The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, on Wednesday, said a total of 10,166 illegal refineries and crude oil connections were destroyed in Nigeria since 2021.
It specifically stated that over 5,686 illegal refinery sites were destroyed, while 4,480 illegal crude oil connections were removed during the review period.
NNPCL’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, disclosed this while speaking as a guest lecturer during the 2024 Faculty Lecture titled, “Energy Security, Sustainability and Profitability in Nigeria: Advances, Challenges and Opportunities,” organised by the Faculty of Science of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, on Wednesday.
Commenting on the challenges posed by pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft in NIgeria, Kyari in a statement issued by the company in Abuja, observed that the issues had impacted NNPCL’s operations adversely.
He, however, stated that the establishment of a command-and-control centre had aided the detection and destruction of illegal refinery sites, removal of illegal connections, thereby addressing vandalism across operating corridors since 2021.
“The centre provides live streaming of surveillance data to security forces, contributing to the detection and destruction of over 5,686 illegal refinery sites and the removal of 4,480 illegal connections from 2021 to the present,” the company’s boss stated.
He called for collaboration between the academia and the oil and gas industry towards addressing the challenges of energy sufficiency and sustainability.
Kyari highlighted the important role academic communities, such as the prestigious OAU, play in safeguarding national energy security through research and collaboration with the industry.
While pointing out the challenges hindering energy security in Nigeria to include rapid population growth, pipeline vandalism, and crude oil theft, Kyari identified energy conservation, diversification and efficiency measures as major avenues for enhancing energy security.
Addressing the projected rapid population growth, Kyari harped on the importance of finding solutions to ensure sustainable energy security for the benefit of current and future generations.
He underscored the intensified competition for vital resources and urbanisation drive, which would lead to a doubling of Nigeria’s energy demand by 2050.
Acknowledging the severity of vandalism and oil theft, Kyari hinted at a strategic shift, focusing on increased product trucking and storage in underground tanks at NNPC filling stations nationwide.
He highlighted NNPCL’s expanded retail assets, making it the largest single downstream company in sub-Saharan Africa after acquiring OVH retail stations and associated downstream infrastructure in 2021.
He said the national oil firm had transformed into a fully commercial limited liability energy company following the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act in 2021, adding that the removal of fuel subsidies had allowed the company to play a more active commercial role, ensuring profitability and delivering greater value to Nigeria’s growing population.