Aiteo reiterates resolve to retrieve missing crude
Independent oil producer, Aiteo has reiterated its resolve to retrieve what it described as missing 16 million barrels of oil allegedly diverted by oil major, Shell.
Aiteo reinforced this position after it observed what it referred as a calculated media attack on its reputation and the company’s Executive Vice Chairman, Benedict Peters.
The Guardian had earlier reported that the reallocation of crude oil volume from Nigeria’s Bonny Terminal between 2016 and 2018, following gaps in metered volume between oil majors and some indigenous firms, was responsible for allegations of crude theft in the nation’s onshore operations.
In a statement by Aiteo’s Group Head, Media Operations, Ndiana Mathew, the oil firm stated that “any objective observer will easily appreciate the motivation on the part of the international oil giant to propagate this campaign of calumny.
“By doing so, the outcome will create unnecessary digressions and distractions from the current issues encapsulated by our demand that Shell accounts and pays for over 16 million barrels of oil belonging to us and the Nigerian government, missing through their actions and activities.
“Hitherto unchallenged evidence of this missing crude is exemplified by the discrepancies in the production figures independently reported by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR). As is standard in the industry, DPR reports actual reconciled production volumes from the wells that flow to the terminal.”
Although Shell has denied any wrong doing, Mathew, stated that the analysis of independent reports demonstrates the glaring discrepancies, adding, “indeed, over the relevant three-year period, the figures from both government agencies set out below make grim, desperate reading: 2016 barrels: NNPC 16 million v DPR 22 million, 2017 barrels: NNPC 13.5 million v DPR 21 million and 2018 barrels: NNPC 15 million v DPR 25 million”.
He said that critically, it was a clear indication that buttresses the fact that millions of barrels remained unaccounted for is as a result of the oil giant’s deployment of unapproved metering equipment at its terminal.
He went further saying that, “Complaints by Local Oil Companies (LOCs), including Aiteo, led to an investigation by DPR culminating in the regulatory agency releasing a report that identified irregularities in that respect and deprecated the methodology used by the IOC.
The DPR issued further directions affirming its non-approval of the equipment used by the IOC and in doing so, it imposed a sanction in the sum of N250,000 Naira on the oil giant for violation of Part 1, Section 2(d) of the Mineral Oil Safety Regulations and the provisions of section 51 of the Petroleum Act 1969.
However, despite this, the IOC has continued to use the unapproved metering equipment, continually understating the crude oil due to certain LOCs, including Aiteo.
Mathew added that while dispute resolution between Aiteo and the IOC continues, this ploy by the IOC to incentivise certain sections of the media to publish false and damning reports targeted at maligning the reputation of Aiteo and its Executive Vice Chairman, Benedict Peters, is being deployed as a means of muddying the waters and diverting the public’s attention from the pertinent current issues.
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