Group Disputes Figures On Nigeria’s Daily Crude Oil Theft


Members of the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) have said the current figures widely believed as Nigeria’s daily crude oil loss to theft was inaccurate.

It said Wednesday in Abuja that Nigeria’s actual crude oil loss to theft had for a while hovered around 49,000 barrels per day (bpd) as against the often quoted figure of 400,000bpd depending on the level of criminal activities recorded at a particular production point within the Niger Delta region.

OPTS, an 18-member advocacy group made up of both indigenous and foreign operators in the Nigerian petroleum industry, among other things, define and address non-competitive issues of common interest to its member to ensure the continued viability of the Nigerian petroleum industry, promote the exchange of ideas and non-competitively sensitive information between its members to enhance their operational activities and also improve safety and environmental performance in the sector.

While making clarifications on the level of crude oil theft in the country, a representative of OPTS, Mr. Ayobami Olubiyi, at a roundtable on voluntary principles for security and human rights, explained that there were indeed differences in crude oil theft and production shot-in by oil companies.

“It is important that we clarify the actual figures being put out as crude oil stolen in the country. By the calculations of the OPTS, what we record as loss due to theft is about 49,000bpd and further production shut-in due to pipeline sabotage.

“There is what is referred to as deferment and outright theft of crude oil; the figure as at today is that 49,000bpd is lost to theft while about 350,000bpd is shot-in, that means production from a particular sabotaged line is stopped and the companies declare a force majeure; this figure is specific to the IOCs except for the NPDC.”

Olubiyi also stated that the quantity of crude oil losses in the Niger Delta is always determined by the level of criminal activities at a particular point in time, adding that the figures obtained by the OPTS as at June indicated that about 25,000bpd were stolen.

OPTS also provides a forum for advocacy in relation to government policies, laws and regulations that impact the nation’s petroleum industry, while promoting the awareness of stakeholders in the industry and the Nigerian public at large on issues affecting the industry.


  1. It’s like the case of armed robbers looting N2million from the bank only for the banker to report N20million stolen after they are gone. Come to think of it, does the government know the actual production? If not, how can they verify what is stolen?