The theft and sabotage caused the loss of Nigeria, the most important African oil producers and OPEC member, in the loss of 22 million barrels in six months, worth $ 1.35 billion.

The Nigerian National Economic Council announced on Thursday, during a meeting at the presidential headquarters in Abuja, that 22.6 million barrels of crude oil were lost during the six months between January and June, worth about $ 1.35 billion.

Officials have warned that the loss will double if the problem is not resolved.

The biggest loss was recorded at 9.2 million barrels at the Nimby Creek pipeline, which transports oil from a terminal in Pune to Bayelsa, capable of pumping 150,000 barrels per day.

In the Trans-Niger pipeline, which feeds the Avam 6 power plant in Rivers state, losses amounted to 8.6 million barrels in six months.

Nigeria, with 70 billion barrels of oil and natural gas reserves, is Africa's second-largest crude producer, producing two million barrels a day.

Decades of oil production have allowed government officials to raise fortunes and large foreign companies make huge profits, while most Nigerians are still living in poverty, especially in the oil and gas-rich Niger Delta state.

 The region suffers from oil pollution and tens of thousands of people illegally earn their living by stealing oil from pipelines. Refineries have emerged in swampy and forested areas and the country's black oil market is booming.

Source: Reuters

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