Security sources have disclosed that the real looting of Nigeria’s crude oil and its by-products is neither through illegal bunkering, refining, nor pipeline vandalism, but via highly placed government officials-enabled undocumented shipments of large-scale hydro-carbon products worth over $1.2 billion to Europe and the Americas.
The sources noted that while all eyes are on the fight against illegal oil bunkering and pipeline vandalism, top government officials of agencies expected to perform supervisory and due diligence roles in the sale and shipment of the nation’s vast hydrocarbon resources are trading away the resources to cartels and reaping the benefits into private pockets.
The sources said Europe and the Americas were favourite destinations because the products, which are sold at giveaway prices, are paid for without delay.
Noting that the looting of the nation’s commonwealth has been going on for years, the sources said that the Liquefied Petroleum Gas and Liquefied Natural Gas were being shipped out of the country in millions of metric tonnes without records and documentation.
Some of the destination countries where these hydro-carbons are shipped to with the knowledge and protection of top government officials, according to the sources, include Mexico, Brazil, the United States and Argentina.
According to the source, the NLNG, whose duty it is to supervise the operations of such shipments, is a joint venture organisation of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation with 49% shareholding; Shell Gas B.V., 25.6%; Total Energies Gaz & Electricité Holdings, 15%, and Eni International N.A. N.V. S.àr.l with 10.4%.
NLNG has a total production capacity of 22mtpa of LNG and five million tons per annum of Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs) from its 6-train plant complex and boasts of 16 long-term Sale and Purchase Agreements (SPAs) with 10 buyers and controls about 6% of global LNG trade.