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Monday, March 4, 2024

NNPCL discovers 83 illegal refineries, 22 suspects arrested

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL in the past week uncovered no fewer than 83 illegal refineries in the Niger Delta.

The NNPCL also revealed that 15 illegal pipeline connections were also discovered within the same period.

This was disclosed in a post on its X handle on Tuesday, as part of its war on crude oil theft.

“In the past week, 15 illegal pipeline connections and 83 illegal refineries have been uncovered in the Niger Delta,” the NNPCL said.

In a video shared with the post, The company revealed that between January 6 and 12, a total of 211 incidents of oil theft and vandalism were reported

It also said that it inspected an illegal crude oil vessel loaded with thousands of metric tonnes of crude, adding that the 23 crew onboard the vessel had been arrested.

It disclosed this in a post on its official X handle on Monday night, noting that the move was part of efforts by the company and its partners to halt the menace of crude oil theft.

It said, “Earlier today, the Group CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of NNPC Ltd, Mr Mele Kyari, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, were in Oporoza, Warri, Delta State, to inspect MT Kali, an illegal crude oil vessel loaded with thousands of metric tonnes of crude oil.”

It stated that the vessel was intercepted by Tantita Security Services, a private security firm, in collaboration with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, “while it was loading directly from an offshore platform in Bayelsa State.”

The national oil company added that “all 23 crew members onboard the illegal vessel have been arrested.”

According to NNPCL, during the inspection tour of the illegal vessel, General Musa stated that the military remained committed to working with national oil firm and other government and private security agencies to halt the menace of crude oil theft in the Niger Delta.

He was quoted as saying, “We are committed to stopping all acts of criminality in Nigerian waters. We are also sounding a note of warning to the perpetrators of this crime that enough is enough.

“The country is bleeding and we need all funds to develop as a nation. It is by stopping these acts of criminality that we will be able to achieve that dream.”

In another post on X, the oil firm stated that it uncovered 83 illegal refineries in the Niger Delta region in the past one week.

It said 15 illegal pipeline connections were also discovered within the same period.

NNPCL in a documentary shared on X, stated that between January 6 and 12, 2023, a total of 211 incidents of oil theft and vandalism were reported.

Recall that a week ago the company revealed that it discovered 52 illegal refineries in the Niger Delta region in the past one week.

It had also stated that 32 illegal pipeline connections were uncovered, at the time the 52 illegal refineries were destroyed in the Niger Delta.

“Between December 30, 2023 and January 5, 2024, 157 (oil theft) incidences were recorded from several incident sources, including Nigeria Agip Oil Company, 62 incidents; Pipeline Infrastructure Nigeria Limited, 29; Maton Engineering Limited, 18; Tantita Security Services, 8; Shell Petroleum Development Company, 4; NNPCL Command and Control Centre, 2; and Government Security Agencies, 24,” the company stated.

It explained that in the past week, the 52 illegal refineries were discovered in Abia, Imo, Rivers and Bayelsa states, adding that the 32 illegal connections were uncovered in several parts of the Niger Delta, including Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta states.

The company said illegal connections were also removed and repaired along the central corridor in the Niger Delta, while seven illegal storage sites were uncovered in Akwa Ibom State, where buried drums of crude oil were unearthed.

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