NNPC records 157 oil theft incidents in Niger Delta within one week despite ongoing crackdown

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd (NNPCL) has reported a staggering 157 incidents of oil theft within a one-week period, spanning from December 30, 2023, to January 5, 2024, despite renewed efforts to combat this illicit activity in the Niger Delta.

A document obtained from the NNPCL’s official channels revealed a list of sources contributing to these incidents, including Nigeria AGIP Oil Company, Pipeline Infrastructure Nigeria Limited (PINL), Maton Engineering Ltd, Tantita Security Services Ltd, NNPCL Command and Control Center, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), and various government security agencies.

According to the report, 52 illegal refineries were discovered and subsequently destroyed in locations such as Obuzo and Owaza in Abia State, Ohaji/Egbema in Imo State, Rumuekpe in Rivers State, and Otuesegha in Bayelsa State. Additionally, 32 illegal refineries were uncovered in various parts of Bayelsa State, Delta State, and Rivers State. The authorities took action to remove and repair illegal connections along the central corridor in the Niger Delta. Furthermore, seven illegal storage sites were identified in parts of Akwa Ibom State.

The NNPCL’s efforts also led to the discovery of buried drums of crude in Operoma, Bayelsa State, and Oleh-Okpari in Warri, Delta State. Sacks of stolen crude were confiscated, and drums filled with stolen crude were found in the river in Delta State.

Despite these persistent challenges, the NNPCL continues its commitment to combating oil theft, a pervasive issue that not only poses environmental risks but also contributes to revenue losses for the Nigerian government. The ongoing battle against illegal refineries and theft underscores the complexities involved in securing the vast network of oil infrastructure in the Niger Delta.

The Nigerian authorities are likely to intensify their efforts to address this issue, collaborating with oil companies, security agencies, and local communities to stem the tide of oil theft and protect the nation’s valuable natural resources.

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