Shell to investigate nine-years long oil theft in Nigeria

Nigeria oil field - Image WSJ

Royal Dutch Shell is to investigate an oil theft of nine years from its facilities in Nigeria.

The company announced on Wednesday, October 12 that an illegal tap had been run on one of its pipelines in the West African country for at least nine years.

The illegal tap was first raised on Sunday by an NNPC spokesperson who said the theft point extended from the Trans Escravos pipeline.

A spokesperson for Shell said: “We are also conducting an investigation to establish where the theft lines end and whether there have been any breaches of the unmanned platform’s security barriers (locks etc.) or any unauthorised use of the equipment on it.”

He added that illegal connections are regularly detected as part of the company’s surveillance, but that it would now launch a joint investigation with regulators to understand how the theft occurred. It would also look “establish the nature and condition” of the lines before removing them.

Theft in Nigeria is a major problem that has plagued the country for years, with militants and former militants operating in the area. As a result, theft is often a coordinated action, but the company said they were making headway in cracking down on theft.

The scale of the theft has also affected the country’s ability to meet its export obligations, hopefully as Shell investigates the nine-years long oil theft the country will get a better understanding of the problem and will scale up its much-needed exports.


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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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