The Managing Director of Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production, Victor Okonkwo said on Wednesday that the company has lost about four million barrels of crude to oil theft this year.
Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production is the operator of Oil Mining Leases (OML) 29.
Okoronkwo disclosed this on the sidelines of the ongoing Practical Nigerian Content Exhibition and Conference in Lagos.
The theme of the conference is: “Leveraging Local Expertise for Market Growth and Expansion.”
Okoronkwo regretted that attacks by oil thieves on the 117 kilometer Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) has adversely affected crude export from the oilfields in Bayelsa which had been shut for two months this year.
He regretted that despite the enormous investment in technology and security on the assets, the sabotage was yet to abate, adding that the development required a decisive action by all stakeholders.
He noted that the losses in oil output caused by oil theft were responsible for revenue shortfalls expected by the three tiers of government.
Okonkwo said: “One of the biggest challenges we face in our operations is the security of our pipelines and oil facilities.
“Our pipelines and flow-lines are constantly vandalized by unscrupulous elements tagged ‘crude oil thieves’ attempting to cause economic sabotage to our company and the people of this great country.
“Despite our efforts in raising NCTL uptime from 60 percent to over 80 percent since acquisition, we have recorded more shutdown days in operations due to third party infractions for over two months this year, compared to previous years.
“This has resulted in loss of revenue and deferments estimated at about 4 million barrels so far this year.
“Also worrying is the amount of crude loss recorded even when the pipeline is operational, usually in the range of 25 to 35 percent.
“More worrisome is that even when the perpetrators of these acts are caught and handed over to security agencies, we are yet to witness any convictions.”