Monday, July 22, 2024

Unveiling the Underworld: NNPCL Uncovers 223 New Illegal Refineries in Niger Delta


NNPCL Uncovers Fresh 223 Illegal Refineries In N’Delta

In a significant move to ramp up its efforts against crude oil theft, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has made a startling discovery in the Niger Delta region. On Wednesday, the company announced the uncovering of 223 fresh illegal refinery connections, marking a notable achievement in its ongoing battle against such illicit activities.

These revelations came to light through a two-minute video exposition, detailing operations carried out from the 10th to the 16th of February 2024. A closer examination of the incidences indicates a widespread problem across various operational sites. Specifically, 27 cases were identified at Matron Engineering facilities, 21 at Pipeline Infrastructure Nigeria Limited, 7 at the premises of Shell Petroleum Development Company, and 4 through Tantite Security Services Ltd. Notably, an overwhelming 156 incidents were associated with facilities under the control of government security agencies.

Further insights shared pinpointed 20 illegal connections across notable regions including Okrika in Rivers State, Bayelsa State, and Delta State. Additionally, numerous illegal refineries were detected across Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa, and Abia states, presenting a complex challenge for the authorities.

Enforcement actions have led to the confiscation of crude oil in various forms. In Warri, sacks laden with crude oil were retrieved, while in Edo State, cans filled with the precious commodity were confiscated. The crackdown continued in Olobiri, Bayelsa State, with more oil sack seizures.

The authorities also uncovered vandalized wellheads and pipelines in Bayelsa, capturing vehicles used by oil thieves in Ole, Ugheli, and Warri, located in Delta State. As part of the sweeping operations, 52 suspects have been apprehended thus far, highlighting the government’s determination to clamp down on these illegal engagements.

In terms of geographical spread, the incidents were broadly categorized, with 8 occuring in deep blue waters, 32 in the western region, 123 centrally located, and 60 in the eastern region of the Niger Delta. This distribution underscores the widespread nature of crude oil theft across the region, presenting a multifaceted challenge for law enforcement and corporate entities alike.

Mele Kyari, the Chief Executive Officer of the NNPCL, reiterated the company’s unwavering commitment to eradicating the menace of crude oil theft. “For NNPC Limited, there is no backing down on the war on crude oil theft until the menace is eradicated,” Kyari asserted.

This crackdown comes at a crucial time for Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, which has been grappling with relatively low crude oil production. Current statistics highlighted by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in their Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) for February shed light on this issue. According to the report, Nigeria’s crude oil production showed an increase to 1.4 million barrels per day in January. However, the nation has faced challenges in meeting its OPEC quota, which is set at 1.74 million barrels per day for 2023 and 1.58 million barrels per day for 2024.

The revelations by NNPCL mark a significant step in the battle against the illegal refinery operations that not only pose a threat to the environment but also significantly impact Nigeria’s economy and its ability to meet international oil production commitments. With concerted efforts from all sectors involved, there is hope for significant progress in the ongoing war against crude oil theft in the Niger Delta.

Jordan Clark
Jordan Clark
Jordan Clark brings a dynamic and investigative approach to business reporting. Holding a degree in Business Administration and a certification in Data Analysis, Jordan has an eye for detail and a knack for uncovering the stories behind the numbers. His career began in the bustling world of Silicon Valley startups, giving him firsthand experience in tech entrepreneurship and venture capital. Jordan's reports often focus on technology's impact on business, startup culture, and emerging

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