Civil society groups advocated for metering at the point of production from the oil well heads…
The ‘Publish What You Pump’ initiative, a new campaign that requests that oil companies meter their oil and gas production, was launched in Port Harcourt, Wednesday.
The launch, attended by representatives of civil society groups as well as community based organizations, was organized by the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, ERA/FoEN.
The group said that although the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, processes have been ongoing for about 12 years, it has largely failed to sanitize the Nigerian petroleum sector or reduce the level of corruption.
While the NEITI processes have, over a 10 year period, saved the country nearly $2.3 billion, it is however estimated that Nigeria loses nearly 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day, costing the nation nearly $8 billion dollars per year, the group noted.
“The Publish What You Pump draws attention to the crime scene of ecological devastation, ecocide, and oil theft in the Niger Delta,” said Godwin Ojo, Executive Director, ERA/FoEN.
“It is time to hold oil companies and the presiding captains overseeing these rots and deaths corporately and personally accountable for the deaths and destruction they are helping to
create,” Mr. Ojo added.
The initiative would request that oil and gas production be metered from the oil/gas well to the flow station and the export terminal, and that metering data is available in real time to government institutions such as the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, and the Office of the Accountant –General, among others.
It also requires that institutions such as the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, set up appropriate guidelines for measuring oil and gas production as well as have the necessary tools to carry out their oversight functions.
Mr. Ojo said that the lack of transparency and accountability in the oil sector is leading to massive oil theft from the point of production to the point of sale.
“For example, it is the aspiration of the federal government to increase crude oil production to 4mbpd (million barrels per day) in the near future.
“We state categorically that government is already realizing its aspirations and producing well beyond 4mbpd that is far above the oil industry disclosed production rate that is averaging 2.4mbpd,” Mr. Ojo said.
An estimated 400,000 barrels of crude oil are lost daily to illegal bunkering, pipeline vandalism, and halt in production, according to
the Nigerian government.
During the recent Joint Senate Committee hearing on the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, while the oil companies were advocating for metering of crude oil at the point of sale, civil society groups
advocated for metering at the point of production from the oil well heads, flow stations and export terminals.
“The continued resistance of the oil companies to metering oil and gas at well heads and flow stations and the acquiescing of the regulatory agencies as well as other institutions of government can only point to collusion between the oil majors and powerful government officials who benefit from the oil theft,” said Mr. Ojo.
“The core issue affecting the oil and gas industry is the failure and or refusal of operators in the industry and regulatory bodies to publicly disclose or engage easily available scientific templates for precise measurement of the volume of all oil and gas produced in
Nigeria, and at the different stages of the production process,” he added.
Mr. Ojo further said that the campaign “shatters the myths and misconceptions” that it is technologically impossible to ascertain Nigeria’s daily volume of oil and gas production.
“Although the metering of the production line is important in the short term, it is the national shift in energy production and consumption from fossils to renewable sources of energy that are the
more relevant for a shift towards a post petroleum economy that is imminent for Nigeria,” Mr. Ojo said.
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