The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Timipre Sylva, in a meeting with the Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma disclosed that Nigeria loses 400,000 barrels of oil per day to oil thieves. 

The rising cases of oil theft in Nigeria have had a significant impact on Nigeria’s production capacity as well as the country’s earning capacity. Recent figures indicate Nigeria has constantly failed to meet the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) daily quota of 1.8 million barrels per day due to the oil theft situation. Nonetheless, OPEC has raised Nigeria’s daily quota to 1.830 mbpd in September 2022. 

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and one of the top producers of oil on the continent, produces 1.4 million barrels per day. 

What they are saying 
Dr Timipre Sylvia, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, insisted that the difficulty in addressing the oil crisis is because the oil theft is occurring in the communities that host the country’s oil pipelines. He further added that natural resources are not as attractive to foreign investors because no one wants to “invest where there is incessant insecurity and vandalism of the infrastructure.”

What you should know 
A report by Gbenga Komolafe, the head of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory revealed that in the Q1 of 2022, Nigeria lost $1 billion in revenue to oil theft. The stakeholder also reported that only 132 million barrels of the 141 million barrels of oil produced in Q1 of 2022 arrive at export terminals. 

Data shows in 2021, Nigeria lost 193 million barrels or $3.5 billion to oil theft. This value is 10% of the country’s foreign reserves. However, in the first quarter of 2022, Nigeria’s Ministry of Finance pegged the country’s oil revenue at N285.38 billion.

There is also a concern of casualties at illegal crude refining sites in Nigeria. In April, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) confirmed the death of over 100 people in the explosion of an illegal refinery in Imo State, Nigeria. 

This illegal refinery explosion is the second fatal refinery explosion in less than a year, as 25 people died at an unauthorized site in River State last October. 

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