Stolen Nigerian oil lands in Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore

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oil-pipeline nigeriaSignificant amounts of crude oil stolen from Nigerian oil pipelines and terminal are reportedly partly sold to Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore in by organised crime groups.

According to a new report Nigeria’s Criminal Crude: International Options to Combat the Export of Stolen Oil released by UK-based think tank Chatham House, around 100,000 barrels a day are believed to be the minimum amount stolen, which accounts for lost revenues to the Nigerian government this year of $3.6 billion.

The theft amounts to around 5 per cent of Nigeria’s current 2 million bpd production but has a wider impact because oil companies are often forced to shut down pipelines due to damage caused by thieves. Nigeria is producing 400 000 bpd below its capacity, mainly due to theft and pipeline closures

“Proceeds are laundered through world financial centres and used to buy assets in and outside Nigeria. In Nigeria, politicians, military officers, militants, oil industry personnel, oil traders and communities profit, as do organised criminal groups,” the report says.

Dubai, Indonesia, India, Singapore, the US, the UK and Switzerland were possible “money-laundering hotspots. According to the report, interviewees said that Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia were possible destinations for the illicit oil, besides the US, several West African countries, Brazil and China.

How it works: Gangs hack into exposed pipelines and siphon off oil to be processed in makeshift refineries. But the bulk of the theft is done on a larger scale by networks who can tap into infrastructure buried under ground or water. They break into wellheads and pipelines, install their own pumps and use hoses, some measuring up to 2km, to load oil onto barges which travel through the delta and transfer the crude onto small tankers at the coast, the report says.

It said the barges were capable of carrying between 3 000 and 18 500 barrels of oil and the tankers between 31,000 and 62,000 barrels. Once there is enough oil in the tankers it is transferred, usually under the cover of darkness, onto an international class ‘mother ship’ waiting further offshore, which can then carry the stolen crude oil to refineries or storage outside Nigeria. Stolen crude is often mixed with legally bought oil to make it harder to track.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s Energy Inspector-General Somnuek Bamrungsalee denied that Thailand is one of the destinations of oil “stolen from NIgeria”. He said that there was only a small chance of Thai refineries buying the stolen oil, as under Thai law, retailers normally buy oil from trade partners under long-term contracts.

 

 

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Significant amounts of crude oil stolen from Nigerian oil pipelines and terminal are reportedly partly sold to Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore in by organised crime groups.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

oil-pipeline nigeriaSignificant amounts of crude oil stolen from Nigerian oil pipelines and terminal are reportedly partly sold to Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore in by organised crime groups.

According to a new report Nigeria’s Criminal Crude: International Options to Combat the Export of Stolen Oil released by UK-based think tank Chatham House, around 100,000 barrels a day are believed to be the minimum amount stolen, which accounts for lost revenues to the Nigerian government this year of $3.6 billion.

The theft amounts to around 5 per cent of Nigeria’s current 2 million bpd production but has a wider impact because oil companies are often forced to shut down pipelines due to damage caused by thieves. Nigeria is producing 400 000 bpd below its capacity, mainly due to theft and pipeline closures

“Proceeds are laundered through world financial centres and used to buy assets in and outside Nigeria. In Nigeria, politicians, military officers, militants, oil industry personnel, oil traders and communities profit, as do organised criminal groups,” the report says.

Dubai, Indonesia, India, Singapore, the US, the UK and Switzerland were possible “money-laundering hotspots. According to the report, interviewees said that Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia were possible destinations for the illicit oil, besides the US, several West African countries, Brazil and China.

How it works: Gangs hack into exposed pipelines and siphon off oil to be processed in makeshift refineries. But the bulk of the theft is done on a larger scale by networks who can tap into infrastructure buried under ground or water. They break into wellheads and pipelines, install their own pumps and use hoses, some measuring up to 2km, to load oil onto barges which travel through the delta and transfer the crude onto small tankers at the coast, the report says.

It said the barges were capable of carrying between 3 000 and 18 500 barrels of oil and the tankers between 31,000 and 62,000 barrels. Once there is enough oil in the tankers it is transferred, usually under the cover of darkness, onto an international class ‘mother ship’ waiting further offshore, which can then carry the stolen crude oil to refineries or storage outside Nigeria. Stolen crude is often mixed with legally bought oil to make it harder to track.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s Energy Inspector-General Somnuek Bamrungsalee denied that Thailand is one of the destinations of oil “stolen from NIgeria”. He said that there was only a small chance of Thai refineries buying the stolen oil, as under Thai law, retailers normally buy oil from trade partners under long-term contracts.

 

 

 

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