Nigeria to start using drones to fight oil theft

Nigeria to start using drones to fight oil theft Many Nigerian oil wells are located near villages

Nigeria is to deploy drones to monitor the movement of ships in an effort to curb the rampant oil theft in the country, the state oil firm says.

Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it wants to end crude theft in the next eight months.

Nigeria is Africa's biggest crude producer but its revenue is severely reduced by theft and attacks on oil pipelines.

New President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to clean up the industry.

Oil generates around 70% of government revenues in Africa's biggest economy.

But a 2013 report by think tank Chatham House said that 100,000 barrels per day were being stolen.

That was equivalent to 5% of Nigeria's daily production.

It said the theft was occurring on an "industrial scale", with small barges transferring stolen oil to tankers waiting offshore to take it to international markets.

Senior politicians and military officers are said to be involved in the illegal trade.

The new head of NNPC Ibe Kachikwu also said the company would work more closely with Nigeria's navy to tackle the problem.

Additional Info

  • Origin: BBC