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Oil Production Rises Above 1.6 Million Barrels Per Day

Stakeholders in the Nigerian oil and gas industry have assembled to discuss the challenges of crude oil theft and losses affecting the oil and gas industry.

The event chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was attended by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd Mele Kyari; the National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno; the Chief of Defence Staff Lucky Irabor and other tops officials in the private and public sector of the economy.

The event was also an opportunity to reflect on the progress recorded over the last twelve months following the introduction of the industry-wide security collaboration for the protection of hydrocarbon infrastructure.

The Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari represented by the Company’s Chief Upstream Investment Officer, Bala Wunti highlighted that the rectangular approach comprising NNPC and Partners, Regulators, Government Security Operators and the Communities underpinned by the adoption of technology ensured the recovery of production from an all-time low of sub-one million barrels of crude oil production per day in July 2022, to the current production figure of 1.67 million barrels per day.

Furthermore, the implementation of the 3DR strategy [Detect, Deter, Destroy, and Recover], the establishment of the Central Command and Control Centre for effective monitoring and coordination, the launching of the Whistle-Blowers Portal and the Crude Oil Validation Portal, and the deployment of some of the best-in-class surveillance tools and technology have been a game changer in the fight against crude oil theft and vandalism.

Wunti stated that a key element of the collaboration has been the onboarding of the Private Security Contractors from the host communities, which were hitherto isolated.

He said their in-depth knowledge of the terrain and modus operandi of the criminals have led to massive discoveries of illegal connections and interception of vessels ferrying stolen crude oil.

With the current sustained efforts, he said facilities that have been shut down have reopened, and injection of crude oil into major trunklines for evacuation to the terminals is being ramped up.

Nigeria’s crude oil production output is steadily growing to hit the 1.8 million barrels per day OPEC quota.

This production growth, he noted, implies significant economic benefits for the Country and all stakeholders.

Wunti said the Nigerian oil and gas industry is poised to reposition itself for a sustainable growth trajectory as the efforts to rid Nigeria of the menace of crude oil theft continue to gain traction.

According to the NNPC, a lot of work has gone into changing the narrative and bringing all the industry stakeholders together to confront a common enemy.

In August last year, crude oil theft forced Nigeria’s production down to 1.1 million barrels per day far below the OPEC quota for the country.

By implication, crude oil theft cut the contribution of foreign exchange earnings from crude oil export from 90 per cent when production was high to 78.5 per cent as of the third quarter of 2022.

The menace of crude oil theft had made the NNPC Ltd to engage a private security, Tantita Securities Service owned by Government Oweizide Ekpemupolo (Tompolo) on August 13 for pipeline surveillance.

As of November 9 last year, THE WHISTLER had reported that the security outfit had discovered over 58 illegal connections to the trans-Escravos, trans-Forcados, and other major trunk lines by oil bunkers in Delta and Bayelsa states.

This shows that the country is making huge success in the fight against crude oil thieves and pipeline vandals.

The NNPC Ltd in collaboration with security agencies have put up a control centre to provide surveillance of all the country’s oil and gas assets in the Niger Delta.

The surveillance system is known as the Central Coordination, Data Integration and Activation Control Room

Just like the Saudi Aramco, the NNPC Data Control Centre uses video visibility to monitor the country’s Niger Delta pipeline networks, where more than 90 percent of the country’s crude is explored.

The NNPC is also working with its business partners to make sure every data concerning Nigeria’s assets are visible through the centre for to enable quick action during emergency.

Through the Data Control Centre, the NNPC has the capability to see and monitor the movement of vessels in the coast of Nigeria’s territorial waters in real time.

From the facility, officials of the NNPC, working with operatives of the Nigerian Navy can determine, in real time, if a vessel is carrying out operations within Nigeria’s coastal waters legally.

The Data Centre also uses an intelligence system to detect when an incident of crude oil theft has occured, the location, and the vessels involved.

Immediately such illegal operation has been established, officials of the Centre through it’s Incidents Reporting System will immediately escalate such threat to the security agencies for immediate action.

Through the facility, the security agencies have been able to reduce their incidents response time from two to three days fee weeks ago to less than two hours currently.

Over 22 million litres of stolen crude have been recovered through intelligence provided by the Data Centre.

Similarly, over 22 million litres of Diesel, 0.15 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit, and 0.76 million litres of kerosene have also been recovered from criminals.

Through the operation, over 112 suspects have been arrested while over 11 vehicles, over 30-speed boats, over 179 wooden boats, 37 trucks have been seized and destroyed among others.

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