The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has said Nigeria and Angola are still the two dominant producers of crude oil from the Gulf of Guinea region.
Alison-Madueke stated that out of the 15 countries, which make up the Gulf of Guinea region with about 5.4 million barrels per day (mbpd) of crude oil production in 2012, both countries accounted for 47 per cent and 34 per cent of its production respectively with Nigeria ahead of all.
A statement from acting Group General Manager Public Affairs of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Tumini Green, yesterday in Abuja, quoted the minister as saying that oil supply from the Gulf of Guinea region in 2011 was equivalent to 27 per cent of European Union (EU) consumption and 29 per cent of total US petroleum consumption in the same year.
Alison-Madueke, however, stated that such production capacity was been threatened by increasing insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea, which had also seen ceaseless cases of hijacks, unauthorised vessel boarding and kidnapping in the region.
She spoke at the First Nigerian Navy Offshore Patrol Vessel Africa Conference (OPV) in Lago, where she was represented by the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Andrew Yakubu.
Alison-Madueke said while providing a breakdown of oil and gas operations in the region that: “The Gulf of Guinea consists of 15 countries with oil production exceeding 5.4 million barrels per day in 2012. Oil supply from the Gulf of Guinea region in 2011 was equivalent to 27 per cent of EU consumption and 29 per cent of total US petroleum consumption in the same year.
“Nigeria and Angola account for 47 per cent and 34 per cent of total Gulf of Guinea oil supply respectively. It is extremely important that Gulf of Guinea countries and their allies collaborate to police the sea lanes of the Gulf of Guinea; disruptions in crude oil supply not only affect countries such as Nigeria but ultimately have an impact on the global economy.”
In her description of the security situation, she noted that crude oil theft and illegal oil bunkering in the region had become a major source of concern to the federal government, adding that it was totally unacceptable.
“According to the US Naval intelligence report, the region in the first half of 2013, witnessed nine hijacking incidents in addition to 55 incidents of unauthorised vessel boarding, vessels fired upon and kidnappings this year,” Alison-Madueke explained.
She also stated that maritime security was not only essential to maintaining the flow of revenue from oil and gas but also impacts greatly on the region’s broader economic development, adding that maritime resources such as fish, aquaculture and an intact ecosystem directly contribute to the livelihood of many Africans.
While calling for increased domestic efforts in addressing the menace, she also said that addressing illegal crude oil bunkering is multidimensional and requires multilateralism.
The minister emphasised that reviving the Gulf of Guinea security protocol and collaboration with Nigeria and other Gulf of Guinea countries will go a long way in addressing the maritime security issues.
Accordingly, the three-day conference with the theme: “Delivering Maritime Security to Africa” was attended by navy formations from the Gulf of Guinea countries.
Information from This Day was used in this report.