LAGOS: Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, lost about $1.2 billion to oil thieves in a single month of the first quarter of 2013, an official statement said Tuesday. “At average January to March prices of $121 per barrel, this theft resulted in a loss of $1.2 billion to Nigeria in one month alone,” President Goodluck Jonathan’s special adviser on oil-rich Niger Delta, Kingsley Kuku, said in the statement. Official figures indicate that the trade in stolen oil led to a 17 percent fall in official oil sales in the first quarter of 2013, estimated at 400,000 barrels a day, it said. The International Energy Agency said last month that the theft of oil from pipelines in Nigeria had damaged infrastructure, and was one factor in a fall of output by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries of which Nigeria is a member. Such theft involves thieves tapping pipelines to syphon crude for sale on the lucrative black market. It often leads to explosions, fires and oil pollution. Kuku said that his office would on Thursday organize in Lagos a conference on oil theft and sea piracy in the Niger Delta. Recent reports have indicated that Nigeria, which produces around two million barrels of oil, loses about $6 billion annually in revenue from oil theft.