The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has scored a bull’s eye in compelling Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, to refund 2,081,678 barrels of crude oil said to have been fraudulently reallocated from June 2016 to July 2018 via discrepancy in metering.
Nigeria has reportedly lost millions of barrels of crude oil yearly resulting in loss of revenue. It was gathered that President Muhammadu Buhari, apparently piqued by the development and in tandem with his anti-corruption crusade had ordered a clean-up of the messy system with a clear instruction to the DPR to stop the crude oil theft and bring the perpetrators to book.
The President’s stance was said to have been necessitated by the need to plug leakages and widen the nation’s revenue base to fund the budget. This latest development is seen by industry watchers as a critical intervention and milestone mediation by DPR.
The DPR, having discovered crude oil metering discrepancies in Shell operations had in a letter (Ref.: DMR/CTO/COA/COM/V.5/230) dated 14th December 2020 demanded that Shell refunds the over 2 million barrels of crude oil illegally reallocated between June 2016 and July, 2018.
The letter is referenced: “Reallocation of Bonny Terminal gross Volume from June 2016 to July 2018 Based on Comparison of Metered Gross Between the Coriolis Meter and LACT Unit Installed on the NCTL.”
Shell confirmed the illegality and discrepancy in metering and in a letter dated 8th February, 2021 agreed to comply with the DPR directive to refund the stolen crude. The Shell letter was addressed to the Director, DPR and referenced SPDC-COM-2021-00951.