Italian oil giant, Eni has dismissed plans to exit Nigeria’s oil industry after discussions surfaced following a heightened spate of crude theft and vandalism of oil facilities in the country.
Italy’s largest industrial company by value, has shut down operations severally in the West African country as bunkering – the common term for oil thievery – and pipeline vandalism has constantly posed a threat to its business, BusinessDay reported.
It’s Chief Executive, Paolo Scaroni, recently confessed the company was harboring thoughts of an exit, stating to the Italian parliament that “We are thinking, we thought of leaving Nigeria.”
Eni is Africa’s largest international oil group, with majority of its assets and operations banked in Libya, Scaroni noted.
A spokesperson for the oil and gas multinational however disclosed that such plans have now been put to bed, noting that “it was not now an option under consideration.”
Vandalism, bunkering, black markets, illegal exportations are all common terms used to describe Nigeria’s oil industry. Reports have reveal the Nigeria has lost more than N17 trillion ($103.8 billion) since 2009 to illegal activities, forcing international and local organizations to fold up, or suspend operations temporarily.