The Nigerian Defence Headquarters says it has recovered 445,000 litres of crude oil, 1.04 million litres of Automotive Gas Oil, 22,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and 2,000 litres of Dual Purpose Kerosine from oil thieves in the Niger-Delta region.
Director of Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Musa Danmadami, who disclosed this on Thursday while giving update on military operations said cumulatively, oil thieves were denied a total of N713.6 million in the last three weeks.
Troops of Operation Delta Safe the troops of Operation Delta Safe also destroyed 57 illegal refining sites and apprehended 21 oil thieves in Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states within the period under review.
“The large quantity of illegal crude oil and other petroleum products recovered and destroyed and the number of arrested oil thieves and pipeline vandals, shows the unrelenting efforts by the troops of Operation Delta Safe in denying them freedom of action,” Danmadami said.
The army also confiscated eight tankers, 63 vehicles, two speed boats, one thug boat, 14 motorcycles, one tricycle, three bicycles, 11 pumping machines and three outboard engines.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) recalls that in October, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited disclosed it had uncovered an illegal four-kilometre oil connection from Forcados Terminal into the sea that operated for nine years undetected.
The company further said that the Afremo platform, operated by the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), was the suspected exit point of the stolen crude.
Shell has launched an investigation to establish where the theft lines end and whether there have been any breaches of the unmanned platform’s security barriers or any unauthorised use of the equipment on it.
Oil theft in the country has been ongoing for at least 22 years but the dimension and rate it assumed in recent times is said to be unprecedented.