonathan-led federal government to intensify its fight against oil theft and production loss in Nigeria, stressing that the criminal act had caused a lot of setback to the economic growth of the nation. And in a show of commitment to fight the malaise,



President Goodluck Jonathan has revealed that the Federal Government has earmarked one billion U.S Dollars for the implementation of a comprehensive programme to check crude oil theft, the vandalism of oil and gas infrastructure, and the apprehension and prosecution of crude oil thieves.


“Oil theft is an aspect of global terrorism, which has become a big industry on its own. It has become a major threat to the Nigerian economy and we need to work with all stakeholders to curb it. The thieves must be traced, apprehended and prosecuted”, the President said.


Shell Petroleum Development Company [SPDC] had shut down the 28-degrees Trans Niger Pipeline [TNP] to remove crude oil theft connections, and had closed the 24-degrees Trans Niger Pipeline [TNP] at Bodo West in Ogoniland operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company [SPDC], thereby deferring 150,000 barrels of crude oil production in June 2013,  another sad reminder of the tragic consequences of crude oil theft in Nigeria, according to Shell Petroleum Development Company [SPDC], Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer;  Mr, Mutiu Sunmonu.


The Joint [Military] Task Force in the Niger Delta, Operation Pulo Shield, says the outfit has between January and February 2014 destroyed 308 illegal refineries in the region according to the outgoing Commander, Joint Task Force ‘Operation Pulo Shield’ [JTF], Major General Iliyasu Abbah.


Oil thefts in Niger Delta is on the rising scale the highest in the past three years NEVER BEFORE SEEN! And JTF ‘Operation Pulo Shield’ looks the other way! Many oil thieves had being arrested and charged according to Joint Task Force ‘Operation ‘Pulo Shield’ spokesman; Col Onyeama Nwachukwu, but the question is; how many of the alleged caught oil thieves had being charged and sentenced? To some, those arrested are merely minors who operated in dug-out canoes. The large ocean going barges and vessels thieves are so powerful, well connected and wealthy and simply above the law!



Taiwo Lawrence Adeyemi.

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Last modified on Friday, 18 April 2014 18:32

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