Oil giant Shell deploys aerial cameras to track oil theft in Nigeria

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-17 00:34:00|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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LAGOS, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Nigeria on Monday said it has deployed state-of-the-art high definition cameras for quick detection of and response to crude oil spills from its facilities.

The cameras will also help in tracking vandalism of SPDC assets, Igo Weli, the company's spokesperson told reporters in southern city of Warri in Delta State.

The cameras, according to the Shell's spokesperson, are attached to specialized helicopters which carry out daily overflight over it facilities, adding that this measure has improved the surveillance of assets.

Weli said SPDC had implemented anti-theft protection mechanisms on key infrastructure, such as wellheads and manifolds to stem constant attacks from vandals and thereby prevent and minimize sabotage-related spills.

According to him, the daily loss of over 11,000 barrels of oil per day in 2018 and the threat to the integrity of the joint venture assets necessitated the multi-pronged approach to protecting what he called "critical national assets".

"We collaborate with community leaders, traditional rulers, civil societies and state governments in the Niger Delta to implement several initiatives and partnerships to raise awareness on the negative impact of crude oil theft and illegal oil refining," he added.

"Such public enlightenment programs on the negative impacts to people and the environment help to build greater trust in spill response and clean-up processes," the spokesperson said.

Weli said SPDC would sustain its air and ground surveillance to complement the efforts of government security forces in checking crude theft, pipeline vandalism and illegal refining.

"But for the efforts of Operation Delta Safe in protecting critical oil and gas assets, the situation would have gone beyond control," Weli said, while calling on the Operation Delta Safe, a special oil and gas asset protection force, and other government security forces to intensify their activities around oil and gas facilities.

In its June 2019 monthly report, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation which controls Nigeria's 55 percent interest in the SPDC had also reported a 77 percent rise in oil pipeline vandalism and that 106 pipeline breaches were recorded in June, up from 60 in May.