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Nigeria recorded 139 crude theft incidents between July 22 to 28 – NNPCL 

Nigeria recorded 139 crude oil theft incidents between July 22 and July 28.

This is according to available data from the “Energy and You” series airing weekly on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Network by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL).  

During the period highlighted, operatives made the following busts: 

  • 42 illegal refineries 
  • 14 vessels Automatic Identification System (AIS) infractions 
  • 25 wooden boat arrests 
  • 3 pipeline vandalism 
  • 6 truck arrests 

According to the NNPCL, the illegal connections discovered were highest in Bayelsa state, meanwhile, thriving illegal refineries were discovered mostly in Bayelsa and Rivers states. The vessel AIS infractions were flagged using NNPCL’s maritime intelligence systems and wooden boats used in conveying stolen crude oil were also made mostly in Bayelsa and Rivers states.  

The NNPCL also noted that 14 of these incidents were recorded in the deep blue water, 14 were recorded in the western region of the Niger Delta, 79 were recorded in the central region while 32 were recorded in the eastern part of the Niger Delta’s oil producing region.  

Past projection about crude theft in 2023 

The year 2023 is underway and crude oil theft incidents have been recorded every month this year, with some stakeholders accusing the Nigerian Navy of being complicit in the criminal act. However, the Navy has reiterated its innocence and stated that it is committed to putting an end to the scourge.  

It is important to note that in 2022, the former National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno, warned that the Federal Government may lose an estimated $23 billion in 2023 if the crude oil theft persists in the country. According to him, Nigeria was recording poor revenues from the oil sector, and this was impacting the government’s ability to execute projects in the country.  

Nigeria’s recent crude oil production has not improved beyond 1.4 million barrels per day, meanwhile, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Gabriel Aduda promises that the country will increase production to 1.7 million barrels by the end of the year.  

Falcon Eye to the rescue 

On August 5, the Nigerian Navy announced that as part of efforts to curb crude oil theft in Nigeria’s territorial waters, the Navy has begun expanding its coverage of the Falcon Eye Maritime Domain Awareness System to the creeks and coastal areas. According to Navy Chief Emmanuel Ogalla, the combination of intelligence and technology would enable the Navy to achieve the desired objectives.  

It also stated that the Falcon Eye serves as a veritable force multiplier, ensuring that Nigerian Navy patrols are intelligence driven, cost-effective, and result oriented while being instrumental in bringing piracy attacks to an all-time low. 



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