Last week Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, bemoaned growing pipeline vandalism in the country resuling in losses of some 800,000 barrels of oil per day. Nigeria’s crude oil production had declined from 2.2 million barrels per day to 1.4 million barrels per day due to pipeline vandalism.
These sentiments were echoed by Francis Olabode-Johnson, the President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), who urged the Federal Government to tackle the resurgence of militancy and oil pipelines vandalism in the Niger Delta: “I want government and the multinational oil companies to use modern technologies in checking pipelines vandalism and crude oil theft.”
Kachikwu also pointed to Nigeria's decrepit oil infrastructure as another national priority, noting that "our pipelines are 35 years old and none has been replaced; we have not been able to put gas infrastructure in place, our refineries are next to comatose and old and we are working hard on them."
He said furthermore that, while it has been one battle after another, the time has come to invest in proper pipelines, proper tracking, proper buried levels and begin to move with the world