“as long as the oil companies continue to refuse to meter their oil wells, the nation would be in the dark on the actual quantity of crude they pump daily”.
The Nigerian government produces over 4 million barrels of crude oil daily, an environmental activist said, disputing the official figures by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
Godwin Ojo, the Executive Director of the Environmental Rights Action / Friends of the Earth Nigeria, ERA/FoEN, told journalists over the weekend, in Lagos that the lack of transparency and accountability in the oil sector is responsible for the massive corruption in the industry.
“We believe that 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 production process,” said Mr. Ojo.
‘Breakdown of production’
Nigeria produces a maximum of 2.5 million barrels of crude oil daily, according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
Mr. Ojo, whose organization launched the ‘Publish What You Pump’ campaign last year, said that as long as the oil companies continue to refuse to meter their oil wells, the nation would be in the dark on
the actual quantity of crude they pump daily.
“The oil companies and agencies are afraid of metering,” said Mr. Ojo.
On how he arrived at the figure of 4 million barrels per day, the environmentalist stated that in addition to the 2.5 million barrel daily production, between 400,000 and 600,000 barrels are lost daily
to oil theft.
“Artisanal refining represents only 20 percent of total thefts in Nigeria because you hear of barges and ships taken away,” Mr. Ojo said.
“There are over 10,000 oil spill sites in the Niger Delta and not one of these is cleaned up. One of these spills is about the size of the Exxon Valdez spill which is about 500,000 barrels.
“There is a much more sinister oil theft going on in the high seas,” he added.
Mr. Ojo further urged the media to reflect the new issues emerging in the area of oil theft.
“Oil theft has assumed a bigger dimension and the community folks still get the blame. Nigerians must know the actual volumes that are spilled and those stolen in the high seas,” Mr. Ojo said.
“More oil companies are going offshore yet the pollutions are not going to reduce but will not be very visible onshore until we start seeing dead fish on our shores as the case in recent times.
“The Bonga spill in December 2011 was an eye opener to us all on how pollutions in the high seas cannot be easily monitored by the relevant agencies of government that rely on figures peddled by the polluters,” he added.