The return and increase in oil theft, illegal refining, and third-party pollution—all of which tend to burn out the majority of the forests and waterways in the oil region—have caused new anxiety among the oil majors. According to the argument, more than half of Nigeria’s oil revenues may be required to clean up any potential oil leak in the area if the trend continues unchecked.
This is because the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP), which transports crude from western oil fields to the Bonny terminal for export, is reportedly still shut down as a result of extensive pipeline tampering and oil theft.
According to Shell sources, if 100 barrels are pumped through the pipeline, no more than five barrels will reach Bonny. Due to the significant losses resulting from this, many owners of crude oil stopped using the pipeline.
Igo Aguma, general manager of public affairs for Shell, expressed concern during a media appearance in Port Harcourt on Tuesday that the urgency of the need to clean up the entire region may increase given the current rate of pipeline breaches, and oil facility vandalism, pollution, and burnout incidents.
Soon, more than half of oil revenue or Nigeria’s annual budget could not be sufficient to clean up the area, the GM warned.
READ MORE: Amazon Buys One Medical For $3.9 Billion
According to Aguma, the need for cleanup could increase, and the government might require more than half of its yearly revenue to address the problem.
He questioned why the majority of people and the general public preferred to sit still and observe as a serious threat that may alter the economy and geography of the oil region was being planned.
He added that almost 90% of the pollution in the area is the result of third-party accidents and that oil theft, spills, and other oil-related problems have returned to the forefront.
The GM claimed through a series of slides shown by representatives of the oil company that oil theft has prevented Nigeria from sharing in the consequences of the conflict in Ukraine. It has prevented it from exploring the price surge (over $100 per barrel since February 24, 2022) because it cannot pump its quota.
He added that oil theft is the reason why the naira is weaker against the US dollar and why certain governments may no longer be able to pay their employees’ salaries, but most Nigerians have chosen to ignore this fact.
“Oil theft and unlawful refining are Nigerian problems, not Shell problems,” he said.
According to Aguma, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) is a major partner in Shell’s joint venture operations. This means that any loss is a loss for Nigeria and that every Nigerian owns the money that is lost.
Additionally, he said that while the villages and people watch as though Shell is at fault, the waterways, land, and woods of the oil region are being burned out and destroyed.
He reminded the audience that Shell is a massive international oil company with locations in 170 nations and a wide range of businesses. He claimed that Shell may choose, but does Nigeria have many options?
He added that Shell was just reorganizing its portfolio and switching from onshore to offshore, not leaving Nigeria.
Aguma made it plain that other African nations are looking better and that investors have the right to choose where to go and conduct business.
He argued that Nigerians must take action to stop oil theft, protect the economy, and preserve the environment to find a solution.