Eni mulls leaving Nigerian oil fields over thefts

'Local criminals syphon off 60,000 barrels per day'

(ANSA) - Rome, April 3 - The CEO of Eni told a Senate hearing Thursday that the Italian State-controlled energy giant was thinking of "abandoning" operations in Nigeria. Paolo Scaroni said Eni had suffered too many crude-oil thefts at the hands of local criminals in the Niger Delta, where it has operated oil fields since the 1970s. "Only us, Total, and Shell operate on land in the area. The situation is very delicate because we're subjected to bunkering," added Scaroni, referring to the process of syphoning crude from oil pipes. "They then refine it, sell the gas and throw the rest into the sea, creating enormous environmental and economic damage.
    "In 2013 we lost 60,000 barrels per day by closing off the pipes. "We need to produce 170,000 barrels a day and we only produced 110,000".


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