The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCLtd.) has unveiled an app that would allow it to track crude oil stolen in Nigeria in real time from local and international markets.
The national oil company said it had stepped up efforts with international partners to track stolen crude oil in Nigeria, using its “unique record”.
NNPC Ltd. Managing Director Mele Kolo Kyari, who disclosed on Friday, August 12, 2012, said that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had been tasked with tracking the possible earnings of the oil thieves.
According to Kyari, the company now has a camera that tracks and monitors crude oil production at all stations across the country to prevent cases of oil theft.
He said: “We have created a functional control center that sees everything we do here. There are a few things left, but we’ve upgraded it to such a level that every camera in every location, by every producer in this country, is visible to us. And I am counting on the support of our partners to achieve this.
“This collaboration has helped us; when we see erroneous movements of people, we report to the Nigerian Navy and they have always responded, leading to several arrests. I can tell you that we have reduced the activities of maritime thieves to a very large extent.
“We also follow the cash flow. Let me be very clear: if you know someone who is in this business, please guide them. The EFCC tracks everyone connected to these transactions, whether within our companies, government security agencies or elsewhere.
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“Wherever there is massive movement of money, the EFCC will follow you. And that also kicks in immediately. We believe that the combination of all of this will bring us back to normality and then people will either see reasons not to continue to do this or they will pay the price.
He noted that the management of pipelines had become a very difficult thing to manage, but was quick to declare, “we are not powerless.”
Kyari said the oil company had a strong framework in place to ensure it contained the threat and was already seeing results. He said, however, that there was still activity by oil thieves on the country’s assets.
“This is very visible in the form of illegal refineries that are continually being installed in certain locations, as well as insertions into our pipeline network. We are reacting to it and doing a lot about it,” he said.
Kyari added, “Vessels have been detained by the Nigerian Navy and I have to commend the members of the armed forces because over the past three months they have done a thorough job. They dismantled a number of illegal refineries.
He said substantial progress had been made in containing the activities of oil thieves, but noted that it would not stop there.
Kyari claimed that the crude stolen from Nigeria had been sold to refineries abroad as no Nigerian refineries were currently operating, promising that the NNPC would track those refineries.
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He said, “As we know, what they steal, they bring back to market. Of course, no refineries are operating in our country today and that means this is being routed to a refinery somewhere, and those refineries have an obligation to ensure that they are buying Nigerian crude from credible sources that they can validate.
“But when they don’t, it means they are also part of the culprits involved in this case. And that’s why we respond in two ways. First, we created a platform where community members and other Nigerians can report whenever a theft occurs.
“We will also reward them and keep this confidential and private. I handle this myself directly and no one will be exposed. Second, internationally, companies must report suspicious crude sales.
He explained that each crude oil that leaves the country has a unique registration number issued by the NNPC and also validated by the upstream commission.
“And I know the destination reporting framework is set up by the commission,” he said.