Illegal bunkerers and militia groups vandalising oil pipeline networks have cost the federal government N5.9 billion in the last one year, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources said yesterday.
The Chanomic Creek pipeline loses 600,000 barrels of crude oil daily, Dr. Edmond Daukorou, Minister if State said.
The pipeline supplies crude oil to both Kaduna and Warri refineries and was blown up by a Niger Delta militia group at the beginning of the year.
Dr. Edmund Daukoru who confirmed the level of crude being lost due to pipeline vandalisation, decried the situation in the region saying that government may review its strategy of dealing with the situation.
The situation, the minister further said, has had a negative impact as it has jumped up the level of fuel importation in order to make up for outputs from the two refineries.
The minister made these known on Tuesday at the signing of an oil block with the New Nigeria Development Company Limited, (NNDC), in Abuja.
He said: "Chanomic Creek is a very sad story . As long as they keep sabotaging that pipeline, Kaduna refinery cannot receive feed, Warri cannot receive feed. Currently, the import level which should have been a lot lower has gone back again because we have to import products. The outputs from Kaduna and Warri have to be made up for. At this time when products are sky high, it is a shame that these two refineries that should be contributing to domestic consumption are not in full production".
Daily Trust reliably gathered that contractors have been fully mobilised by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to repair the vandalised pipeline but the militia would not allow them access.
Daily Trust exclusively reported a month ago of plans by the presidency to convey crude by vessels from that region as hostilities around the creeks increases. However, the idea was dropped due to the enormous cost it would involve.
In a related development, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), said its intervention in the face-off between the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and the major petroleum products marketers, has averted strike by NARTO. The face-off arose over the non- implementation of last year's report of a stakeholders committee on freight rates review and other related matters which made NATO to withdraw services to major marketers. PPRRA in a statement made available to Daily Trust, said a meeting convened by it which had in attendance officials of the PPMC, major marketers, Petroleum Equalization Management Fund, agreed to set up a committee to carry out a specific review of freight rates in line with operational realities and a report to be submitted within 14 days.