Implement anti-oil theft to reduce oil theft in Niger Delta, US urges Nigeria


Oil-theft-oil-thiefThe US has urged the Nigerian government to implement measures to curb large-scale crude oil theft in the Niger Delta.

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The appeal came at the end of a seven-day visit to Nigeria by a US delegation led by Special Envoy for Energy at the Department of State Ambassador Carlos Pascal and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Sharon Burke, according to a statement issued late Wednesday by the US Embassy in Abuja.

The delegation met with local, state, and federal officials, as well as with members of Nigerian civil society, the statement said.

“Our interlocutors in civil society, the private sector, and many parts of government affirmed that key steps to address oil theft and revenue loss have been well established, particularly by Nigerian experts,” it said.

“We heard consistently that now the challenge is implementation,” it added.

Oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke said November 28 the government had over the last 18 months been working hard to fight the scourge of oil theft, but has met with little success because the amount of oil stolen continued to rise, forcing Nigeria to say seek assistance from foreign governments.

Oil theft remains a major security headache for Nigeria, which loses about 400,000 b/d of crude, according to government estimates, to thieves who tap into pipelines and wellheads and disrupt production.

Large scale oil theft has forced Nigeria to lower its production target for 2014 to 2.383 million b/d from its 2.53 million b/d target for this year.

Nigeria’s House of Representatives on Wednesday set up a 17-man committee on crude oil theft, Thisday newspaper reported Thursday.

House Speaker Aminu Tambuwal said the committee is charged with uncovering the key players behind oil theft as well as documenting the effects of oil theft on the federal government and the Niger Delta region.

Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsola is aNaija247news' Southwest editor. He's based in Lagos and writes on the Yoruba Nation political issues, news and investigative reports

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