The Nigerian Police Force says it is committed to its fight against illegal bunkering and pipeline vandalism, as it has successfully impounded 41 trucks, arrested 42 suspects of which 21 have been charged to court so far with 17 still under investigation, and 4 convictions achieved.
Rear Admiral Aminu Hassan, the Force Commander, Joint Task Force (JTF), South-South, Operation Delta Safe says the JTF is currently into mechanical clearance, dismantling of storage tanks and removal of tapping points.
This was disclosed in a separate statement by the Police and the JTF on Wednesday as the FG revealed its willingness to continue the fight against oil theft in Nigeria which has harmed the industry, especially in times of high crude prices.
What they are saying
The IG of Police Usman Baba stated added that ” a total of 1,057,000 litres of automotive gas oil, 30,000 litres of Low Pour Furl Oil (LPFO) 75,000 litres of Crude OIl and 9,900 litres of Premium Motor Spirit were recovered between 2021 till date”
He added that the successes were achieved in Rivers State and some other parts of the country, due to a pragmatic and sustained fight against economic sabotage collectively, by the FG and the Police.
The IGP stated that forfeited products were tested and confirmed by the Department of Petroleum Resources and in the custody of Nigerian Pipeline and Storage Company Limited, adding that the police has called for frequent operational patrols in a bid to curb the incessant activities of illegal bunker traders and economic saboteurs,
Rear Admiral Aminu Hassan, the Force Commander, Joint Task Force (JTF) during an assessment tour organised by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. (NNPC) on some illegal crude oil refining sites in Rivers said “The way we are working is the same way the criminals involved in the illegal refining are working but we are ahead of them.
“Presently we are into mechanical clearance, dismantling of storage tanks and removal of tapping points.”
He added that many illegal refineries are down, citing that they have a network of pipelines that transits through the bushes with connected typical reservoirs which in some cases continue to spill and waste.
- “The reservoirs have been destroyed, if you do not destroy the tanks completely, they will reconstruct and continue.
- “Trans Niger Pipeline and Aferomu in Delta have been identified as the critical areas and efforts are currently ongoing to clear them of oil thieves.
- “In Bayelsa, the critical areas are Okarki area, Igbabele and Ibinebiri communities; the good news is that Okarki area has been deactivated.
- “In Rivers, within the zone five, we have the Ibaa community which is critical after Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) pointed it out as priority area to start with.
- ”In some of the creeks and swampy areas, if you start the journey in the morning, you will get to the area in the evening; this is how difficult the terrain can be.
- “When the illegal refiners are chased out from a particular area, they will relocate to another area,” he said.
In case you missed it
- The Federal Government of Nigeria through the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, has revealed that it is determined to stop the huge cases of oil theft in its oil industry which is plaguing production. It stated that it has identified a 3 element solution to put an end to the issue of oil theft.
- Nairametrics reported last week that Austin Avuru, founding MD/CEO of Seplat Energy and Executive Chairman AA Holdings warned that Nigeria’s oil production has reached an emergency critical status. He stated that some oil production wells don’t get to see 80% of production making it to the terminals due to oil theft.
- Tony Elumelu, Chairman of UBA Banking Group and Heirs Holdings has stated that the reason Nigeria cannot meet its crude oil production quota and benefit from high oil prices is due to theft.