July 13, 2024

NNPCL unearthens another 165 illegal refineries in Niger Delta

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Adewale Akintaro

In its fight against crude oil theft in the past week, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPC, stated that it had discovered another 165 illegal refineries in various locations across the Niger Delta.

According to an NNPC documentary between June 15 and 21, about 400 incidents of oil theft and vandalism were reported by both the government and private security agencies.

It was said that 69 illegal connections were discovered and disconnected in Bayelsa and Rivers States.

According to the video, eight cases of oil spills owing to vandalism or illegal connections were reported across the region.

In Warri, Delta State, an illegal loading point was said to have been discovered.

The NNPC disclosed that 69 illegal refineries were reportedly uncovered and dismantled across several swamps in Okrika, Rivers State. The ongoing construction of an ‘oven’ for illegal crude oil refining was reportedly halted.

Similar refining sites were uncovered in different locations in Abia and Bayelsa States.

NNPC disclosed that 19 illegal storage sites filled with stolen crude and illegally refined products were uncovered in Delta, Imo, Rivers, Abia and Bayelsa. States.

It added that 11 vehicles were seized in Delta, Akwa-Ibom and Bayelsa States and 39 boats conveying stolen crude were confiscated in Rivers, Delta and Bayelsa States.

It added that eight persons were arrested in connection with the incidents.

The latest development comes on the hills of dwindling crude oil production, and the inability of Nigeria to meet its 1.5 million barrels OPEC quota.

Recently, the NNPCL Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, spoke on the need to fight insecurity in the oil and gas sector.

According to Kyari, the nation’s crude oil production keeps dropping due to oil theft and vandalism.

He said: “How do you increase oil production? Remove the security challenge we have in our onshore assets. As we all know, the security challenge is real. It is not just about theft; it is about the availability of the infrastructure to deliver the volume to the market.

“No one is going to put money into oil production when he knows the production will not get to the market. Within the last two years, we removed over 5,800 illegal connections from our pipelines. We took down over 6,000 illegal refineries. You simply cannot get people to put money until you solve that problem.”

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