No fewer than 83 illegal refineries in the Niger Delta has been uncovered by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited in the past week.
This development was revealed by NNPCL this on its X handle on Tuesday, as it also stressed that 15 illegal pipeline connections were also discovered within the same period.
The NNPCL said, “In the past week, 15 illegal pipeline connections and 83 illegal refineries have been uncovered in the Niger Delta.”
It was stated revealed in a video that was attached to the post that between January 6 and 12, a total of 211 incidents of oil theft and vandalism were reported.
In the Umuajuloke community in Rivers State, seven cases of vandalism were recorded including a wellhead while in Owerri, it was said that an active wellhead was found with several illegal connections.
Meanwhile, there are also reports that Ogboinbiri in Bayelsa State has been ruined by oil spills as nine cases of oil spills were recorded in the week, mostly caused by vandalism.
For more clarity of the activities within the vicinity, the NNPCL said, “83 illegal connections were spotted in Rivers, Abia, Imo and Bayelsa States.
“In Abia, a drone shot showed pockets of illegal refineries in Owaza, while illegal oil connections were discovered in Olodiama, Bayelsa State and Obuzor in Abia State.”
The search to uncover the ills continued as sacks of crude oil were found in Iba Rivers State and the contents confiscated. Five illegal oil storage sites were reportedly found in Central Boma and Cocoa Camp in Bayelsa State.
Interestingly, the search also led to the discovery of 60 wooden and fibre boats which were said to have been apprehended in Akwa Ibom, Delta State, and Rivers State.
Eight of these incidents reportedly took place in the deep blue water, 54 in the Western Region, 81 in the Central region and 68 in the Eastern region
According to the NPPCL, 22 suspects have been arrested in connection with the incidents.
In the Niger Delta, between December 30, 2023 and January 5, 2024, no fewer than 157 incidents of crude oil theft were recorded.
NNPCL also stated revealed that the cases were recorded from several incidence sources like Nigeria Agip Oil, Pipeline Infrastructure Nigeria Limited, Maton Engineering Limited, Tantita Security Services Limited, NNPCL Command and Control Centre, Shell Petroleum Development Company and government security agencies.
In a period of five years, more than N4.3tn worth of crude oil was stolen in 7,143 pipeline vandalism cases, Federal Government said.