Illegal Oil Lifting Discovered at Ugo Ocha Terminal, Lawyers Write Senate

Illegal Oil Lifting Discovered at Ugo Ocha Terminal, Lawyers Write Senate

  • There are calls for the upper chamber of the national assembly to intervene over the incessant rate of oil theft in Nigeria
  • Some concern lawyers in Abuja recently petitioned the Senate Ad-Hoc committee to mediate over an alleged illegal oil lifting from the Ugo Ocha export terminal
  • The lawyers in their petitioned alleged that a company has been violating the stipulations of the federal government as regards operation

FCT, Abuja - A petition has been brought before the red chamber of the national assembly by a group of Abuja-based lawyers seeking redress over an alleged illegal oil lifting from the Ugo Ocha export terminal at OML 42.

The petition as seen by was filed by the O.F. Emmanuel & Co legal firm and signed by its principal partner, Oluwatosin F. Emmanuel Esq.

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Oil Theft, House of Assembly
The Nigerian oil sector has been laced with a lot of scandals over the past few years, and the national assembly at some point has had plenary sessions to deliberate on them. Photo: NASS
Source: Facebook

As contained in the petition, the legal firm alleged that a company has been involved in oil theft of over one million barrels monthly.

The petition reads:

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"We wish to draw the attention of your esteemed committee to (ongoing) illegal lifting of Nigeria's crude oil from the Ugo Ocha export terminal at OML. 42, owned by NECONDE Energy Limited (NECONDE) NECONDÉ exports approximately One Million barrels of Nigeria's crude o from its Ugo Ochs (OML 42) export Terminal, every month."

The petition claims that since the Ugo Ocha export terminal was established in 2017, the alleged company has intentionally frustrated every effort by the Federal Government to install a metering system also known as the LACT Unit at the UGO Ocha terminal and continues to operate the terminal in full violation of the Federal Government’s requirement for accurate custody transfer measurement at all export terminals.

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Similarly, the lawyers reeled out statistics stating that due to the absence of meter, an enormous amount of revenue — to the tune of $15,000,000.00 (Fifteen Million US Dollars) per month — accruable to the Federal government of Nigeria could potentially be lost due to the absence of a functional measurement system for exported crude oil volumes at this terminal.

They further stated that the government through its upstream regulator, NUPRC recently placed a ban on all crude oil exports from the Ugo Ocha terminal (effectively making Ugo Ocha an illegal export route), but the alleged company continues to violate the subsisting government ban and illegally exports Nigeria’s crude oil from this banned terminal, opining that at the time of submitting their petition (21st of September, 2022), a foreign tanker “MT COPPER SPIRIT” was at the Ugo Ocha terminal preparing to load Nigeria’s crude oil for export — without measurement.

Copies of the government’s ban on crude oil exports from the Ugo Ocha terminal were attached to the petition by the lawyers and made available at the Senate’s Investigative Hearing on “Oil Lifting, Theft and the Impact on Petroleum Production and Oil Revenues” which held at the National Assembly Abuja on 21st of September 2022.

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Petitioners make a formal plea to Senate over sharp practices at Ugo Ocha terminal

The lawyers asked the senate ad-hoc committee to come to the aid of Nigeria and Nigerians by ensuring that the ban on exports from the Ugo Ocha terminal is enforced and the company, NECONDE is compelled to install a 1.25 million barrels per day LACT Unit (metering system) — which has already been manufactured, paid for, and approved by the government regulator (NUPRC) for the Ugo Ocha terminal.

They further prayed the senate ad-hoc committee to, amongst other things:

"Direct the Nigerian Navy to arrest and detain the vessel “MT COPPER SPIRIT” which is currently lifting oil at the Ugo Ocha terminal,
"Direct the NMDPRA and NUPRC to cancel all barging permits granted to NECONDE and NPDC until a LACT Unit is installed and commissioned at the Ugo Ocha terminal — as directed by NUPRC.
"Direct the Nigeria Ports Authority to prohibit the movement of crude oil barges and tankers to and from the Ugo Ocha terminal."

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The lawyers wondered why and how the government of Nigeria is allowing this illegal lifting of its crude oil resources at OML 42 to continue unabated while complaining to the world that crude oil theft is crippling the nation’s fragile economy.

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Meanwhile, all efforts to combat the incessant rate of pipeline vandalism and oil theft are currently ongoing.

The GMD of NNPL, Mele Kyari revealed that 120 persons will soon be arrested a couple of days from now in connection with vandalism and oil theft.

He gave a shocking revelation that churches and mosques now aid and abet vandals in their activities by helping them store stolen crude oil.

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In another development, the fight against pipeline vandalism and oil bunkering will soon take center stage in a matter of days.

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Ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo who has been contracted to combat this menace has fired warning shots at offenders.

Tompolo promised that normalcy will be restored in the region but with the cooperation of affected communities to wok with him.


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