The Nigerian Navy said it has discovered massive oil theft from Nigeria’s oil facility in the Niger Delta.
The Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) PATHFINDER, Commodore Suleman Ibrahim said its Patrol Helicopter on July 11, 2023. spotted the illicit activities of some oil thieves in Rivers state.
Commodore Ibrahim said the force has excavated and dismantled the oil equipment of a suspected oil syndicate on Oil Mining Lease-18 in Elem Krakama Creek in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State.
He said the force has dismantled the equipment used in siphoning crude precisely on Oil Well 17 operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.
Ibrahim who led newsmen to the site on Saturday said the discovery led to the dismantling of the multiple pipelines buried in the ground.
He also said four suspects engaging in the illegal oil bunkering were arrested in a separate incident.
He said excavation exercise was done in collaboration with the NNPC, and expressed shock at the level of expertise deployed by the suspects.
Ibrahim stated that such massive oil theft can not be done by those he describes as amateurs, saying the syndicate were sophisticated and people with expertise.
While addressing journalists, Commodore Ibrahim said, “We came here with Members of NNPC, OML 18 resources, they are the owners of the well.
“We came with our heavy equipment to make sure we dismantle the illegal structures that are being used to siphon crude illegally.
“A lot of pipes have been recovered from the wellhead and we have disconnected where they are being connected to.
“As an individual what I have seen here is way beyond what I have seen elsewhere. The level of sophistication is beyond our imagination.
“The individuals involved had taken their time and done a lot of measurements and did welding on-site.”
He further said the cartels involved in the act are being tracked, noting that they will be arrested and prosecuted accordingly.
The NHS Pathfinder Commander said the NNPC OML18 technical staff have been to the second location (Kala Ekweama) and they have seen and done their assessment.