The Nigerian Navy has deployed 16 newly bought ships to the Niger Delta to guard critical oil infrastructure, local media report, quoting the Chief of the Nigerian Naval Staff. Still, the official said, the Nigerian Navy has a long way to go to eliminate the vessel capacity shortage it has been suffering.
The oil industry of Nigeria is vital for the country, which makes pipeline vandalism and other militant activity in the Niger Delta all the more problematic. In August, a report from the Nigeria Natural Resource Charter revealed that the country had lost some US$7.23 billion (2.6 trillion naira) from oil theft in just two years, 2016 and 2017.
Data from Chatham House suggests that in addition to oil theft in the Delta, Nigeria is also losing US$1.5 billion a month from pirates stealing oil. The figure was confirmed by Nigeria’s Vice President and is equal to the daily export value of the crude shipped via the Forcados terminal.
Things are so bad that Nigeria has been ranked the worst performer globally in terms of oil theft, ahead of Mexico, Russia, and Iran. Until this year, the country also had a major problem with militants in the Delta, whose attacks on pipelines and export terminals suspended oil transport capacity for months.
And militants are not the only ones that interfere with Nigeria’s oil industry. Exxon’s Qua Iboe terminal is currently under a blockade from former employees of the local unit of the company, who were laid off in July. Since then, they have been protesting at Qua Iboe, and Exxon says if the blockade continues it could affect its production. Qua Iboe has a daily capacity of 300,000 bpd of crude.
Nigeria’s oil production fell by 160,000 bpd in the second quarter of the year, to an average daily of 1.84 million bpd, Nigerian media reported earlier today.