Nigerian Army seized $9m worth of stolen fuel
Army seized m worth of stolen fuel
Nigeria has in the last five months seized 17.5 million litres of oil worth around $9 million (7.2 million euros) that was stolen from the Niger Delta, the Army said Monday.
Oil theft, known locally as "bunkering," costs Nigeria roughly 180,000 barrels of crude per day, more than the amount used daily in neighbouring Ghana, according to the state oil firm NNPC.
Major General Johnson Ochoga of the Joint Task Force (JTF) told journalists in the oil-rich state of Bayelsa that his unit had seized nearly 400 vessels carrying "17.5 million litres of oil products," during the crackdown on bunkering launched five months ago.
"Eighty-six suspects have so far been apprehended and handed over to prosecuting authorities," he added.
In March, the head of Shell's Nigerian branch Mutiu Sunmonu said the country loses $5 billion annually to oil theft, and warned of dwindling revenues in a sector that generates 90 percent of the country's foreign exchange earnings. Another estimate puts annual loss to crude thieves at $7billion.
Nigeria, the world's eighth largest oil producer, has been producing between 2 million and 2.4 million barrels per day in recent months
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