Oil Price Drops To $95 Per Barrel As FG Battles To Reverse Losses From Crude Oil Theft

Crude oil prices have slipped to $95.42 per barrel as Nigeria still battles to reverse the negative impact of crude oil theft on revenue.

West Texas Intermediate Crude fell 0.98 per cent to $89.52 by 8:45 WAT on Wednesday, signaling market reactions ahead of US inflation report.

Brent Crude was also down by 0.89 per cent to $95.42.

The theft of crude oil has been frustrating the efforts of the government in attracting fresh investments into the oil and gas industry through the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act.

Nigeria is losing 400,000 barrels per day to crude theft, the Minister of State Petroleum, Timipre Sylva said on Tuesday.

Within a three months period covering January 1 and March 31 this year, Nigeria lost a whopping amount of $1bn revenue to crude oil theft.

Four months ago, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva the Chief of Defence Staff Lucky Irabo and Kyari, visited the Niger Delta for an on-the-spot assessment of the damage done by vandals.

Just last month, Kyari, the European Union Delegation, top officials of the NNPC Ltd as well as representatives of security agencies again visited the Niger Delta Creeks to assess the ongoing fight against crude oil theft, illegal bunkering and vandalism of oil and gas installations.

Currently, Sylva, Irabor; Kyari and other top officials of government are touring visiting the Governor’s of Imo, Bayelsa and Delta States to get their support in tackling crude oil theft.

These visits underscore the efforts of the government in finding a lasting solution to the issue of crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism.

Sylva said the country “had fallen short of OPEC daily quota, from 1.8 million barrels to 1.4 million barrels, due to crude theft.

“It is a national emergency because the theft has grown wings and reached a very bad crescendo. This is because the thefts are taking place in the communities that host the oil pipelines.”

The country has not been able to meet its quota of 1.99 million barrel per day.

But the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Limited, Mallam Mele Kyari, placed the loss at $1.9bn monthly.

The GMD disclosed, “as a country, we hardly meet our OPEC production quantum of 1.99 million barrels per day with our current production level of 1.4 million barrels per day which is currently being threatened by the activities of these economic saboteurs.

“This has done extensive damage to the environment and losing $1.9 billion every month is colossal, considering the nature of the global economy at the moment.”

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry said Nigeria is the only major oil exporter that hasn’t benefited from the windfall of higher global oil prices which rose above $120 per barrel.

“Nigeria is the only major oil exporter that hasn’t benefited from the windfall of higher global oil prices.

“The Chamber has consistently advised the government to borrow from cheaper sources and consider deficit financing from equity instead of the expensive debts borrowed and used for recurrent expenditures.

“The commercialisation model proposed for NNPC Limited is the right direction to go,” said Michael Olawale-Cole, President of LCCI.

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