Strain of Oil Theft in Niger Delta
Royal Dutch Shell Plc Thursday decried the rising incidences of oil theft in the Niger Delta, saying it was no longer possible to estimate the volume of crude oil stolen and its attendant environmental cost.
Shell stated that crude theft in the region had reached unprecedented level as well-financed and organised criminal syndicate was involved in the crime.
The company said it experienced just 36 operational spills in 2012, down to 40 per cent from 2011, while the volume of oil spilled more than halved to 200 tonnes.
Dow Jones Newswires, quoted Royal Dutch Shell Plc as saying its Nigerian subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), suffered 137 spills as a result of sabotage and theft in 2012, with the volume of oil lost amounting to 33,000 tonnes.
“This was an increase in both volume and numbers from 2011, as the scale of oil theft in Nigeria reached unprecedented levels,” said the report.
In an open letter published in the report, the Managing Director of SPDC and Country Chair of Shell Nigeria, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, said the problem of oil theft in the Niger Delta had reached “unprecedented levels.”
He called on the federal government and the international and local communities to take steps to stop oil theft in the Niger Delta. He stated “We urgently need more assistance from the Nigerian government and its security forces, other governments and other organisations,”.