April 21, 2024

 Nigerian Navy dismantles illegal oil production facilities  connected to NNPC new installations, operated by HIGH PROFILE SYNDICATE in Rivers State

 

Oredola Adeola

 

The Nigerian Navy has dismantled the illegal oil production facilities and excavated over 2 kilometers of illegally attached oil pipelines mounted by a suspected high-profile oil syndicate, on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited, NNPCL’s newly installed well 17 of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 18 in Elem Krakama creek in Degema LGA, of Rivers State. 

 

Commodore Suleiman Ibrahim, Commander Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS)- who led the Pathfinder team made this known while addressing the newsmen about the action which was taken at the weekend.

 

EnergyDay gathered that the OMl-18 Wellhead 17, was primarily dedicated to supplying crude oil to its nearest flow station at Cawthorne Channel 3 before the site was invaded last week.

However, there are conflicting reports regarding the operatorship of OML-18, EnergyDay gathered that Eroton Exploration and Production Limited was previously the operator of OML-18, before the NNPC Limited replaced the company as the new operator of OML-18.

However, the exact status of the operatorship is still unknown, as it is shared among multiple companies and entities, including Bilton Energy, Midwestern Oil, NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation), Sahara Group, and San Leon Energy.

 

According to Ibrahim, the destruction exercise was conducted in collaboration with personnel of the operating company (NNPCL).

He disclosed that the operation was taken based on the order of the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla to ensure that oil theft and illegal bunkering activities in the Niger Delta were curbed.

He said, “During one of our overflights, we noticed that some boats were illegally stealing crude from the wellhead, we immediately deployed two gunboats who came and ensured that the illegal activity was stopped.

” The pipes and other equipment being used to steal crude oil from the wellhead were recovered from the site, adding that no arrest had been made.

“What I have seen on this site, including the level of sophistication of the arrangement and connection of the illegal pipes from the wellhead and its careful distribution to the planned loading points. I have not seen such anywhere.

He assured of the commitment of the Navy and other security agencies to track the syndicate and others suspects involved in the criminal act particularly, key players of the illicit activities, and equally ensure they were prosecuted.

Ibrahim further said, “The individuals involved in this illicit act really took their time to accurately measure, mark out, and welded every bit of the pipes here on site,” he noted.

“The Navy does not have that prosecuting powers. We make arrests and hand them over to agencies that have the prosecuting powers but we try as much as possible to monitor the court processes to ensure that the needful is done, but we don’t decide what punishment the judges will give to offenders.

“But sometimes, I think these punishments are just like a tap on the wrist, it doesn’t really deter the people from committing these offenses, but I believe the judiciary would do the needful to discourage these illegal activities,” he said.

The Commander Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) also noted that two wooden boats laden with an unspecified quantity of substance suspected to be illegally refined diesel (AGO) were intercepted and set ablaze on their way to the oil field, adding that four occupants of the boats were arrested.