The Federal government has announced that it lost $1 billion in oil revenue to crude oil thieves in the first quarter of 2022.
Gbenga Komolafe, the head of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, made this disclosure on Wednesday.
According to him, 141 million barrels of oil were produced in the first quarter of 2022, and only about 132 million barrels were received at export terminals.
“This indicates that over nine million barrels of oil was lost to crude oil theft … this amounts to a loss in government revenue of about $1 billion … in just one quarter,” Komolafe said in a statement.
“This trend poses an existential threat to the oil and gas sector and by extension, the Nigerian economy if not curbed.”
Crude oil theft has increased to a daily average of 108,000 barrels in the first quarter of 2022 from 103,000 barrels in 2021, Komolafe added.
The theft has resulted in the declaration of force majeure at Bonny Oil & Gas Terminal, a pipeline transporting crude from the oil-rich Niger Delta to export vessels, among others, creating a hostile environment and disincentive to investors.
Meanwhile, data obtained from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation for June revealed that 5.7 million (5,707,937) barrels of crude oil were lost in the month of April.
The losses recorded were majorly due to curtailed production within the period from nine terminals.
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