Some oil and gas experts yesterday urged the Federal Government to deploy modern technology in combating the activities of crude oil thieves in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that such technology should include Closed Circuit Television and other electronic devices that could indicate that a pipeline was being tampered with.
They also said that such devices gave timely images and reports to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) and other relevant bodies monitoring the pipelines to promptly tackle the problem.
The experts in the industry adding that deploying such electronic monitoring devices would assist in reducing the huge national revenue loss through illegal bunkering of crude oil.
Managing Director, Tec Flow Oil and Gas Ltd., Simon Francis said the issue of oil theft was a serious challenge that needed to be dealt with through a new mechanism.
Francis said that the use of technology would contribute immensely to combating crude oil theft and incessant vandalism in the nation’s pipeline network.
He also urged the government to encourage private sector participation in the oil sector, adding that the organised private sector participation would expand the profit outlay of operators.
“Crude oil theft remains a big challenge to the socio-economic development of the country.
“Government should also deregulate the downstream sector of the oil and gas. This is the only way to address fuel scarcity,” he said.
Former National Publicity Officer, Petroleum, National Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Seyi Gambo said that government should focus more on ways to liberalise the downstream petroleum sub-sector.
According to Gambo, the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill remains the only way to address sector’s challenges.
He said that the bill identified specific reforms needed to be championed by the NNPC and operators in the entire sector.
He advised the government to privatise the country’s refineries since government could no longer maintain them adequately.
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