Nigeria recorded 127 crude oil theft incidents between December 2 and 8. This is according to data shared in a report by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) via its X (formerly Twitter) account on Tuesday, December 12.
During the reported week, the NNPC Ltd ( and its security partners discovered several incidents, 51 illegal refineries were uncovered, 29 illegal connections were identified, 8 vessels were found to have AIS (Automatic Identification System) infractions, 6 acts of pipeline vandalism were detected, 5 illegal storage sites were located, 13 arrests were made involving wooden boats, 3 oil spills were reported, 11 vehicle arrests were made, along with 1 vessel arrest.
The sources of these incidents were attributed as follows, Pipeline International Nigeria Limited was linked to 31 incidents, Maton Nigeria Limited was associated with 30 incidents, Tantita Security Services Limited reported 15 incidents, Shell Petroleum Development Company reported 12 incidents, NNPCL Command and Control Center reported 8 incidents, Government Security Agencies reported 31 incidents.
These crude oil theft incidents occurred across various locations in Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta, Abia, and Imo states. The report highlighted the identification of some of the thieves apprehended during the week. Three thieves were arrested in Isoko South, while three others remain at large.
Two of the arrested individuals were named: Benard Innocent from Isoko South in Delta state, and Adam Akpobome Godstime, a resident of Owodokpokpo in Delta state.
The report mentioned that arms, ammunition, and charms were found at the locations where these theft incidents occurred. Those arrested in Isoko South were allegedly responsible for crude oil theft activities in Uzere and Owodokpokpo in Delta state.
In total, five crude oil theft suspects were arrested during the highlighted week. The incidents occurred in various regions: 9 in the Deep Blue Water, 23 in the Western region, 45 in the Central region, and 50 in the Eastern region of the Niger Delta’s oil-producing areas.
Additionally, the report highlighted an incident where Tantita Security Services Limited intercepted a vessel stealing crude oil from a wellhead offshore in Ondo State. There was resistance encountered during the interception. The vessel, currently held by the Nigerian Navy, was reported to have engaged in suspicious activities in Ghana on November 29, 2023, and four times in Nigeria between August and October 2023.
The vessel sails under a Nigerian flag, registered under Regan Navigation Limited since March 2022, with Randling Marine identified as the beneficial owner since May 2023. It was previously flagged on November 11, 2023, due to multiple identity changes and suspicious activities resembling tankers used in unauthorized crude oil activities.
Recall that the Nigerian Navy said it intercepted a 15,000 metric ton (MT) vessel that was in the process of stealing 95,000 barrels of crude oil which is about N6 billion going by current market rates.
In 2024, the country plans to increase its upstream production and engage all stakeholders to achieve the goal. Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri stated this during the Chevron Nigeria Limited Stakeholders’ Interactive Session.
During the meeting, he said that the success of the upstream sector will determine the success of the midstream and the downstream, so whatever is needed to be done by the government, they are willing to sustain that engagement with the stakeholders so that in the year 2024, the country will produce the 1.7 million barrels needed for the implementation of the 2024 budget.
He said, “Our target for 2024 is to ensure that we work with stakeholders, and we are prepared to provide the best competitive environment not only for Chevron but for other international oil companies (IOCs) as well.”