The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has reported a case of illegal crude oil connection found beneath a tarred road in Rivers State.
The company stated this in its weekly series; “Energy and You”, while reporting cases of crude oil theft between October 14 and 20 via the NTA News Network.
In the report, it was stated that in Rivers State, oil thieves employed horizontal directional drilling equipment to tunnel beneath a tarred road and install illegal connections.
This is one of many new methods employed by crude oil thieves in the country as the industry keeps recording cases every week.
In Ekpemu, Delta state, several sacks containing crude oil were found, revealing a method where the perpetrators dug small holes to extract crude oil directly from the ground, even in the absence of pipelines.
In another case, a significant discovery was made at Osu-Obodo, between two Antan Producing Limited flow stations south of the Oguta Naval base in Imo state. Oil bunkering activities were prevalent at this site, with oil thieves taking elaborate measures for protection:
This discovery followed a military intervention prompted by information gathered through air surveillance conducted by various entities, including Target Energy Nigeria Limited, Tantita Security Services, Operation Delta Safe, and the Military in August 2023.
The NNPCL report provides a comprehensive overview of 149 cases of crude oil theft in various forms across Nigeria’s oil-producing regions. These incidents unfolded as follows:
Illegal Connections: There were 39 instances of unauthorized connections to oil pipelines, enabling the theft of crude oil.
Illegal Refineries: 49 cases involved the operation of clandestine refineries for processing stolen crude oil.
Pipeline Vandalism: 16 incidents entailed deliberate damage to oil pipelines, resulting in oil spills and theft.
Illegal Storage Sites: 10 locations were used for unauthorized storage of stolen crude oil.
Vessels Tracking: 9 vessels were identified as being involved in tracking and transporting stolen oil.
Wooden Boat Arrests: 18 arrests were made for wooden boats used in the illicit oil trade.
Vehicle Arrests: 5 vehicles were seized in connection with crude oil theft.
Oil Spills: 3 cases were noted where oil spills resulted from these illegal activities.
These illegal trade sites were identified in more locations, including Udu, Ekpemu, Ozoro, Patani, Kwale, Ogborode, Obodo-Omadino, Ogidigben, Ogharefe in Delta state, Ohaji/Egbema in Imo state, Brass, Azuzu, Tombia, Yenagoa in Bayelsa state, as well as Emohua and other parts of Rivers state and Ozuaku in Abia state.
Of the 149 incidents, 9 occurred in the Deep Blue Water, 23 in the Western region, 67 in the Central region, and 50 in the Eastern region within the Niger Delta’s oil-producing areas.
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