Idris Musa, the Director-General of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) on Thursday revealed that Bayelsa State, one of Nigeria’s oil-producing states, has experienced 1,086 oil spills in just seven years.
According to the official, 917 of the 1,086 oil spillages were man made; meaning a third party initiated the breakages of these pipelines. Meanwhile, the federal government last year pegged oil spills in the country from 2015 to March 2021 to be 4,919 oil spills.
Bayelsa, one of the oil-rich states in the Niger Delta region of the country, is responsible for an estimated 30-40 percent of the country’s oil. Due to the oil spillage recorded in the state and other oil-producing regions, the federal government initiated to help the affected communities.
The Big Picture
Global statistics have named Nigeria the most notorious country experiencing oil spillage as the country loses an estimated 400,000 barrels per day. In second place is Mexico, with an oil spillage rate of between 5000 – 10,000 barrels per day representing a 3,900 percent from Nigeria’s.
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 that 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.
Data from 2021 shows that Nigeria lost 193 million barrels or $3.5 billion to oil theft. This value is 10% of the country’s foreign reserves.
There is also a concern of casualties at illegal crude refining sites in Nigeria. In less than a year, 25 people died at an unauthorized site in River State last October.