10 July 2014

Nigeria Comes Tops in Global Crude Theft

Photo: Premium Times
A man carries oil canisters at an illegal refinery site in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa (file photo).

Nigeria has been listed as the country with the highest incidents of crude oil theft in the world, according to data released by Oilprice.com.

According to the website, with as much as 400,000 barrels of crude oil stolen daily, Nigeria is ranked worse than Mexico, Iraq, Russia and Indonesia on the top five countries most plagued by oil theft.

The report put Nigeria’s losses to crude theft at $1.7 billion, about N272 billion per month, representing 7.7 percent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP.

The report said: “This represents 7.7 percent of Nigeria’s GDP vanishing, or more than the country spends on education and healthcare.

“These numbers paint a harsh picture about the inability of the Nigerian government and the multinational oil companies in Niger Delta, to do anything about this rampant theft.

“With oil theft hitting record levels in 2013, the G8 has been reminded of its 2000 pledge to help Nigeria solve this crippling problem.

“However, as the Global Financial Initiative points out, ‘stolen Nigerian crude oil is transported on internationally registered vessels, sold to international buyers, processed by international oil refineries and paid for using international bank accounts’.

“With one group of thieves admitting to profits of nearly $7,000 a day from their illicit activities, it will take some doing to stop them.”

On Iraq, the report said there have been substantiated reports of complex networks taking thousands of barrels right from the refineries and selling them illegally to Iran and Syria.

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