Shell Opposes Death Penalty, Debunks NNPC’s Claim that 400,000 Barrels are Lost to Oil Thieves

Contrary to reports that oil thieves alone are responsible for the loss of 400,000 barrels  daily, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) said, part of it is what oil firms lost to production shutdown.
The SPDC has opposed calls from some quarters that a death penalty be applied to oil thieves caught, saying Shell is against extreme measures, but agrees that there should be appropriate punishment.
SPDC also denied the reports linking oil companies with the theft of crude oil in the Niger Delta region, saying they were complete misunderstanding of happenings in the oil industry.
Reacting to reports that as much as 400,000 barrels were lost daily to illegal bunkering against the backdrop of recent increase in oil theft in the Delta/Bayelsa states axis of the delta, Shell’s General Manager, Communication, Mr. Philip Mshelbila said, such figure did not necessarily represent what were stolen by criminals, but production lost as a result of shutdown of operation in the affected areas..
Speaking with newsmen in Warri, Delta State at the weekend,  he said the figure given by a top official of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, is lost by all players in the oil and gas industry – including multinationals and local firms.
Msehilbila said loss by his company fluctuates on a daily basis, adding that it could hit as much as 60,000bpd.
He explained that when oil facilities like flow stations are shut down in the event of attack by criminals, productions from wells serviced by the facility is deferred, giving rise to the figure bandied.
Specifically, he disclosed that about 150,000bpd would be deferred if such attack forces SPDC to shut down its Nembe Creek Pipeline, which conveys crude to Bonny Terminal.
Also debunking allegation of underreporting of exported crude oil, SPDC’s Asset Manager, Swamp West, Mr. Mesch Maichibi said there were meters for crude inlets and what is loaded from terminals, maintaining, “DPR (Department of Petroleum Resources) has the key and the password.
“It is impossible to do anything (allegation) because as you pump it is recording and no way anybody can falsify account. As far as I am concern the problem is between the trunk line and terminal,” he said.
Mshelbila said crude theft had increased in recent times and expressed concerns over increase in crude oil theft in the Western Delta, comprising facilities in Delta and Bayelsa states.
He called for all hands to be on deck to tackle the scourge, stressing, “If we keep finger pointing, we will never address the situation. We have a duty to protect our future and pipelines.”
However, while canvassing for sterner measures to tackle the crime, Mshelbila dissociated the company from calls for to make illegal bunkering punishable by death.
He said, “We are not talking about extreme measures. Some people have talked about death sentence, but we say ‘No’. What we ask for is due process and appropriate punishment should be given but by no way do we support the extreme measure.”

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