Due to crude oil theft, Nigeria lost a staggering $1 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2022, endangering the economy of Africa’s top producer.
This was disclosed by Gbenga Komolafe, the head of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission in a statement seen by Reuters.
Nigeria loses millions of barrels of crude oil each year to theft and vandalism, including the theft of crude from a network of pipelines run by large oil companies. This illustrates how lax security results in significant financial losses for the nation.
Only about 132 million barrels of the 141 million barrels of oil produced in the first quarter of 2022 were received at export terminals, according to Gbenga Komolafe, the chairman of NUPRC.
Komolafe said, “This indicates that over nine million barrels of oil have been lost to crude theft…this equates to a loss of government revenue of approximately $1 billion…in just one quarter,”
He added, “This trend poses an existential threat to the oil and gas sector and, by extension, to the Nigerian economy if left unchecked.”
Theft of crude oil grew from 103,000 barrels per day in 2021 to 108,000 barrels per day on average in the first quarter of 2022, according to Komolafe.