CDS pledges oil, gas assets’ protection
Nigeria is losing about 200,000 barrels of crude oil daily to theft and vandalism, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said. Using the $66.92 per barrel price of the commodity at the international oil market as at Wednesday, the volume lost amounted to $13.384 million daily. Group Managing Director of NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, made the revelation yesterday when he led top management team to a meeting with the Chief of Defence Staff, Maj-Gen. Lucky Irabor, at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja. Kyari disclosed that though petroleum products theft on the System 2B Pipeline has reduced considerably due to support from the security agencies,200,000 barrels of crude oil are being lost to thieves and vandals daily.
“We have two sets of losses, one coming from our products and the other coming from crude oil. In terms of crude losses, it is still going on. On the average, we are losing 200,000 barrels of crude every day,” a statement issued by Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs division, NNPC, quoted Kyari to have stated.
He said the meeting was meant to solicit for the support of the armed forces to protect the assets of NNPC across the country. “We are here to reiterate that we need your help profoundly to protect our national assets that spread across the country and to protect our operational personnel working in all the critical phases that we occupy. “And lastly, to curtail elements of criminality around our assets that are obviously of great impact to our national well-being.
“We are counting on every support that we can get from you and with the assurances that we are certain that this would work for our country,” he said. Kyari said that the nation had lost and continued to lose petroleum products and crude oil to theft and other forms of criminality.
In his response, the Chief of Defence Staff promised to galvanize the military to provide maximum security for the nation’s oil and gas assets. Irabor commended Kyari for initiating the engagement, saying: “I am delighted that you made this effort, and I tell you that the Armed Forces of Nigeria will collaborate with you to protect NNPC’s assets”.
The CDS, who acknowledged the significant role of the oil and gas sector to the economy, said there was need for collaboration between the NNPC and the Armed Forces to protect oil and gas facilities which he described as the critical national assets.
“It is my intention to cooperate maximally with you and to give necessary instructions to all officers in the Armed Forces given that our existence, economically, rests almost solely on the NNPC, and to that extent, we must do everything possible to give you everything that you require,” the CDS stated. The NNPC GMD commended the security agencies for their support and called for more protection for NNPC’s operational assets and personnel.