From algorithms to track “dark” ships smuggling stolen crude oil to an online licensing system to undercut corruption, one Nigerian government agency hopes it can use new technology to tackle theft which has cost the country billions. But some say the initiative by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) may be too late to stem the migration of energy majors to the relative safety of drilling at sea, driven offshore by an illegal trade that Nigeria’s sprawling bureaucracy has for decades proved unable or unwilling to tackle. Africa’s top oil exporter has turned to French data firm Kpler, just six years old and staffed by a hundred mostly young employees, to help it ferret out the smugglers from the thousands of ships plying Nigerian waters. The DPR began its collaboration with Kpler in December and unveiled it this month, among other tech-focused plans to detect what it calls “rogue” or “dark” ships.
SOURCES: REUTERS AFRICA