In its annual sustainability report for 2017, oil giant, Shell, revealed that crude oil theft rose by 50percent in 2017 indicating a worsened operational environment in Nigeria’s upstream oil sector.
The company said crude oil theft from its pipeline networks in Nigeria rose by 50 percent to 9,000 barrels of oil a day (b/d) in 2017, from about 6,000b/d in 2016.
The increase, according to the company can in part be explained by the militant-induced shutdown of the Forcados export terminal in 2016, which reduced opportunities for third-party interference.
While stating that SPDC has since 2012 removed more than 950 illegal theft points, the report said “This demonstrates that continued air and ground surveillance as well as the action by the government security forces remain necessary to prevent crude oil theft.”
Shell further said in the report, it recorded 16.7 percent increase in payments to the federal government for production entitlement, royalties, taxes and others in 2017 to $4.32 billion from $3.64 billion in 2016.
The report also indicated that while the company recorded nine operations spills in 2017, up from eight in 2016, the volume of oil spilled in operational incidents decreased to 0.1 thousand tonnes compared to 0.3 thousand tonnes in 2016.
However, it informed that the number of sabotage-related spills in 2017 increased to 62 from 48 in 2016. “Theft and sabotage caused close to 90percent of the number of spills of more than 100 kilograms from SPDC JV pipelines, with the balance being operational spills,” the report said.
It added: “In 2017, 92 sites were remediated and certified (out of 251 identified for this work), with 32 in Ogoniland. During 2017, 84 new sites requiring remediation were identified, of which eight are in Ogoniland.”