The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has reported 144 crude oil theft incidents in 7 days. The company made the announcement via its Twitter handle on Tuesday, October 31.
The company has reported a series of crude oil theft incidents that occurred between October 21 and 27 in various locations, including:
These incidents encompass a range of activities, including 32 illegal connections, 45 illegal refineries, 11 cases of pipeline vandalism, 19 vehicle seizures, 8 vessel AIS infractions, 19 wooden boat seizures, 6 illegal storage sites, 3 oil spill sites, and 1 vessel arrest.
The NNPCL report highlights the ongoing challenges and illegal activities related to crude oil theft which already have significant environmental, economic, and security implications.
Recall that Nuhu Ribadu, the country’s National Security Adviser said that crude oil theft is causing the country to lose up to 400,000 barrels per day of crude oil, which also hampers revenues.
Based on the report, security operatives acted on intelligence received from informants in Ughelli, Delta State, regarding a truck transporting double-bagged sacks of diesel disguised as fertilizer.
Subsequently, officials confirmed the information, leading to the apprehension of the truck and the illicitly refined diesel it was carrying.
Also, a vessel named MV Chovwe, suspected of carrying unlawfully sourced crude oil in the Escravos River, was detained and handed over to the Nigerian Army 5 Battalion for further investigation.
Initially arrested on September 25, the vessel reportedly faced a Navy intervention on September 27 and is currently situated in Ogboinbiri, Bayelsa State, pending ongoing investigations.
The NNPCL report also highlighted the arrest of 24 suspects involved in crude oil theft during the specified week. Notably, these incidents unfolded across various regions: 8 in the Deep Blue Water, 45 in the Eastern region, 48 in the Central region, and 43 in the Western region of the oil-producing areas in the Niger Delta.
Although the NNPCL report highlights the significant efforts made by security agencies to address and counter illegal activities involving the theft and transportation of crude oil, the report also reflects the severity of crude oil theft in the country.
The widespread nature of these incidents across different regions indicates the scale of the challenge within the oil-producing areas of the Niger Delta, necessitating continued vigilance and proactive measures to curb such activities.
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