Yenagoa - The Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and Bayelsa Government have commenced talks on measures to curtail oil theft in Bayelsa, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
NAOC told the meeting initiated by Bayelsa Government that it was forced to suspend operations in May due to the high incidence of oil theft as it was recording a loss of 20 000 barrels of crude oil per day.
According to him, the discussion will explore ways to tackle the menace.
NAN reports that Bayelsa Deputy Governor, Gboribiogha John Jonah (rtd), representatives of NAOC and surveillance contractors engaged by the company to tackle oil theft, attended the meeting.
In his address, Jonah said that the government was losing a lot of revenue due to crude oil theft in the Niger Delta.
He said that the menace was impacting adversely on the economy of the nation, which was dependent on crude oil export.
The Federal Government, he said, was worried over the situation and was making efforts to ensure that the menace was curtailed.
The deputy governor also expressed concern over the damage done to the nation’s environment from the activities of international oil companies operating in the Niger Delta.
He said that the Federal Government had constituted a committee headed by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta to deal with the issue of crude oil theft.
In his remark, the Bayelsa Commissioner for Energy in Bayelsa, Francis Ikio, said that oil theft required complex skills found only in the oil sector.
He urged international oil companies to look inwards, adding that oil thieves were likely to be insiders.
In his comments, Albert Ijuwe an official of NOAC, commended the Bayelsa Government for its efforts to combat oil theft.
He said that the menace had compelled the oil firm to shut down production to effect repairs on 162 leakage points on its pipeline network in Bayelsa.
He said that the development had led to a production loss of 20,000 barrels per day since May 2013.