Chief Executive Officer of the Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company, Victor Okoronkwo charged the Federal Government to help curtail the menace of crude oil theft in the country.
Okoronkwo disclosed this at the ongoing Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to him, Aiteo operates a very key strategic piece of oil and gas infrastructure in the Nembe Creek trunk line, which is over 100 kilometres.
“And increasingly, there has been a lot of incursions on that pipeline leading to outages of production, sometimes shut down.
“This pipelines, not only does it deliver Aiteo crude to the terminal, it carries crude to Shell.
“If we look at the shutdown impact in financial terms as a result of this oil breakages and theft, it is closed to two billion dollars in the past four years.
“That is what we have lost not just as a company but as a nation.
“To this end, the royalties that ought to be accrued to the country is gone because of the activities of this vandals.
”This is why we are calling on the government to collaborate with us and find a lasting solution to this menace bedevilling the industry,” he said.
Okoronkwo further said that Aiteo had planned to inject over five billion dollar investments in its operations to boost its production to 250,000 barrels per day.
According to him, the development will also spur the increase of the country’s gas supply to 300 million standard cubic feet (SCF) per day.
He explained that massive investment was needed to grow the petroleum industry, adding that his company was at the fore of supporting the sector’s development.
“Aiteo was one of the biggest single investment decision makers when we have invested over two billion dollars in acquiring the Oil Mining Lease, OML, 29 assets.
“At the moment, we do have our development plan, which has been submitted to our joint venture partners, JV, and because the government is exiting the cash call situation, we are negotiating an alternative finance package to be able to fund about 5billion dollars of investment.
“The investment would move production to 250,000 barrels per day.
“However, this will increase our gas supply to about 300 million standard cubic feet per day, which will be enough to power more than 1.2 gigawatts of electricity in Nigeria.
“On finances, it is going to be a cocktail of financing options depending on how we land with the alternative financing mechanism, we are working with our joint venture partners NNPC,” he added.