The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, says plans are underway to develop a technology that will help the nation curb oil theft.
The general manager of the development, refineries and petrochemical division at the Research and Development Division, R&D, NNPC, Port Harcourt, Abiola Falowo, made this known in Port Harcourt on Thursday.
Mrs. Falowo said the division was developing a “calibrated database” that would help detect Nigeria’s stolen oil if taken to any part of the world for sale.
Mrs. Falowo explained further that the project would employ the use of a finger-printing technology.
According to the NNPC official, the technology would help collate oil data by taking samples of Nigerian crude from the nation’s oil wells to ascertain its origin, and document other attributes.
Subsequently, she said, the properties and other records would be documented in the database.
The project is divided into three stages, she said, adding that the project team members were working on the first stage.
Nigeria oil production capacity has been plagued by oil theft and pipeline vandalism in recent years.
In 2014, Nigeria was listed as the country with the highest incidents of crude oil theft in the world.
According to this data released by Oilprice.com, about 400,000 barrels of the nation’s crude oil were stolen daily.
Nigeria was ranked worse than Mexico, Iraq, Russia and Indonesia on the top five countries most plagued by oil theft.
The report put Nigeria’s losses to crude theft at $1.7 billion, about N272 billion per month, representing 7.7 percent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP.
“These numbers paint a harsh picture about the inability of the Nigerian government and the multinational oil companies in Niger Delta, to do anything about this rampant theft,” it added.
Similarly, in November 2016, the NNPC operational report indicated that N12.754 billion was lost to crude oil and petroleum products theft and vandalism.
The oil corporation disclosed that of its N133.81 billion total earnings from domestic crude oil and gas sales, N11.786 billion was spent on pipeline repairs and management.
“The new technology will help curb incidences of oil theft, as it would also boost the government’s oil revenue. The project will help arrest oil theft and earn money for the government,” Mrs. Falowo said.