The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited says it will work with relevant stakeholders to tackle oil theft and illegal refineries.
Mele Kyari, group managing director, NNPC, said this during an on-the-spot-assessment of some pipelines impacted by activities of oil bunkers in Ibaa Community, EmeOha local government, Rivers state.
According to Kyari, there was a reinforced collaboration among security agencies, regulators, oil companies and host communities to end oil theft.
Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources; Lucky Irabor, chief of defence staff; Gbenga Komolafe, chief executive officer, Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), were among government officials on the trip.
Kyari admitted that relevant agencies hadn’t done enough to curb the illegal activities but assured that the collaboration would spur a new approach to tackling the issues.
“When you see what is happening on the pipeline and the scale of what is happening, clearly it is beyond any explanation in the sense that you do have to take care of it in terms of security, technology,” Kyari said.
“Maybe we haven’t done enough on all of them but I think I can see the traction today in the manner in which we approach these issues today – the combined effort of the command security agencies, the community and also the oil companies.
“We think this is a very different approach, and it will work out.”
Also speaking, Gbenga Komolafe, NUPRC CEO, said: “This is absolute criminality. On the part of the government, if any Nigerian wants to participate in the upstream activities, they can contact the regulatory body for guidance”.
Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources, saidthe federal government is determined to end illegal oil bunkering in the country.
Austin Avuru, former chief executive officer of Seplat Energy Plc, had lamented over the activities of illegal oil bunkers, saying 80 percent of Nigeria’s oil production fell into their hands.