Nigeria’s tragic crude oil theft nightmares – Perspectives by Taiwo Lawrence Adeyemi Updated for 2021


Updated: March 2, 2021

Nigeria’s tragic crude oil theft nightmares are real. According to the International Energy Agency [IEA], Nigeria produced about 2.53 million barrels [402,000 m3] per day, well below its oil production capacity of over 3 million barrels [480,000 m3] per day, in 2011.

”Nigeria lost more than 505 million barrels of crude oil and 4.2 billion liters of petroleum products between 2009 to 2018. Crude oil and refined products worth $41.9 billion were stolen from Nigeria in the last 10 years”, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Initiative has said. Nigeria lost $38.5 billion on crude theft alone, $1.56 billion on domestic crude and another $1.8 billion on refined petroleum products between 2009 and 2018, according to NEITI

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“In terms of volume, 138.000 barrels of crude oil were lost every day for the past 10 years, representing seven per cent of average production of two million barrels per day.”

The report further disclosed that Nigeria lost an average $11 million daily, which translates to $349 million monthly and about $4.2 billion annually to crude and product losses arising from stealing, process lapses and pipeline vandalism.

NEITI said, “While figures from government put the loss at between 150,000 and 250,000 barrels per day, data from private studies estimated the figure to be between 200,000 and 400,000bpd. “This implies that Nigeria may be losing up to a fifth of its daily crude oil production to oil thieves and pipeline vandals.”

1] The Facts: 

Highly placed First Class Traditional Rulers of Niger Delta, Top Retired Military Brass, Ex-Niger Delta Militants, notable and highly placed Nigerian Government  Officials and Individual are neck deep in The Tragic Crude Oil Theft Fence Ring Mafia’s In Nigeria, with Sellers-Option to Double [S.O.D] and Buyers-On-Demand [B.O.D].

2] The Thematic Narratives: 

There are six identified pipeline vandals hot-spots in Nigeria, namely; Gombe, Mosinmi, Areppo, Warri, Port-Harcourt and Kaduna.

About $11 million daily, $349 million dollars monthly and $4.2 billion annually and estimated 400,000 barrels of crude oil is lost per day due to;

a] Crude Oil Theft, 

b] Pipeline vandals,

c] Shut down,

d] Diversion,

e] Illegal Refineries.

f] Irregular Metering at oil export loading terminals in; Bonny, Forcardos, Escravos, and Qua-Iboe.

g] Military Joint Task Force [MJTF] connivance.

h] Unofficial and unaccounted for sharp practices by the Joint Venture Company [JVC], Department of Petroleum Resources[DPR] and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation [NNPC].

3] The Rhetorics:

About 7% percent of Nigeria’s total crude oil per day is lost to crude oil theft, with a daily OPEC daily production quota of 2.1 million barrels per day. Nigeria is Africa’s largest crude oil producer and the sixth largest in the world. Bayelsa State, South South, Nigeria accounts for about 87% of the total crude oil theft in Nigeria. 

4] The Syndicate: 

The pipelines vandals, illegal refineries, crude oil thieves and fuel diversion are coordinated by a ‘Syndicated Crude Oil Theft Fence Ring Mafias’. They carried out their nefarious activities mostly at night with equipment such as: Hose, Generator, Drilling machines, IED, Submersible pumps, Aqualung, Axe, Safety goggles, Boots, Hand gloves, Oil tanker trailer and a Barge. They have a supplemented ‘Mole’ within the Security Agencies that tip them off of an impending raid. And after a successful operation, a return is paid to the Military.

Taiwo Lawrence Adeyemi is a Research & Data Analyst, Premium Times Center for Investigative Journalism [PTCIJ]. Contact him Mobiles: +234.816.950.3218.             +234.701.224.8573. Twitter: @Taiwo387


Opinion contributor
Opinion contributor
This opinion was received by Today News Africa in Washington, District of Columbia. The views expressed here are those of the writer(s) and not ours. You can send your own article to


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