How oil thieves leverage technology to siphone crude at


From Uche Usim, Abuja More revelations have been emerged on how crude oil thieves use technology to lay pipelines and probably worked at night when half of the world was asleep to siphon crude oil from the nation’s pipelines.Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mr Mele Kyari, who gave the hint, said the economic saboteurs used high level technology to perpetrate their acts of sabotage.Kyari, who spoke on Newsnight, a pre-recorded programme on Channels Television, reiterated that thieves succeeded in stealing the nation’s crude oil due to collaboration with government and security officials; as no man or group can successfully go that whole hog alone. The NNPC boss added that latest discoveries show a deep nexus between the thieves and their official collaborators, a development that has either been perennially underestimated or unknown outright.He said: “When you introduce technology into stealing and this is precisely what they did and when there is a collaboration of people who should not be part of those transactions, you can lay pipelines and no one will see it,” he said.“You can do it in the night if you have the abilities and ultimately, this is what we think happened. You can lay pipelines for the wrong reasons to abandon or active assets. You will see end-to-end collaboration either by people who are around those assets, people operating the assets or people supposed to provide security. “You can eliminate anything. When you find collaborators in the system, then you can get anything done. We didn’t know because the extent of collaboration is unknown to us.”On the way forward, the NNPC boss noted that the government has stepped up efforts to tackle the scourge of crude oil thefts.One of the measures, he explained, is that the authorities backed by other stakeholders now have full surveillance of the nation’s oil infrastructure and are facing this challenge squarely.Kyari stated that the Federal Government has deployed helicopters for 24-hour surveillance to monitor and protect pipelines.Oil theft has become a malignant cancer in Nigeria for years with unimaginable volumes of oil being lifted by some cabals in the oil sector. Recently, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited said it uncovered an illegal oil connection from Forcados Terminal that operated for nine years with about 600,000 barrels per day of oil lost in the same period.Similarly, a former militant leader, Government Ekpemepulo, popularly known as Tompolo, said about 58 illegal oil points have been discovered so far since the operation to end oil theft on the waterways of Delta and Bayelsa states began.•

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