"The Nigerian government knows that crude oil theft in Nigeria without the connivance of the gatekeepers, cannot happen."
This is the position of Petroleum Technical Expert, Obaro Ugadhe, who called in on Hard Facts.
Obaro made the assertion while reacting to a statement by the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo.
Vice Admiral Gambo had gone on record to refute claims of massive levels of oil theft which he describes as an indictment of the Navy.
Nevertheless, Obaro Ugadhe pointed out that large volumes of crude oil stolen daily cannot be achieved without the knowledge of some petroleum industry "gatekeepers."
In his view, the amount of pipeline vandalism for the last five years has been minimal.
"Pipeline vandalism occurs when host communities and some individuals want compensation from these oil companies," he added.
According to Obaro, not much crude oil can be stolen from ruptured pipelines, since pipelines with "control valves" lose pressure quickly and become "isolated."