The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has said the federal government lost about $750m to crude oil theft in 2019.
The corporation said the activities of oil thieves and pirates, which has been on the rise, is a threat to its operations.
The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mele Kyari, disclosed this on Tuesday, while speaking to members of the Executive Intelligence Management Course 13 of the National Institute for Security Studies who visited the NNPC Towers, Abuja, on a study tour.
According to a report by The Punch newspaper, Mr Kyari said because of the crucial role of the corporation in the economy of the nation, any threat to its operation will be a direct threat to the survival of the country.
According to him, the vandalism of oil and gas infrastructure and the kidnapping of personnel are other security challenges facing the corporation.
He said there was a deep connection between the various shades of insecurity challenges.
Mr Kyari said they were all linked to what was happening in the Gulf of Guinea and the entire maritime environment.
He then called for a synergy to secure the oil and gas operations for the economic survival of the country.
Responding to questions on the challenge posed by the proposed energy migration by most western countries to renewable energy, Mr Kyari said that fossil fuel would still be relevant and that the demand for crude oil would not reduce in the nearest future.
“Even by 2050, fossil fuel would account for 80 percent of the energy mix, and there would still be consumption of at least 100 million barrels of oil per day. We are determined to remain relevant in the long term,” he said.
In his presentation, the NNPC Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Yemi Adetunji, said the Gulf of Guinea accounted for more than half of the global kidnappings for ransom in 2016, with 34 seafarers kidnapped out of 62 cases worldwide.
He said the corporation was working closely with security agencies to tackle the security challenges, and cited the ‘Operation Kurombe’ that was recently conducted by the Nigerian Navy at the Atlas Cove as an example of such collaborative efforts.