Nigeria's Oil Thieves Roar Back
The rogue refineries, essentially scaled up versions of widespread gin distilleries in the region, typically employ about 100 people working in shifts. Yields from a single cauldron will include 7,500 liters of diesel, 2,000 liters of gasoline and 500 liters of kerosene a day. It costs about 4 million naira ($11,100) to construct a boiling pot.
Oil producers often take their own security measures, deploying daily helicopter surveillance with infrared cameras while simultaneously pushing state authorities to do more. But large-scale theft persists.
Addressing the challenge requires a “holistic approach,” Nigeria’s Oil Minister Emmanuel Kachikwu said after attending a cabinet meeting in Abuja last month.
“Oil theft is rife because there is an economic gain to be made from it,” Kachikwu said. “So we want to shut those illegal gains by creating positive and legal economic opportunities.”
--With assistance from Dulue Mbachu and Helen Robertson.
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