Shell to protect its Nigerian pipelines from oil theives with drones

This was disclosed by SPDC’s General Manager, External Relations, Mr Igo Weli in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.

He added that the SPDC also builds cages and installs technology to protect its wellheads.

What SPDC is saying

Mr Weli said the decision to protect its pipelines with drones is due to frequent attacks on its by oil thieves, leading to huge revenue losses.

He added that “oil thieves punctured SPDC pipelines and wellheads, and thereafter, redirected crude oil to their illegal refining sites.

To this end, we have signed a contract, and soon we will start using drones to monitor our pipelines, wellheads and other facilities.

”Shell does so much to protect its assets in Nigeria.”

Weli said the frequent attacks on its oil and gas facilities by organised criminals had worsened over the years, resulting in the company spending huge funds to protect its facilities. He said some of the other extraordinary things they now do as a company is flying helicopters daily to check the pipelines that come at a huge cost to the company.

Even when we see illegal refineries, we cannot do much other than draw the attention of the authorities to it.

“The SPDC builds cages and installs technology to protect its wellheads – just like we put burglary proof in our homes to ward off robbers.

“This is worrisome and should be of concern to everyone, understanding that oil and gas is where the country generates huge forex and creates employment for millions,” he said.

The SPDC general manager said the company was also collaborating with security agencies through the sharing of data on the locations and activities of illegal bunkers and refining sites.

What you should know

  • 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.
  • Only about 132 million barrels of the 141 million barrels of oil produced in the first quarter of 2022 were received at export terminals, they added.
  • Last Month, Managing Director of Chevron Nigeria/Mid Africa Business Unit, Richard Kennedy, said crude oil theft in Nigeria is organized crime and should be differentiated completely from host community issues.
  • He also revealed that the level of theft is costing Nigeria millions of dollars daily in lost revenue which could have helped solve our fiscal challenges.

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