Nigeria lost 66m oil barrels to theft in one year – IOCs

Oluwanifemi Ojo
Oluwanifemi Ojo

Nigeria has been unable to produce and sell approximately 65.7 million barrels of oil due to pipeline vandalism and oil theft since 2023.

This has resulted in a loss of potential revenue of about N2.3tn at current exchange rates and average oil prices.

According to The Punch, the Chairman of Shell Companies in Nigeria, Dr Osagie Okubor, said this during the just concluded Nigerian International Energy Summit held in Abuja.

He said Trans Niger Pipeline has been shut down for over a year (from March 2022 to March 2023), causing a loss of 65.7 million barrels.

Attributing the pipeline shutdown to crude oil theft, Okunbor said the pipeline, capable of transporting up to 180,000 barrels of crude oil per day, is a major component of the gas liquids evacuation infrastructure necessary for power generation and liquefied gas exports.


In his words, “What keeps me awake today as regards my onshore business in Shell is the fact that we cannot operate a pipeline, and that’s what is responsible for the 60 percent capacity. I think today that is almost just how much gas we can supply.”

“And this is because one of our key gas infrastructures, the TNP  was shut down for one year; we removed 460 illegal connections on that line. We just reopened that line. Today we are struggling to catch up with our first programme.”

Speaking about the incoming administration, he said, “So, if you ask me what the number one issue has to be for the incoming administration, it has to be the security of oil and gas infrastructure. If you don’t fix it, then we have a huge problem on our hands.”

The Managing Director of Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited, Philip Mshelbila, has stated that gas firms worldwide are currently experiencing a 40% reduction in capacity due to theft, and the issue remains unresolved.

Mshelbila also noted that the oil industry is still facing the challenge of inadequate power to enforce its various policies and regulations.

In 2022, NNPC identified an illicit connection on the Trans Escravos pipeline that is looped to the Afremo test line, which is only four kilometers long.

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