Premium Times (Abuja)

Nigeria Loses N640 Million Daily to Crude Oil Theft - Official

Due to the efforts of the federal government to fight crude oil theft, the volume lost daily has reduced by about 50 per cent, the Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, has said.

Mr. Uduaghan stated this on Thursday while addressing journalists at the State House, Aso Rock, Abuja.

"There has been a reduction in oil theft from about 80,000 barrels per day to the current 40,000 barrels per day," he said. "I can tell you that the crude that is being stolen is reduced to about 40,000 barrels per day"

The price of crude oil (Brent Crude) has been over $100 per barrel for several weeks and sold on Friday at $108 per barrel.

At $100 per barrel, and by Mr. Uduaghan's confirmation, Nigeria currently loses about $4 million (N640 million) daily to crude oil thieves in the Niger Delta; and unless the government is able to reduce or eliminate the crime, the country might lose about N233 billion in 2014, money able to fund each 2014 budget of several states.

Mr. Uduaghan also admitted that despite the reduction in crude theft, the current figure is still 'too high.'

"Those two (vandalised) pipelines are now functioning. So the 300,000 (barrels) that was shut down as a result to the damage to the pipelines have now been opened.

"Stealing 40,000 barrels per day is still on the high side, but as we go further, in putting a lot of measures in place, especially in areas of prosecution, I believe that the quantity that is being stolen will gradually reduce if possibly bring it to zero level.

"Apart from prosecution, we are also talking of technology and monitoring to deal with the oil theft," the governor said.

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