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Italian oil explorer Eni subsidary Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) has suspended activities at fields located in oil-rich Bayelsa state after a steep increase in the number of oil thefts in the area

jack  Glyn Lowe PhotoworksThe decision to shut operations at the field was made due to intensified bunkering and sabotage of pipelines in the area. (Image source: Glyn Lowe Photoworks/Flickr)

Eni said it was losing about 7,000 barrels of crude production daily to oil thieves in Bayelsa from the facility, which produces about 40,000 barrels of crude oil every day.

According to the company, frequent spills to oil theft by vandals have caused it to shut down operations to prevent further damage to the environment.

The oil spills began on 20 February 2013 at NAOC’s pipeline network in Kalaba community in Yenagoa and such incidents continued to increase steadily until last week of March.

The oil firm said it authorised the suspension of operations on 22 March 2013 and subsequently declared ‘Force Majeure’ (a legal notice that absolves an oil firm of liabilities for failure to meet supply obligations to crude buyers due to circumstances beyond the firm’s control) on its oil output from the facility.

A statement from Eni said, “The decision was made due to the intensified bunkering, consisting in the sabotage of pipelines and the theft of crude oil, which has recently reached unsustainable levels regarding both personal safety and damage to the environment.

“Sustainability is for Eni a priority in Nigeria, as in all the countries in which it operates. Eni has always carried out in the country several social and environmental initiatives in co-operation with national and local authorities.” 


Oil theft losses in Nigeria 'amount to US$6 billion annually’