Oil theft or bunkering is the illegal siphoning of oil from the production sources or puncturing of holes to draw oil illegally from oil pipes. The phenomenon is prevalent at different levels and magnitudes carried out by people who use different strategies in committing this act, which is very common in the Niger Delta of Nigeria.
The most popular method for stealing the crude oil is to puncture and tap the product from the pipeline conveying the product from one point to the other (Adegbite (2013). According to Asuni (2009); Katsouris and Sayne (2013), there are three operational methods of illegal bunkering and oil theft. These are:
(1) A minor and small-scale pilfering of condensate and petroleum product to local market;
(2) Direct hacking into pipelines or tapping with a hose from wellhead through practical removal of the ‘Christmas tree’; and
(3) Excess lifting of crude oil beyond the licensed amount, using forged bills of lading.
In order to prevent this phenomenon in Ghana, from having similar, various security measures have been instituted to safeguard Ghana’s oil field in the Western Region.
The Western Region is fortunate to have the presence of the Ghana Air Force, Ghana Navy and Second Infantry Battalion (2BN) army to provide adequate security against any illegal oil bunkering operations. The security agencies, if well-resourced would be able curb any illegal activities and arrest high-profile perpetrators who might find themselves in the illegal oil bunkering. The Ghana Maritime Authority, which is the statutory body established by Act 630 of 2002 is empowered to monitor, regulate and coordinate the activities in the maritime industry, including the prevention of marine source pollution and the protection of the marine environment as provided in section 2(1) of its establishment Act.
The GMA is under the umbrella body of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and collaborates with such conventions as the Maritime Safety Convention, Maritime Security, Prevention of Marine Pollution Conventions and many others.
In conclusion, the security of the Jubilee field is very important since it has the potential to generate enough revenue for the government of Ghana for the needed economic growth and development and the security of the Jubilee Field must a high security priority
By: David Aduhene Tanoh- www.reportingoilandgas.com