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15 Jun, 2023 12:39

ExxonMobil accused of oil theft

Nigeria has accused the oil and gas giant of illegal petroleum lifting in Rivers State
ExxonMobil accused of oil theft

Nigeria’s oil regulator has accused ExxonMobil of theft through illegal petroleum lifting operations at the country’s Bonny River Terminal. It made the accusation in a letter on June 8.

"The actions of ExxonMobil and Barumk Gas constitute economic sabotage, criminal damage and theft of Nigeria's national resources," Farouk Ahmed, the Chief Executive of the Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) wrote.

Ahmed said that the Barumk Gas shipping vessel was lifting butane from the Bonny River Terminal, which is controlled by ExxonMobil, without Nigeria’s "authorization or participation.”

The letter, written to the chief of defense staff, Gen. Leo Irabor, was leaked to the media on Sunday. The Nigerian oil authority said the vessel's activities should be halted while an investigation takes place.

ExxonMobil has denied the accusation, insisting its "operations are carried out in full compliance with the law."

Independent oil and gas analyst Zakka Bala, told RT that the Nigerian government needs a “proper investigation.” 

“If for any reason it is found to be the truth, I would expect that the Nigerian government would probably handle it at a political level with the American government,” Bala said, adding that ExxonMobil “would need to be punished.”

If, however, it was just local ExxonMobil staff in Nigeria acting alone, they would “need to be fired straight away,” he said.

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