NNPCL lamented the heavy toll of crude oil theft on its performance, saying it loses 470,000 barrels per day, which amounts to $700 million monthly, in addition to security challenges that hinder oil production in some terminals.
Wunti, while speaking with some journalists at the weekend during a tour of NNPCL facilities, said the pipelines, particularly, those around Bonny terminal, could not be operated due to the activities of criminals.
He said the number of barrels stolen rose on a daily basis, saying about 270 barrels, supposed to be loaded in Bonny, are no longer going to be loaded because of theft.
According to Wunti, “If you’re producing 30,000 barrels a day, every month, you get 1,940 barrels. So what it means is that you can take it to 270 every four days, calculate it in a month; you will have seven cargos on a million barrels, that’s seven million barrels.
“When you multiply seven million barrels by $100 that is $700 million lost per month, while about 150,000 barrels expected are differed, we are not producing due to security challenges.”
He added, “The Shell Petroleum Company (SPDC) trunk line, TNP transnational pipeline, cannot be operated and this has been like this since March the 3rd that we put in this. Just take your calculator, 150,000, it means if you want to arrive at one million barrels per day, it means every week as a minimum, basically for one week alone, it’s four cargo and four cargo is four million barrels. Four million barrels formula bar or $100 is $400 million. So you can do your calculations by yourself, take whatever price you want, take this to multiply by the number of days that have been shut in since March 3.”
The NAPIMS general manager said Forcados was not completely secured due to some challenges, but assured that they were addressing it, and in two weeks it might be fixed.
According to him, “But we also have Brass, about 100,000 barrels, which is operated by Agip and is also facing insecurity and vandalism.
“Illegal siphoning of crude oil from oil facilities by criminal individuals and groups impacted negatively on revenue to all stakeholders.
He lamented that the quantity of oil delivered into these federal oil terminals in the country had been limited by the activities of pipeline vandals and organised criminals.
Wunti said vandalism caused low crude oil production, interrupted gas supply, countrywide interruption of distribution of petroleum products, refineries’ downtimes, increasing instability in the oil and gas market, “but I will tell you the major thing that affects us.”
He revealed, “Nigeria will suffer for it; the revenues are impacted, so we can only appeal to them to rein in themselves, the oil theft situation is regrettable. It’s not going on across the whole of the Niger Delta, there are trunk lines that are more impacted on, I think the Bonny trunk line ranks highest.
“Our major challenge as a country is our capability to respond and that is as a result of several factors, the terrain as well as some incapacity that we have.”
Commenting on the role of technology in the effort to check illegal activities around the oil facilities in the creeks, Wunti said, “I was in the Saudi Arabia infrastructure twice, and I know what they have. It’s a digital control system; it’s different from our own. Digital control system, it’s like you have the control system of all your assets in one place.
“This is beyond the digital control system; it’s also a security system and we are doing it and to tell you that this was built-in by our in-house software engineers because of the security sensitivities to it, because they are customised, the moment you give to somebody who creates that. So we use a combination of technology to integrate and synchronise and create what we are now confident and comfortable with.
“In the effort of the corporation to meet its financial tasks the corporation maintained industry data on crude and all NGS production and lifting and most importantly, we ensured energy security, ensuring bulk supply of petroleum products to the nation and remit 100 per cent of this to the federation.”
Speaking on synergy with other government agencies, Wunti explained that the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, former DPR, and the regulatory commission had issued what they called Bill of Quantity and they also handled vessel clearance and export permits, while the Federal Ministry of Trade and Industry handled the issuance of export permits.
He said, “We also relate with the Nigerian Customs Service, which also helps with the export permit and to also clear all the vessels; and the Central Bank of Nigeria processes all Nigerian Export Proceeds forms, Nigerian export supervision scheme. So, these are all the agencies we deal with, it’s not an NNPC thing, we have to work through all these agencies before a ship can come in and sail”.
The NAPIMS general manager mentioned some of the government agencies at the terminals to include Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority; the Regulatory Commission; the Nigerian Customs at the terminal; NNPC terminal representatives; pre-shipment inspection agents; Nigerian Immigration officials; Nigerian Ports Authority; and Nigerian Port Health Authority.
He stated, “Then recently, the Navy wanted to be at the terminal. In fact, we are trying to deploy them anytime from now. They also want to be at the terminals to see what is going on, because a lot of back and forth has been going on in the recent past, blaming the Navy. So, they now said they want to be there to participate physically in what’s going on.
“You can see what is happening, that it’s not just an NNPC thing, it is all government agencies working together to make sure that each ship that comes at any point in time has all the clearances.”