The federal government of Nigeria has accused the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and for alleged crude oil theft.
FG took Shell to court and is demanding the company pays $406.75 million into the nation’s treasury account.
According to court papers obtain from a Lagos Federal court, the amount represents a shortfall of the money Shell refused to pay for crude oil lifted in 2013 and 2014.
Following a forensic analysis of bills of lading and shipping documents, FG discovered that Shell failed to declare the quantity of crude for which she sued Shell.
The federal government’s legal team led by Professor Fabian Ajogwu provided sworn affidavits of three U.S.-based professionals, who claimed Shell cheated Nigeria of the revenue.
The experts tracked global movements of the country’s hydrocarbons, including crude oil and gas.
The principal purpose of the tracking is to identify companies engaged in illegal lifting of crude oil off Nigeria’s shores.
In reconciling the export-import records from Nigeria and USA, the experts found mind-boggling discrepancies.
For instance, on the 3rd of January 2013, Shell lifted crude oil that resulted in a shortfall of 979,031 barrels in the value of $107,693,410.
On 14th December 2014, Shell also lifted crude oil using the vessel EAGLE TUSCON and shipped same to the port of Houston Texas, USA.
The shipment was not declared to the relevant authorities, resulting in a shortfall of 499,048 barrels of crude oil.
The value of that theft stood at $54,895,280.
Shell also shipped crude on board other vessels that resulted in a shortfall of 3,697,737 barrels of crude oil.
This brings the total value of stolen crude to $406,751,070.
Nigeria has also sued Chevron, Total and Agip asking for a total of $12.7 billion for alleged theft of crude shipped to USA between 2011 and 2014.
The oil firms are among up to 15 oil majors targeted by the Nigerian government for the recovery of $17 billion in deprived revenue.