Vanguard (Lagos)

30 May 2014

Nigeria Loses U.S.$20 Billion Annually to Crude Oil Theft - Rear Admiral Oyagha

Calabar — Rear Admiral Oyagha, who spoke yesterday in Calabar, Cross River State, during the Navy Week, on the topic: Harnessing Surveillance Technology in Support of Anti-Crude Oil Theft Operations in Nigeria, said that the aim of the paper was to help explore ways of harnessing surveillance technology towards enhancing Nigerian Navy anti-crude oil theft operations.

According to him, Nigeria is an emerging market and one of the world's largest exporters of crude oil with a daily production capacity of 2.5 million barrels currently.

His words: "In 2013, losses from crude oil theft were estimated at an average of about 55,210 barrels per day or monthly average of 1,656,281 barrels. Thus, Nigeria oil losses due to crude oil theft translate to almost $2 billion yearly in deficit to Nigeria's economy.

"These loses do not only undermine Nigeria's economy in terms of foreign exchange deficit, they also pose a threat to national security for Nigerians."

Rear Adm. Oyagha said that the Nigerian Navy in collaboration with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, and the media, had found out that crude oil losses in Nigeria were primarily due to pipeline vandalism and operation of illegal refineries.

"The Nigerian Navy anti-crude oil theft operations are particularly demanding and difficult due to thousands of oil pipelines that traverse the swamps and creeks in the Niger Delta region from which crude oil is stolen. Thus, the Nigerian Navy has continued to explore ways beyond the deployment of its ships and helicopters to support her anti-crude oil theft operations," he said.

He advocated an integrated surveillance system for anti-crude oil theft operations with features to detect, monitor, track and display activities in all weathers.

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