The House of Representatives Adhoc Committee on Oil Theft has began investigations into an alleged 329,420,319 barrels valued at over $20 billion that was not accounted for between 2005 and 2012.
The Chairman of the committee, Hon. Peter Akpatason, who spoke during a hearing on the matter, accused Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) of not doing enough to render an account of the alleged missing monies.
The committee alleged that similar trend of infractions was also observed between 2016 and 2019. Akpatason, therefore, demanded explanation from DPR on the alleged stolen crude oil.
Akpatason said: “The effects of crude oil theft cannot be overemphasized, and this has lasted for too long. As patriots, it is our collective responsibility to see to the end of this stealing. The adhoc committee has identified the key role of DPR, as the agency of government in the sector, hence your re-invitation today to enable us work together and come up with a common front on ways to tackle this matter. If not completely put an end to it, we must reduce it to its barest minimum.
“DPR is the agency of government saddled with the responsibility of monitoring crude oil production and lifting. The committee requested and obtained schedules of crude oil produced and lifted between 2005 and 2019.
“Forensic analysis of the data revealed a very wide margin between what was reported produced and what was lifted. Between 2005 and 2012, DPR reported production of 1,746,621,167 barrels from four sampled oil terminals of Egeravos, Bonny, Forcados and Bonga. Out of this production volume, only 1,417,200,848 barrels were accounted for as having been lifted officially. A whopping volume of 329,420,319 barrels, valued at over $20 billion, could not be accounted for. The same trend of infractions was observed in the years 2016-2019.”
He said the adhoc panel, through analysis of submissions made to it, raised issues requiring clarifications from DPR. “These issues range from unprocessed crude oil to suspected stolen/diverted crude oil, discrepancies in records, use of inappropriate devices and technologies for measurement and gauging despite huge budgetary provisions”.
Welcoming the officials earlier, Akpatason said the mandate of the committee was not to witch-hunt anyone but to proffer lasting solution to “this lingering cancer bedeviling us as a nation.”
Director and Chief Executive Officer of DPR, Mr. Sarki Auwalu, explained how crude oil was stolen. According to him, most of the thefts usually come from land terminals because the producers have to use pipelines to transport the crude into the terminals for export.He briefed the legislators on how to account for hydrocarbon in the country.