Sponsors of crude oil theft are in ‘high places’, go after them, Shell tells Jonathan

crude oil theft
Instead of gallivanting to European and other foreign countries to seek for help on tackling crude oil theft, the Goodluck Jonathan administration should move against “principalities and powers in high places,” who are the sponsors of crude oil theft, the Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, Mutiu Sunmonu, said in Abuja on Wednesday.

Mr. Sunmonu, who spoke at the ongoing Nigeria Oil & Gas, NOG 2013 Exhibition and Conference, compared the stolen crude business to the drug business that had couriers, small dealers, and sponsors.

The Shell boss said that though it is commendable for Nigeria to take the initiative to discuss with foreign countries suspected to hold the proceed from the sale of stolen crude oil, the problem can be easily solved if the sponsors are found out and dealt with.

He said like drug business all over the world, the small criminals who sabotage crude oil pipelines in the Niger Delta are only working for bigger entities that should be found out and dealt with.

“The truth is that the small (criminals) in the creeks of Niger Delta bursting pipelines and stealing crude oil are not working for themselves. Like the drug cartels around the world, they are being sponsored by big principalities and powers in high places, which the government should go against if the fight against crude oil theft is to be won,” he said.

He said efforts should be made by all stakeholders to tackle the problem of poverty among the people, pointing out if this is taken care of, the problem would have been half solved, as the perpetrators would not have any reason to allow themselves be used to steal the country’s commonwealth.

Mr. Sunmonu said Shell and other International Oil Companies operating in Nigeria have had their pipelines sabotaged by crude oil dealers on several occasions. The oil companies have privately and publicly blamed the government for its failure to provide security for the pipelines despite the fact that they pay all the charges and taxes the government asks of them.

Stolen crude has reduced

The Group Executive Director, Exploration & Production, of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Abiye Membere, said the country was initially losing an average of 180,000 barrels of crude oil daily to illegal bunkering and other sabotage activities.

According to Mr. Membere, the various intervention strategies of government have only succeeded in reducing the loss to between 50,000 and 80,000 barrels per day at the moment.

Nigeria is estimated to lose $6 billion (N900 billion) annually to crude oil theft.

Mr. Membere said the federal government is committed to seeing the problem stamped out completely with the resolve to go after countries suspected to be harbouring the proceeds from the sale of the stolen crude from Nigeria.

On Tuesday, the Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke said President Goodluck Jonathan is worried about the rate of crude oil theft in the Niger Delta and is determined to put a stop to the act. She explained that the matter was one of the issues the Nigerian President discussed with his British and French counterparts in his last trip to the two countries.



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  • Es3

    Mr. Mutiu should have known the fastest way to end a stealing spree on any product or item is to end the existence of a market for that specific product or its variants that affects you?!
    Or, is there any sponsor, small dealer or courier that steal crude for the purpose of drinking same or using it to decorate his house???!

    • Ngozika

      In other words, Jonathan can go to bed and let the ‘International Community’ do the job of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria since he is too weak to fight the ‘powers in high places’ in his domain. I commend Jonathan’s move to check the existent market for stolen crude but refusing to check the supply end is sheer foolishness and an admittance of weakness. Unless you are saying that an existing police force can only stop theft by spending their whole day in the black market trading areas. Wetin person no go see for the hand of GEJ supporters?

      • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

        if the shell boss knows the culprit he should have reported them to the police. I think he is playing to the gallery.

        • Abubakar Sokoto

          mptikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa, You know shell knows the fraudulent and criminal Dan Etete of Malabu, Madam Diezani, President Jonathan very well. All these people including Shell know one another since they do business together. So stop your pretense. If President Jonathan is serious and our BIG Madam-Diezani Allison-Madueke are ready to fight their friends the oil thieves, they know what to do. You can defend your paymasters at the Presidency, but do not think anybody take you seriously.

          • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

            I only need to say here that I DO NOT SPEAK FOR ANYBODY BUT MYSELF. I hold the rest of the things you said in contempt.

        • fredostar

          Ugwu_Awusa, it should be obvious to you by now that you are no longer taken seriously on any of these platforms. You are one of those hired guns paid to tackle obvious truth expressed about this administration. Nigeria will get better, and people like you who are benefiting from the destruction of our country will be out of jobs and cover your face in shame. This administration is such a joke; they have attack lion, attack dogs, and even attack chickens. Good luck to y’all.

          • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

            If I give a damn…

      • Es3

        The trajectory of your thoughts and position here is quite revealing of your person!
        Is it possible that Jonathan instructed Nigerian Security forces to leaves illegal crude bunkerers alone to thrive in their business while only being interested in the international community ‘weighing in’ on his side on the same issue???! Even if he did so as you suggested here in your response post, can you say that convincing the international community on any issue is ‘walk-over’ that Jonathan needs do is only to fold his hands?! But for the gory war in Sierra Leone, would the international commuinty have accepted to tag their diamonds as “blood diamonds” and ban same???
        I wish to let you know (because I do already) that crude oil theft in Nigeria is an internationally organised crime with Nigerian partners and that both local and international intelligence reports available to Jonathan (which you lack) has made a multi-prong approach a neccessity.
        Also note that the ability to multi-task as a leader is an asset anyday as such, Jonathan’s international concensus building against crude oil theft In Nigeria is a plus, especially as all our security forces (combined) are both culprits and grossly deficient in policing the pipes strewn length and breadth of Niger Delta and it’s creeks!!!

  • Mamman Bako

    This kindergarten government of GEJ sef, when is it finishing again? ‘Just tired of this lazy approach to governance. Are the oil thieves untouchable? Is the aim of government not to administer and keep the law? I really don tire!

    • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

      GEJ will be there for another four years. You may well relocate to Afghanistan.

    • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

      GEJ will be there for another four years. You may well relocate to Afghanistan.

  • BlackieUmukoro

    The truth has been told by Shell, it is now left for the government to act accordingly. But the will is just not there, so the circus show continues

    • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

      Why is shell boss refusing to share his information with the police? which responsible government acts on wild allegation?
      Jonathan has shown the will by internationalising the fight against crude oil theft for the first time in our history. If there is no demand, supply will die out naturally and JTF who are already on the ground will have fewer clashes.

      • segun

        mptikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa, It seems you know the oil thieves in “high places” since you are very close to the presidency. I think it is a shame if you cannot deal with your local oil thieves who are actually known to the presidency and you expect so-called “internationalising” the fight to succeed. The “International forces” will just be laughing at you and your bosses at the presidency for your arrant stupidity and dubiousness. You know the analogy and metaphor of the ostrich? I am sure president Jonathan is “strong” enough to catch the local oil thieves if he wants. Baby mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_ Awusa, the stronger logic is that if there is no supply demand will die naturally or go elsewhere. Okay. Do not outsource your own responsibility. No responsible country does that except black nations and black peoples. It is part of our inferiority complex. But we should be ready to take responsibility for our own actions. That is what having agency means. except you want to say you and your bosses at the Presidency do not have one-. Your bosses at the presidency know the oil thieves. Shell is telling us that the presidency knows them. Let President Jonathan go after them. And stop the hypocrisy on behalf of your bosses. If there is no supply, demand will die a natural death or go elsewhere. That is the more responsible logic. Okay?

    • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

      Why is shell boss refusing to share his information with the police? which responsible government acts on wild allegation?
      Jonathan has shown the will by internationalising the fight against crude oil theft for the first time in our history. If there is no demand, supply will die out naturally and JTF who are already on the ground will have fewer clashes.

  • If Nigeria President, Oil companies, Oil Minister, police/military claimed that they don’t know who the oil theft groups are must be a sweet lie. Is president, oil companies, oil minister joking and with who?

    I just come back from Nigeria on November 2012 and I did visit Niger delta to see if the documentary about Niger delta people and crude oil theft is true – the things we watch from RT, BBC, AL-Jazeera, stations are well seen by me as shown in the TV in London. Even the police/military at roadblock checkpoints were seen by me taking bribe from van drivers and giving them access to take the local refine oil to buyers.

    What is the Nigeria President try to discussed with British and French government about what his own Niger Delta people are doing? Crude oil theft is openly seen in villages in the Niger Delta area. Mr President ask me where the local oil refine companies are?

    • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

      Sue your English Teacher, son. You deserve a refund.

  • JI

    Shell is the biggest thieve.

    Kettle calling pot black. Bunch of corporate gangsters and thieves.

    All other thieves do not steal 50 of Shells and Chevron stolen crude!