Shell Companies in Nigeria (SCiN), has alleged that illegal oil bunkerers were rebuilding illegal refineries destroyed by Nigerian security forces in parts of the Niger Delta region.
This is as it said about $1billion was lost in the first quarter of 2022 in Nigeria through oil theft while the crime increased to 108,000 barrels per day in the same period under review.
Speaking during a media engagement in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Wednesday, the Head, Corporate Relations, Nigeria, Shell, Mr. Igo Weli, said if care was not taken, Nigeria will be spending 50 per cent of its annual budget to clean oil spills.
Weli said: “Now, we are spending $1billion on HYPREP clean up. It will get to a point where most of our national budget will go into cleaning spills caused by our people. That is what is going to happen.
“It will get to a point where 50 percent of national budget, we will say, let’s go and clean spills. I am not sure other parts of the country will agree to that. These are all some of the things we need to be aware of. The pictures we are seeing are not jokes and everybody should be concerned.”
The Shell spokesman stated that the company has signed a contract to acquire drones to monitor its pipelines and wellheads in the Niger Delta.
He further stated that the company decided to acquire drones due to frequent attacks on its pipelines, leading to huge revenue losses from activities of oil thieves and pipeline vandals.
Weli said: “Oil thieves punctured Shell pipelines and wellheads and thereafter redirected crude oil to their illegal refining sites, thus denying the company needed revenue.
“To this end, we have signed a contract, and soon we will start using drones to monitor our pipelines, wellheads and other facilities. Shell does so much to protect its assets in Nigeria.”
He stated that frequent attacks on its oil and gas facilities by organised criminals had worsened over the years, resulting in the company spending huge amount of money to protect its facilities.