Mkpoikana Udoma 16 October 2016, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – The Nigerian Navy has intercepted a barge transporting over 120,000 litres of crude oil suspected to be stolen from pipelines in Rivers State.
Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral James Oluwole, disclosed this while inspecting the said barge at Elem-Kalabari in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state, explaining that the barge was intercepted in the early hours of Wednesday, October 12 by troops manning its house boat in the riverine community.
Oluwole explained that more house boats and other military hardware would be deployed to ensure drastic reduction of oil theft, especially on the Eastern Naval Command, ENC, area of responsibility.
He said four house boats have already been deployed with three positioned under the Central Naval Command headquarters in Bayelsa State, adding that one of the house boats had been deployed to the ENC which enabled troops to identify routes used by oil thieves to transport stolen petroleum products from within the creeks.
According to him, “Naval troops manning our maritime security stations (house boats) on Wednesday around 2 am intercepted and impounded a metallic barge laden with about 120,000 litres of crude oil suspected to be stolen.
“Troops were unable to arrest crew members on board the barge as they fled the scene on sighting advancing naval gunboats.
“This interception is a testament to success of our choke point strategy which involves positioning of troops on flash points for quick response to situations. This strategy and other security measures recently put in place curtailed spate of attacks on oil and gas installations, piracy and other criminality on our maritime environment,” he said.