The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) has announced that it is adopting Saudi Aramco’s model of using video surveillance to monitor its pipelines carrying crude oil from wells to flow stations in the Niger Delta as a result of losses from pipeline vandalism and theft overwhelming Nigeria’s oil business in recent weeks.
Mele Kyari, group chief executive officer (GCEO) of NNPC Limited, stated at a press briefing at the state house in Abuja on Tuesday, “We have put up a control center, it started in April 2022; it’s not yet on the level of the Saudi Aramco control center that is circulating in a viral video, but we are on our way there.”
BusinessDay had earlier this month reported that as a result of widespread petroleum theft that was defying government efforts to stop it and had scared more operators, the number of big-budget oil and gas projects in Nigeria that were currently idle seemed certain to increase.
Nigeria has proven gas reserves of 206 trillion cubic feet and 36 billion barrels of crude oil, but recent years has seen a sharp fall in investment in this crucial industry.
According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, the industry received 0.04 percent of all new foreign investments made into the Nigerian economy in the first quarter of 2022, while the banking and production sectors each contributed 52 and 14 percent.
For many years, crude theft and pipeline vandalism have plagued the industry, compelling foreign oil corporations operating in the nation to relinquish some of their onshore holdings.
According to Kyari, the NNPC currently has some video visibility in and around the Niger Delta pipeline networks of the nation, where more than 90% of the nation’s crude is explored.
For us to intervene and control remotely, he added, “We are also working with our business partners to make sure all data concerning our assets are visible.
“We have visual vision over our marine activities, and we use video surveillance to pinpoint the precise locations of all of our assets. We are capable of emulating the Aramco strategy. I’ll be inviting the audience to tour our data center very soon, he continued.
In response to concerns over the NNPC’s rekindled relationship with former soldiers like Government Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo, Kyari stated that the state-owned oil firm is working with private contractors to assist safeguard oil infrastructure in the areas.
We’re working with corporate organizations that were chosen through the required tender process; we’re not dealing with Tompolo. Tompolo might, of course, be interested in the entities, said Kyari.
Regarding crude oil theft, Kyari stated that the business has established a platform for well-intentioned people to report unlawful activities and transactions in stolen crude oil from any location in the world.
He declared: “We need broader cooperation beyond the sector to tackle the scourge of crude oil theft, which is giving international criminals and terrorist organizations access to enormous amounts of money.
“We are pursuing the elites responsible for the oil theft in addition to the tiny rats at these places, and nobody will be spared. Our findings revealed that crude oil theft compromises occur on a broad scale; NNPC employees, employees of oil businesses, and security services are all implicated.
The NNPC reported that security personnel found 344 illegal oil reservoirs, 355 cooking pots, 759 metal tanks, 37 trucks, 450 boats, and 179 holding containers used by vandals in the oil-producing areas of the Niger Delta to carry out their nefarious activities.
However, Kyari maintained that the NNPC is not required to release the identities of people who have been detained.
According to him, the Vandals’ confiscated property was set on fire to prevent them from starting up again.
Responding to inquiries about the high cost of fuel importation, he said that by the middle of 2023, the nation will have enough gasoline.
When it starts operating next year, the Dangote Oil Refinery, according to him, will produce at least 50 million barrels per day, negating the need to import gasoline.
Regarding NNPC stock, Kyari disclosed that the business would be prepared for an IPO by the middle of 2023.