Port Harcourt — The Nigerian military has destroyed a cumulative of seven illegal oil refineries and 408,000 litres of illegally refined AGO in Rivers and Bayelsa States, between 7th and 10th of April 2020.
The military also denied oil thieves dealing of about 408,000 litres of illegally refined AGO, 2,232 barrels of stolen crude oil and 29,000 litres of DPK.
Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters, Major Gen. John Enenche, disclosed that the said illegal refineries were already dismantled since February 2020, but were only reactivated by suspected oil thieves recently.
Enenche disclosed that the illegal refineries were destroyed in Beneth island in Warri, Alakiri in Okrika, Rivers State as well as in Excravos and Oviloye Creek both in Warri South West LGA of Delta state.
“On 7 April 2020, following recent discovery that some illegal refineries that were dismantled on Bennett Island in Feb 20 had been reactivated, Nigerian Navy Ship Delta in conjunction with Ocean Marine Service’s surveillance crew deployed two swamp buggies to the Island for anti-illegal bunkering/Crude Oil Theft operations.
“The team commenced swamp buggy operations at three illegal refining sites and deactivated 24 ovens, 35 receivers, 25 surface metal storage tanks and covered one dug out pit.
“Additionally, on 8 Apr 20, the team located another illegal refining site at Bennett Island. During the operation, 14 ovens, 20 receivers and 21 surface metal storage tanks were dismantled.
“Similarly, on 10 Apr 20, troops located an illegal refining site and deactivated four ovens, 14 surface metal storage tanks and 5 coolers. ”
Enenche also disclosed that troops discovered an illegal valve connection along the Trans-Forcados pipeline suspected to have been connected by pipeline vandals, adding that the valve and associated fittings were disconnected and recovered.
“In the same vein, Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder on 8th Apr 20, while on patrol located an illegal refining site in Alakiri around Okirika general area of Rivers State.
“The site had approximately 20,000 litres of illegally refined AGO. The site and products were impounded while no arrest was made as the operators of the illegal refining site fled on sighting the patrol team.”
The Defence information boss also said troops also visited a reactivated Illegal Refining Site along Opuedebubor Creek, behind Banga Village in Warri South-West LGA of Delta State, which had 14 refining units, 24 metal storage tanks, 15 metal drums and 12 dugout pits.
“Similarly, on 7 Apr 20, Forward Operating Base Escravos team intercepted two wooden boats without engines controlled by one fibre boat powered by a 40HP engine along Banga Village Creek, Opuedebubor, Warri South West LGA, Delta State.
“The wooden boats were laden with about 3,000 litres of product suspected to be illegally refined AGO, packaged in polyethylene bags. Consequently, the boats were towed to a safe place and impounded.
“Cumulatively, the IRS had about 400,000 litres of AGO, 2,201 barrels of crude oil and 25,000 litres of DPK respectively. The site was deactivated while the 40HP outboard engine recovered along Banga Village Creek was taken to the Base.”
The Armed Forces of Nigeria also solicited for timely and credible information for the enhancement of its operations.
“In another Crude Oil Theft operation on 9 Apr 20, a patrol team revisited a previously deactivated IRS along Oviloye Creek, Warri South West LGA and observed that it had been reactivated. The site had 2 refining units and 4 metal storage tanks, approximately 5,000litres of illegally refined AGO and 31.4 barrels of stolen crude oil.
“Also, during the operations, the team intercepted two fibre boats laden with about 4,000 litres of illegally refined DPK with 40HP and 60 HP outboard engines. The site and petroleum products were impounded and the 40HP and 60HP outboard engines were recovered to the Base.”