Nigeria ermarks $1bn to fight pipeline vandalization and Oil theft
President Goodluck Jonathan has announced that the federal government has set aside $1 billion for the implementation of a comprehensive programme to curb crude oil theft, vandalism of oil and gas infrastructure and the apprehension and prosecution of crude oil thieves.
This came as the Vice-President of Shell Upstream International, Mr. Markus Droll, has disclosed that the declining rate of crude oil production of Nigeria’s hydrocarbon resources may be as high as 15 to 20 per cent.In his comments on Nigeria’s hydrocarbon resources, Droll said replacing such natural production decline rates in the industry require more funds than are currently available but that the peculiar high cost operational environment of Nigeria had compounded the situation.
Jonathan spoke at The Hague at separate meetings with the Prime Minister of Netherlands, Mr. Mark Rutte, and the Chief Executive Officer of Shell International, Mr. Ben van Beurden.
He disclosed that a technical committee had already been set up to look into all aspects of the implementation of the programme.
According to the president, it would include further action to enhance the security of pipelines and other oil industry infrastructure, resolve community-related issues, boost youth empowerment in oil-producing areas and enhance the commitment of oil companies in the discharge of their corporate social responsibilities.
Jonathan stressed that the fresh onslaught against oil theft planned by his administration would require maximum cooperation of the international community, especially countries like the Netherlands which are major stakeholders in the global oil industry.
“Oil theft is an aspect of global terrorism, which has become a big industry on its own. It has become a major threat to the Nigerian economy and we need to work with all stakeholders to curb it. The thieves must be traced, apprehended and prosecuted,” Jonathan said.
The Dutch Prime Minister, Rutte, assured Jonathan of the commitment of the Netherlands to the concerted action against crude oil theft and global terrorism.