The government is investing in technology to trace the crude oil DNA to those who buy from oil thieves.
The Federal Government on Tuesday threw the challenge to curtail the increasing incidence of theft of Nigeria’s crude oil to the international community, accusing International oil traders of abetting the crime with their high appetite for the stolen commodity.
The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, said in her address at the opening of the Offshore Technology Conference, OTC, in Houston, Texas, that the international community must join in the fight against the criminal activities of oil thieves and pipeline vandals by cutting down on their high appetite for stolen crude oil from Nigeria.
The Minister, who was represented by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, said it was imperative that they halt their appetite for stolen crude oil from Nigeria if the country must meet its obligations in the global energy supply mix.
“The President is taking this matter seriously and the Minister is working at it aggressively,” Mr. Yakubu said. “It takes two to tango. If those stealing Nigeria’s crude do not find a ready market for it, there would be no incentive to steal. That is why we are appealing to the international community to take action.
“Tracing the country’s crude by DNA to the destination is being looked into, to ensure that the finger prints of our crude are traceable to the various destinations. I can tell you that as an industry we are happy to work with governments in this regard,” he added.
The address which dwelt on the theme: Development Efforts in the West African Exploration Zone, described the sub-region as the most important petroleum province in the world, pointing out that the natural advantages of the region’s open and unrestricted sea lanes and light sweet crude makes it one of the most important petroleum provinces in the world.
The Minister noted that as the dominant player in the sub-region, Nigeria has pioneered some set of initiatives geared towards ensuring positive impact on the economy.
She named some of these initiatives to include, growth in crude oil reserves and expansion in production capacity, repositioning of gas for re-industrialization/stimulation of the economy, regional and export penetration, revitalization of existing downstream capacities and additional capacity to support energy needs, as well as reforms of key institution to anchor the growth aspiration of the industry.
On the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, the minister noted that the proposed law is further designed to increase exploration and development activities in the region by creating a more competitive environment for both independent and major oil and gas companies.
“This, in addition, will attract investment into the sector. Therefore, West Africa will continue to play a significant role in the global oil and gas energy supply mix post-shale oil and gas discoveries in the world,” she said.