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February 29, 2024

Navy deactivates 41 illegal refining sites, impounds products worth N8.6bn

Navy deactivates 41 illegal refining sites, impounds products worth N8.6bn

Troops of Operation Delta Sanity have deactivated 41 illegal refining sites and impounded stolen crude oil and other products worth N8.6 billion in three weeks.

The Director of Naval Information, Rear Adm. Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, made this known in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.

Ayo-Vaughan said various Nigerian Navy platforms were deployed for the operation meant to combat oil theft and illegal oil bunkering plaguing Nigeria’s maritime environment.

He said that between Feb. 5 and Feb. 22, a total of 51 wooden boats and three fibre ones were apprehended, while 104 illegal refining ovens, 85 reservoirs, and 288 dugout pits were destroyed.

The navy spokesman said approximately 60,815.77 barrels of crude oil, worth N8.1 billion, 557,580 litres of gas, worth N497.4 million; and N5.5 million worth of kerosene, valued at N5.5 million, were recovered.

“Cumulatively, the sum of N8.6 billion that could have been used to perpetrate acts inimical to national security and prosperity was denied to the oil thieves,” he added.

Ayo-Vaughan said the Forward Operation Base (FOB) FORMOSO in Bayelsa, on Feb. 19, conducted operations around Brass River, Akassa, Lagosgbene, Tebidaba, and Oyeregbene general area.

He said the team discovered an illegal refining site and two wooden boats laden with 62.9 barrels (10,000 litres) of product suspected to be stolen crude oil during the operation.

According to him, the site was dismantled while the boats and products were towed to safe location and handled appropriately.

“Relatedly, on Feb. 19, FOB ESCRAVOS conducted anti-crude oil theft operations around the Aghor-Kutu Community in Warri Southern Local Government Area of Delta.

“During the operations, the team discovered one IRS, three ovens, one reservoir, one pumping machine, 10 jerricans, and 38 drums laden with 195.9 barrels (31,150 litres) of product suspected to be stolen crude oil.

“Accordingly, the illegal refining site was dismantled while the products were towed to safe location and handled appropriately.

“Similarly, NN Ship Pathfinder conducted operations around Abuloma, Abonnema, Woji, and Taraba jettys in Borikiri, Rivers, between February 20 and February 22, and raided a car wash used for storing illegally refined products.

“The team discovered one IRS, seven ovens, 60 drums, and two reservoirs laden with about 120,000 litres of product suspected to be illegally refined gas,” he said.

The Naval spokesman said the team also intensified operations around Cawthorne Channel 1 in the Bille general area, which led to the discovery of a wellhead where crude oil was being syphoned.

He added that one large wooden boat laden with about 283.0 barrels (45,000 litres) of suspected stolen crude oil was discovered during the operation.

He said the FOB IGBOKODA, on Feb. 21, discovered four wooden boats laden with 1,200 litres of products suspected to be stolen gas at Agadagba in Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo.

Ayo-Vaughan also said the NNS SOROH patrol team had, on Feb. 21, intercepted two private vehicles conveying 79 sacks of suspected illegally refined gas estimated to be 20,000 litres around Okarki general areas of Bayelsa.

He added that the NSS 030 also intercepted five ovens, nine drums, 25 iron pipes, one pumping machine, and one wooden boat laden with about 1,500 litres of product suspected to be illegally refined AGO around Egbosuwy general area.

According to him, the FOB BADAGRY patrol team discovered on Feb. 22 9,000 litres of products suspected to be illegally refined AGO in a building.

“On Feb. 22, FOB IBAKA patrol team intercepted a large wooden boat from the Republic of Cameroon around Uyenghe in Ibaka area, Cross River.

“The boat was laden with about 5,100 litres of product suspected to be illegally syphoned petrol concealed under other utility items.

“Accordingly, two suspects and cargo onboard were handed over to the NSCDC for further investigation and prosecution.

“In summary, three IRS, 15 ovens, two reservoirs, eight wooden boats, and one fibre boat were appropriately handled during the period under review.

“Additionally, oil thieves were denied about 55,120 bbls (8,764,080 litres) of product suspected to be stolen, crude oil, 141,200 litres of illegally refined gas and 9,000 litres of illegally siphoned petrol amounting to N7.4 billion.”  (NAN)