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Nigeria lost $750m to oil theft in 2019 – NNPC

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Tuesday revealed that the nation lost about $750 million to oil theft in 2019.

The Group Managing Director of NNPC Mallam Mele Kyari, made the revelation in a presentation to members of the Executive Intelligence Management Course 13 of the National Institute for Security Studies, who visited the NNPC Towers in Abuja on a study tour.

Kyari decried the growing activities of oil thieves and pirates which he described as a threat to the operations of the corporation.

Speaking on the topic ‘Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea: Issues, Challenges for International Trade, National Security and Sustainable Development of Member States’, he noted that any threat to NNPC’s operations was a direct threat to Nigeria’s survival as nation “because of the strategic role of the corporation as an enabler of the economy”.

The NNPC GMD listed other security challenges facing the corporation to include vandalism of oil and gas infrastructure and kidnapping of personnel.

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According to him, there was a deep connection between the various shades of security challenges as they are all linked to what was happening in the Gulf of Guinea and the entire maritime environment.

Kyari called for a concerted effort and synergy to secure oil and gas operations for the economic survival of the country.

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Responding to questions on the challenge posed by the proposed energy migration by most western countries to renewables, the GMD said that fossil fuels would still be relevant and that the demand for crude oil would not reduce in the nearest future.

“Even by 2050, fossil fuel would account for 80 per cent of the energy mix, and there would still be consumption of at least, 100 million barrels of oil per day.

“We are determined to remain relevant in the long term,” he assured.

In a presentation, NNPC Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Engr. Yemi Adetunji, said in 2016, the Gulf of Guinea accounted for more than half of the global kidnappings for ransom, with 34 seafarers kidnapped out of 62 cases worldwide.

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Adetunji said the corporation was working closely with security agencies to tackle the security challenges, noting that ‘Operation Kurombe’, which was recently conducted by the Nigerian Navy at the Atlas Cove as an example of such collaborative efforts.

Executive Director, National Institute of Security Studies, Dr. Ayodele Adeleke, called for synergy among the security agencies to tackle security challenges in the Gulf of Guinea and the petroleum industry.

The visiting team was drawn from 18 agencies within and outside Nigeria.

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