20 May 2012 UPDATE: Appears the announcement of losses below was a prelude to this announcement of deploying security forces.Losing over 180 million barrels of crude oil daily, Nigeria has inaugurated a joint military task force on crude oil theft, the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Oluseyi Petinrin, told journalists on Saturday in Lagos, during a stakeholders’ meeting on security in the oil and gas industry.
Petinrin said the task force consisting of senior army personnel and other security agencies, would check the incessant oil theft and bring sanity to the industry.
“I quite agree with the collective decision of the stakeholders on ways to address oil theft in the country.
All the security agencies will ensure adequate monitoring of the country’s oil theft to logical conclusion,” he said.
He assured the nation that the security agencies that would be involved in the assignment of the task force would never compromise anything.
The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, who confirmed that over 180 million barrels of crude oil were lost daily, said that the task force would include both indigenous and international oil chiefs.
The minister said that it had been observed that in the last six months, oil theft on Nigerian waters increased.
“This crude oil theft affects both our environment and economic values in Nigeria,” she said.
Source African Press Agency
The Nigerian government has said it has incurred losses of more than $12 billion to pipeline vandalism and oil theft in the last one year.
Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke, told a stakeholders meeting on the rising security in the oil sector in Lagos on Friday that $5 billion was spent in the last one year on pipeline repairs, while the amount lost to crude theft was valued at $7 billion.
The minister, who decried the menace of oil theft, said that the meeting was convened in order to strengthen partnership with leadership of security agencies in curbing the problem.
“In the last six months the level of oil theft in the country has become alarming and has necessitated the need for this roundtable with all stakeholders. It will be very productive if we open up discussion to provide solution on the situation we have found ourselves,” she said.
Alison-Madueke said that the meeting would evolve a short, medium and long term solutions to tackle the issue as oil theft was taking its toll on the economy of the nation.
She thanked the service chiefs for the support and expressed optimism that the problem would finally be addressed with their support.
The minister stressed the need for urgent replacement of old pipelines and rehabilitate the infrastructure in the sector.
According to her, the government is exploring alternative sources of funding to fast track infrastructure development and ensure asset integrity in the sector.
The meeting was attended by Chief of Defense Staff, Air Marshall Oluseyi Petinrin, Chief of Army Staff, Azubuke Ihejrika and managing directors of international and indigenous oil companies.
Source African Press Agency