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NNPC: no stolen crude oil found in China

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THE Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Thursrday denied reports (not by The Nation) that its officials sold 48 million barrels of stolen crude oil and issued death threats to a whistleblower.

It said the publications and television commentaries replicate the content of a letter to NNPC on behalf of SAMANO SA DE CV by its solicitors.

NNPC, in a statement by Afe Babalola & Co, said the reports were not true.

The Corporation said SAMANO first contacted Federal Government officials in 2015 indicating that it had been approached by an unnamed group in China to buy 48 million barrels of crude oil “stolen” from Nigeria.

NNPC said SAMANO requested that it be allowed to purchase the stolen crude after its recovery by the Federal Government.

The Corporation said shortly thereafter, SAMANO indicated that it was no longer interested in buying the stolen crude as it only obliged the Federal Government with the information to assist the administration’s fight against corruption.

“The Federal Government and NNPC receive hundreds of spurious claims of this nature daily, and they always turn out to be false.

“NNPC also believed that based on the operations and state of the international crude oil market in 2015, it was impossible to ship 48 million barrels of crude oil from Nigeria to China without any record or trace of same,” the law firm said in a statement.

It noted that as of 2015, the daily production of crude oil in Nigeria was below 1.6 million barrels, adding that 48 million barrels of crude oil would have been the total production capacity of the country for a whole month.

NPPC said: “It was and remains simply impossible for one-month crude oil production for the entire country to disappear without any record or trace from the shores of the country.

“NNPC was also aware that as at the material time and because China is one of the most regulated economies in the world, the export of crude oil from Nigeria to China was exclusively undertaken by four known companies approved by, under the control, ownership, and management of the Chinese Government.

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