June 14, 2024


The Joy of Technology

Oil Theft: Ex-NNPC General Manager Says FG Could Have Saved $20bn by Deploying Technology to Tackle Menace


•Calls for financial commitment in exploration, development 

•$350,000 to acquire devices to check oil theft not paid out by Jonathan administration

Emmanuel Addeh

A former Group Typical Supervisor in cost of Study and Development division at the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd., (NNPC), Mr Benjamin Obaigbena, yesterday called on the federal govt to deploy technological know-how in solving the perennial theft of the nation’s crude oil.

Producing his views acknowledged in a treatise, the ex-NNPC top rated shot approximated that Nigeria would have saved as considerably as $20 billion if it had deployed engineering when the problem started out years back.

He expressed surprise that Nigeria has just woken up from what he explained as its heavy inertia to know that the country is getting rid of substantial quantity of crude oil to  oil theft  and bunkering, insisting that the things to do of the criminals are as aged as the oil  market.

Obaigbena pointed out that Nigeria can not declare ignorance of the astronomical volume  of  oil theft for the previous 50 many years, keeping that it intentionally “let loose the little one tiger  into the wild” which has now matured to a monstrous dimension and sophistication to evade staying caught  or detected.

The retired NNPC worker disclosed that if the federal federal government had heeded and implemented a presentation created a long time ago for the use of know-how to solve the trouble, the obstacle would have been reduced to the barest minimal now.

He insinuated that mainly because govt officers are concerned in the crime, the criminals are never ever caught or  brought to justice for a long time considering the fact that they have impressive backlinks to significant profile politicians  in  government  defending the common interests of events included.

He spelled out that in the yr 2000, the  NNPC  manufactured a quite revolutionary and profitable method to combat corruption at the depots nationwide, decrease pipeline vandalism  and smuggling of petroleum merchandise to the neighbouring nations around the world.

In accordance to him, before, a imagine tank of NNPC then, the Consultancy Services Device (CSU) based mostly in Lagos proposed the use of know-how to keep an eye on the distribution of crude and product lines using  the rules of Telemetry/ SCADA where NNPC could  monitor real time distribution things to do of the pipelines along the country’s arteries of  pipeline community.

With the deployment of this engineering, he pressured that vandalism or pipeline split along the distribution lines would have been instantly detected with inform-tale blinking lights or audible alarm exhibiting the coordinates of the area on the display.

In addition, he noted that the signal is quickly dispatched to the nearest military base for speedy dispatch of anti-terror staff to swoop the spot and incorporate the menace.

“This idea was muted at the presentation location and did not get to top administration of NNPC at that time because  of the involved large cost to deploy such technological innovation.

“ That high-priced choice to mute the thought did not think about the prolonged term  charge- reward implications. If  that engineering was deployed at that product time, the region would have saved much more than $20 billion or much more to day. Aside from the lengthy term  charge conserving, the technological experience in running the pipeline surveillance and security about the several years would have been extended to our railway and street networks for identical objective.

“This 1995 know-how has superior to modern and quicker technologies with several adds ons (e.g. use of Hd movie cameras to capture footage essential in figuring out and persecuting the legal bunch in court docket, SMS, prolonged length drones, cloud storage, satellites, and so forth.).

“It is continue to not far too late if we prioritise the need to have to deploy this engineering. The income to receive this technology  can be created if we can substantially reduce  the large wastages from the three tiers of governing administration which are too quite a few to point out below. The govt can reengineer its processes to save price and strengthen effectiveness in shipping of their plans,” he encouraged.

Whilst contacting for a shut doing the job partnership with the Research and Enhancement division in the NNPC, Obaigbena  stated that the British isles Federal government experienced offered technological aid to address the issue of illegally obtained  crude oils in the Niger Delta in collaboration with the College of Plymouth.

He described that when the analyze was completed,  even more will work were being required to discover Nigerian crude from a mixture (co-mingling) with other foreign crudes, stressing that the challenge was the quick acquisition of more refined analytical gear to complete the investigation.

“NNPC R&D division created a presentation on this examine (as promising instrument to quit thieving of Nigerian crudes for simple detection anyplace in the entire world)   to the workplace of Hon.  Minister of Petroleum in 2013.

“A promise was built by the office to launch $350,000  for speedy purchase  of  Higher Resolution Time-of Flight (TOF) Mass Spectrometers (GC-GC-TOF-MS) and Fuel Chromatograhy Combustion Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (GC-C-IRMS).

“The acquire of the products did not see the gentle of the working day and that was the constraint to conclude the  high conclusion analysis to set up a foundation to recognize Nigerian stolen crude everywhere on this earth.

“It is very good to let Nigerians know that the NNPC R&D division was at the time (and may be until now) the most equipped laboratory in African continent with created capabilities to have out a lot of sophisticated oil and gas  research that had been staying accomplished in abroad preserving many millions of dollars,” he declared.

In accordance to him, if the government means  business enterprise to quit oil theft, it must invite NNPC R&D division, Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Fee (NUPRC), multinational and countrywide oil companies to meet up with and appear up with remedies to set a ultimate prevent to the outdated problem that has wrecked the nation.

He recommended that the neighborhood vigilante team can also be a valuable catalyst in the generate for intelligence surveillance and information and facts collecting, noting that it is prolonged overdue to overhaul the safety of Nigeria’s countrywide asset.

“It is now time for the federal governing administration to wake up, make an early early morning connect with to problem and thrust the mental neighborhood of our great nation to start out solving national  challenges via intense investigation and innovation.

“No nation on this world thrives  in this really aggressive age without a sound basis in pure and applied research,” he preserved.


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