Oil theft costing Shell $4.5bn a year

A SURGE in oil theft in the Niger Delta is costing Royal Dutch Shell up to US$4.5bn a year in lost revenues, according to new figures.

Against a backdrop of much resentment against Shell in the region following decades of polluting oil spills, the company estimates that up to 100,000 barrels of oil a day are now being illegally extracted from wellheads and the network of pipes that criss-cross the Niger Delta, as oil hovers around $125 a barrel.

This so-called "bunkering" of oil - by local communities as well as organised gangs - equates to 36.5 million barrels a year, worth about US$4.5bn at today's prices.

The company says it has noticed a substantial rise in recent months and does not agree with critics who say that at least some of the bunkering is motivated by the need for cash - and in some cases revenge - after so-called operational oil spills caused environmental damage which deprived communities of their fishing and farming livelihoods.

Defenders of Shell say the government and army is turning a blind eye to bunkering and could do more to prevent it.


Three times the Elvis appeal

Three times the Elvis appeal

Elvis - An American Trilogy show is coming to the Northern Rivers

Un bon film! French cinema festival is coming

Un bon film! French cinema festival is coming

Alliance Francaise Cote du Nord has unveiled this year's program

A beauty, a beast and some singing cutlery sought

A beauty, a beast and some singing cutlery sought

Ballina Players is auditioning for Beauty and the Beast

Local Partners