Crude theft: Meter oil production, NEITI urges FG

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative on Monday called for the installation of adequate metering infrastructure at oil production fields and flow stations nationwide.

NEITI said the Federal Government should always insist on metering its oil fields, particularly in the Niger Delta region, in order to reduce crude oil theft.

The agency’s Executive Secretary, Waziri Adio, who disclosed this at a workshop on metering infrastructure in Nigeria’s oil industry, frowned on the situation where the country’s crude production volumes were largely determined by international oil companies.

He said, “Stealing of Nigeria’s crude can be minimised if we know exactly what we produce, what we consume locally and export; these have occurred over the years in NEITI’s audit reports.

“At this time when government is looking for ways of funding budget deficit, the need for us to take adequate measures to realise fully revenues that accrue from oil, gas and mining is key and one way to do that is to know the quantity of oil we produce.”

Adio, who was represented by the Director of Communications, NEITI, Ogbonanya Orji, noted that despite decades of crude oil exploration and production in Nigeria, it had been tough for the country to independently verify its oil production levels.

He, however, noted that some stakeholders in the sector had argued that the country had adequate metering infrastructure, but insisted that NEITI had an opposing view.

Adio told participants at the workshop that based on this, the agency had to carry out a study on the level of adequacy of the infrastructure.

He said, “Industry operators try to convince us that we are in good standing but at the NEITI, we think we are not. We think we can do better; we think that infrastructure for the measurement of crude oil that we produce is not adequate and can be improved upon. We think that we are the only country that has not done well here.”

In its previous audit reports, NEITI had revealed that for 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, a total of $9.89bn worth of crude oil was lost to inadequate measurement of oil produced.

This, it said, was as a result of poor metering infrastructure and explained that for the same period, up to 106,861,842 million barrels of oil were not adequately accounted for.

“NEITI will be comfortable when our country gets maximum benefits from the oil and gas we produce and a lot of gaps exist. One of them is that we do not know the quantity of oil that we produce,” Adio stated.

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