Nigerian Navy Tackles Oil Theft, Denies Thieves N1.058bn In 2024

The Nigerian Navy has said that its Anti Crude Oil Theft (COT)/Anti-Illegal Bunkering efforts have resulted in the denial of over 1 billion Naira to economic saboteurs.

The NN’s Director of Information, Rear Admiral Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday, in which he highlighted the operations of the Service between 29 January and 4 February 2024.

Noting that the NN’s effort against oil theft is currently steered under Operation DELTA SANITY, Ayo-Vaughan said the various Nigerian Navy platforms deployed for the Operation have continued to conduct aggressive patrols to combat crude oil theft and illegal oil bunkering within Nigeria’s Maritime Environment.

As a result, several Illegal Refining Sites (IRS), metal storage tanks, ovens, wooden boats, dugout pits, fibre boats, and pumping machines were appropriately handled from 29 January – 4 February 2024.

Specifically, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) PATHFINDER in Rivers State in conjunction with Naval Security Station (NSS) 022, 026, and 028 on 29 January 2024, conducted Recognizance Operations around Elem krakrama Creek and Ke in Degema Local Government Area (LGA) of Rivers State.

During the operations, the Team intercepted 6 wooden boats cumulatively laden with about 600 litres of products suspected to be stolen Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) and 566 barrels (90,000 Litres) of products suspected to be stolen crude oil. Accordingly, the wooden boats and items were deactivated.

Similarly, and on the same day, Forward Operating Base (FOB) Formoso at Bayelsa State conducted an Anti-COT/Illegal bunkering operation around Brass River, Akassa, and Obama general area in Ogbia. They also conducted Operations in Nembe and Southern Ijaw LGA of Bayelsa State.

During the operations, the team discovered 4 IRS, 5 ovens, and 2 pumping machines. They also arrested 5 wooden boats laden with about 704.4 bbls (112,000 litres) of product suspected to be stolen crude oil. Accordingly, the sites and items were dismantled while the products were handled appropriately.

Anti-crude oil theft operations by FOB Escravos in Delta State, around Saghara Creek in Warri South LGA, led to the discovery by the team, of a previously deactivated IRS which was observed to be under reconstruction. The site had one empty reservoir and 5 dug-out pits. Accordingly, the site was dismantled while items were deactivated.

In another development, from 29 January – 2 February 2024, NNS SOROH in Bayelsa State in conjunction with Naval Security Stations 030 and Ocean Marine Solution Houseboat Peremebiri conducted Anti-COT/Anti-Illegal Bunkering operation around Ogbotobo and Fish Camp Community in Atala area of Bayelsa State.

During the operations, the Team discovered a vandalized flowline station belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Company which was recently reactivated. The Team also found a newly constructed IRS with 2 pumping machines, 3 generators, galvanized pipes, 50 kg gas cylinder, and other construction items. The team also found one wooden boat laden with sacks of about 19,000 litres of products suspected to be stolen AGO. Accordingly, the items, wooden boat, and products were towed to a safe location and deactivated.

Similarly, on 30 January 2024, Naval Base Oguta in Imo State conducted Anti-COT/Anti-Illegal Bunkering operation in her immediate environs. During the operations, the team discovered one fibre boat laden with about 7.5bbls (1,200 litres) of product suspected to be stolen crude oil. Accordingly, the boat and product were towed to a safe location and deactivated.

Furthermore, from 30 January – 2 February 2024, Naval Flying Unit, PortHarcourt conducted aerial surveillance at Abonnema, Temakiri, Aiya Abissa, Ke, Krakrama Tuma, Samkiri, Ukwa West, Ikwuriator, Imo River and Aba River.

During surveillance, the Team sighted various IRS and wooden boats laden with unspecified quantity of illegally refined AGO in numerous numbers suspected to have been siphoned from a nearby wellhead. Accordingly, the incident was reported to the relevant Units for appropriate action.

Summarily, 4 IRS, 5 ovens, one reservoir, 5 dugout pits, and 12 wooden boats were appropriately handled during the period under review.

Additionally, oil thieves were denied about 1,277.9 barrels of product suspected to be stolen crude oil and 19,600 litres of illegally refined Automated Gas Oil (AGO) amounting to the sum of One Hundred and Fifty Million, Seven Hundred and Seventy-Four Thousand, Two Hundred and Fifty-Six Naira Thirty-Two Kobo (N151,774,256.32) only.

A review of Operation DELTA SANITY from inception to date revealed that approximately 4,036.7 barrels of crude oil, worth $473,009.589 (N591,498,491.04)
and 270,600 litres of illegally refined AGO worth (N157,562,542.57), was denied to the thieves.

“Cumulatively, the sum of One Billion, Fifty-Eight Million, Four Hundred and Forty-Eight Thousand, Three Hundred and Twenty-Six Naira Thirty-Three Kobo (N1,058,448,326.33) only that could have been used to perpetrate acts inimical to national security and prosperity was denied oil thieves”, Ayo-Vaughan said.

Other achievements include the arrest of 40 wooden boats, handling of 55 illegal refining ovens, 49 reservoirs, and 27 dug-out pits, as well as the deactivation of 19 illegal refining sites.

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