The Director, Petroleum Resources (DPR) and President of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), Mr. George Osahon, has said only the DPR can determine the volume of crude oil lost to thieves and vandalism in Nigeria.
Osahon told THISDAY that the current situation where each of the stakeholders in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry gave out conflicting figures of the volume of crude oil stolen should not have arisen, as the DPR was the only authority that should tell the government how much crude was stolen.
“But unfortunately, the industry has a lot of issues. Each company or stakeholder wants to look good. One ministry will announce that some barrels of crude oil are lost; operating company will give a different figure of number of barrels of oil that is stolen. My feeling is that the DPR should take care of it. If they (DPR) do not know, then they should be called to question. It is only the DPR that should be able to tell us how much oil that is lost and whether the loss is due to theft or not,” he explained.
Osahon noted that some of the oil companies had flow stations where all the gas and water are knocked off and stabilised crude oil taken through the pipelines to the export terminals.
He further said some other companies produce three- phase, adding that three-phase means that water and gas are sent to the export terminals, where water is knocked off.
“How much crude is produced? How much of it gets lost or exported. It is just for us to know so that when you say crude oil is lost, you should be able to say how much of it that is lost and where. That means that you must be able to establish at the point of production, how much you sell. That is all,” he added.
Osahon said NAPE would address the issue of metering crude oil in its 2013 annual conference scheduled for next month in Lagos.
Increasing rate of crude oil theft has threatened the capacity of the Federal Government to finance the 2013 budgets as Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) at a point shut-in production of 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day from the Eastern Niger Delta.
It has however reopened the 28-inch 150,000 barrels per day capacity Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) after repairs were completed following the earlier reported fire at Patrick Waterside in Bodo, Ogoniland area of Rivers State.
A joint investigation team, according to a spokesman of Shell confirmed that the fire was caused by a hacksaw cut by unknown persons.
The 28-inch line was shut in on October 14, while the 24-inch line, which was shut in on October 9 following leaks at B-Dere and Nonwa-Tai, remains closed.
Information from This Day was used in this report.