Diplomat: 2 Britons arrested in oil theft in Nigeria where $20 billion a day of oil is stolen

LAGOS, Nigeria – The British High Commission says two British men have been arrested in Nigeria this week in connection with an alleged attempt to steal oil.

Nigeria says an estimated 200,000 barrels of crude worth more than $20 billion on the international market is stolen daily in the West African nation. Analysts say high-ranking politicians and military officers also benefit from the thefts.

President Goodluck Jonathan announced this week that his government has earmarked $1 billion to fight oil theft.

A spokesman said Friday that the British High Commission is in contact with Nigerian authorities concerning this week’s detention of two citizens in southern Bayelsa state. He spoke on customary condition of anonymity.

Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil producer of some 2.2 billion barrels a day.